Dodge to kill Viper in 2017

UPDATE

Dodge Vipers
Dodge Vipers

This rumor is finally upgraded to 'fact' today. Earlier today, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles issued a press release celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Dodge Viper.

Unfortunately, part of the festivities involve killing it.

Yes, for the second time in less than a decade, the Viper is motoring into FCA's vault, where it was also stored from 2010 to 2012. FCA says that the 2017 model year will be the Viper's last.

Will it ever return? Given that CEO Sergio Marchionne has little love for cars these days, preferring SUVs and trucks instead, it seems unlikely—at least until Marchionne's replacement arrives around 2018.

There is an upside for Viper fans, though. FCA is offering five limited-edition models to send the sports car to its early grave in style:

• 1:28 Edition ACR (American Club Racer), which commemorates the current Laguna Seca single-lap record of 1:28.65, recorded by Randy Pobst driving a 2016 Dodge Viper ACR in October 2015. Limit: 28 units.
• GTS-R Commemorative Edition ACR, which pays tribute to the Viper's iconic white-and-blue paint scheme from 1998. Limit: 100 units.
• VoooDoo II Edition ACR, a dark-themed Viper with red highlights that's modeled after the 2010 Viper VooDoo edition. Limit: 31 units.
• Snakeskin Edition GTC, featuring a Snakeskin Green exterior and a snakeskin-patterned SRT stripe. Limit: 31 units.
• Dodge Dealer Edition, which will be an all-white model available only through two high-volume Viper dealers: Tomball Dodge of Tomball, Texas and Roanoke Dodge of Roanoke, Illinois. Limit: 33 units.

You can place your order for these 2017 models beginning June 24, 2016.

10/15/15 Could the iconic, but slow-selling, Dodge Viper be headed for its final off-ramp? That's the implication buried in the proposed FCA/UAW contract, which has the boisterous muscle car's Detroit assembly plant shutting down in 2017.

The news about the Conner Avenue facility, where the Viper is largely hand-built, comes from the obsessive Mopar watchers at Allpar. Conner Avenue has been the home of the Viper since its launch in 1992 and also built the Plymouth Prowler.

The Viper went away once before, in 2010, only to return for 2013. Not long after, however, in the fall of 2013, Chrysler was already having to slow production; the company halted production for two months the following spring, to let demand catch up with supply. Then came a $15,000 MSRP haircut, which dropped the base price of the 2015 car from just over $100,000 to closer to $85,000.

For 2016, Dodge rolled out the fearsome, race-ready Viper ACR, which, although awesome, is obviously not a volume proposition. All of which is to say that, while we love the Viper, we would not be surprised if this latest rumor proves to be true. We also suspect, however, that anyone who wants to snag this snake before it slithers into the sunset will have ample opportunity and, we'd bet, more than one special edition to pick from between now and 2017. Car&Driver

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