It's one thing to quietly anticipate the arrival of something exciting. It's quite another when you can actually see it coming, so here's a batch of spy shots showing the next-generation Dodge Viper under development.

Don't get too excited, though, because there's little to see from this early test mule. It's largely wearing the bodywork from the last Viper, and what's new is heavily disguised. What we can tell is that the headlights stretch back farther over the hood than the previous model, above the updated crosshair grille now in use across the Dodge model range. The placement of the air scoops and hood louvers appear different, and from what we can see at least, the front end seems to be more refined than its brutish predecessors.

Of course, it's what's behind that new front end that counts. It may be too early to say if the V10 will return of whether regulatory restrictions will force Chrysler to go with something slightly more "responsible," but you can bet it'll have more electronic nannies in place, and if the rapidly-integrating Fiat/Chrysler empire plays its cards right, Dodge's Italian sisters could bring some experience to bear. And that can't be a bad thing.

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