Chrysler made a huge splash when it put the Viper into production way back in 1992. But over the course of some eighteen years and 22,000 units of production, we all became used to the idea of having the Viper around. Then it was discontinued about a year and a half ago, and we started missing America's gnarliest of sports cars.

Fortunately the Viper is coming back, and coming back to the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant. The factory had been home to Viper assembly since it was moved there in 1995, but has laid dormant since July 2010. Now that the next-generation Viper is coming 'round the mountain, Chrysler is re-opening Conner Avenue to the tune of some 150 jobs. The re-opening of the facility makes Chrysler, in its own words, the only automaker with multiple assembly plants in Detroit proper.

Intriguingly, the press release after the jump refers to the upcoming new Viper not as a Dodge, but rather as an SRT product. The performance division was recently spun off by Chrysler into its own unit (much like the Ram truck brand was separated from Dodge), with Chrysler's chief designer and former Dodge chief Ralph Gilles at its helm, and the language seems to indicate that the new Viper could be the brand's first product. Color us officially excited.
Show full PR text
The Snake Returns to Chrysler Group's Conner Avenue Assembly Plant

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

- Conner Plant reopens to produce 2013 SRT Viper
- Nearly 150 jobs to return to Detroit
- New Viper to roll off the line in late 2012

Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it will reopen its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit for the production of the next generation SRT Viper. With the plant's reopening, nearly 150 jobs, both hourly and salaried, will return to the City of Detroit.

The Conner facility was idled when production of the Dodge Viper ended in July 2010.

"The next generation Viper will make its return to the product lineup in late 2012 as a 2013 model," said Ralph Gilles, President and Chief Executive Officer - SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. "We're extremely excited that our ultimate American sports car will continue to live on and be produced exclusively here in the Motor City."

Current Chrysler Group hourly employees who previously worked at Conner were first offered the opportunity to return to their home plant. The balance of the positions will be filled by hourly employees volunteering to transfer to the Conner Avenue plant.

Conner Avenue will begin building the new Viper in late 2012, but employees began reporting for training and orientation this fall.

In preparation for the reopening, the Conner facility will begin its transformation by implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), a system that is focused on reducing waste and making continuous improvements throughout the assembly process to improve quality and productivity.

Viper production began in May 1992 at the New Mack Assembly Plant, then moved to the Conner Avenue site in October 1995. All Vipers that rolled off the line were hand-built in a low-volume, modular process. Over the course of 15 years, Conner Avenue employees built about 12 vehicles a day for a total of 22,070 Vipers.

The reopening of the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant reaffirms Chrysler Group's commitment to the City of Detroit as the only auto manufacturer with two assembly plants in the city.

About the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant

The Conner Avenue Assembly Plant was built in 1966 and purchased by Chrysler in 1995. Viper production began in May 1992 at the New Mack Assembly Plant and was moved to Conner Avenue in October 1995. Prowler production began in May 1997 and ended in February 2002. Viper V-10 Engine production was transferred from Mound Road Engine to Conner Assembly in May 2001. In 2003, the newly engineered SRT10 Roadster hit the market and the SRT10 Coupe followed in 2005. With a production run of 28,056, Viper production ended on July 2, 2010. As a result, the facility was idled.

About Chrysler Group LLC

Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Durango, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Fiat 500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.


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  • 65 Comments
      ryanandrewmartin
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just the mention of the word "Viper" makes my pants tighter. I didn't even read the article and I had to take a cold shower.
      viperdalee
      • 3 Years Ago
      Question to babettekittie If the Viper "handles like crap" then why does it hold the following track records???? The Viper ACR holds benchmark lap times at the following road courses: Autobahn Country Club, Joliet, Ill. 2:37.70 ... Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Buttonwillow, Calif. 1:55.70 Gingerman Raceway (1.88-mile original course), South Haven, Mich. 1:26.70 Grattan Raceway, Belding, Mich. 1:22.70 Laguna Seca Raceway, Salinas, Calif. 1:33.90 Miller Motorsport Park (3.05-mile outer loop), Tooele, Utah 1:59.90 Monticello Motor Club, Monticello, N.Y. 2:26.37 MotorSport Ranch (3.1-mile full course), Cresson, Texas 2:19.00 Nelson Ledges Road Course, Garrettsville, Ohio 1:08.90 New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, N.J. 1:28.08 No Problem Raceway, Belle Rose, La. 1:16.90 Nürburgring Nordschleife, Nürburg, Germany 7:12.13 Putnam Park, Mount Meridian, Ind. 1:12.60 Sebring Full Course, Sebring, Fla. 2:19.47 Spring Mountain (2.2-mile layout), Pahrump, Nev. 1:45.40 Texas World Speedway, College Station, Texas 1:47.56 Top Gear USA (El Toro), Irvine, Calif. 1:22.00 Virginia International Raceway (3.27-mile full course), Alton, Va. 2:00.63 Willow Springs Raceway, Rosamond, Calif. 1:26.00 Just askin.
      Nick Allain
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm tickled with the idea of the viper sitting between two more completely unique SRT cars. We can dream, can't we?
      The Mayor
      • 3 Years Ago
      This gives Chrysler the way to bring back the RoadRunner SRT and/or Barracuda SRT since there is no longer a Plymouth Division.
        john
        • 3 Years Ago
        @The Mayor
        I can see them doing this, even if its only for a few years, as they wouldn't want to do too many of them or they would hurt Challenger sales. Or maybe do up special edition Challengers with custom body work and call them the " 'Cuda edition" and the "Road Runner edition". Better yet, make the Challenger look exactly like the old cars and put blacked out Plymouth Pentastars on it.
      viperdalee
      • 3 Years Ago
      This looks like a gen4 Viper with a new front end under the bra. The reason the back looks "exactly like the old Viper" is because it is an old (probably 2020) Viper
        john
        • 3 Years Ago
        @viperdalee
        The reason the back looks like the old viper is because its most likely a mule for the new drivetrain. Automakers like to use old bodies to test out their new engines so as to not give away too much about what they are doing, even though some things (like that covered front end) give it away anyway. Glad to see the SRT division is bringing back the viper, let's hope this new one finds DOHC Direct Injection and cylinder deactivation technology to break 25 mpg in the city.
          Krishan Mistry
          • 3 Years Ago
          @john
          25mpg city? You would be lucky to get that on a long, flat highway, and even 20mpg highway is a lot for a 600+hp car. I think direct injection and maybe cylinder deactivation are cool, but DOHC? That would add about 100lbs to the engine right off the bat, bulk up the physical size of the motor, raise its COG significantly, and ruin the car.
      F1
      • 3 Years Ago
      comments saying this is 'ugly' -or- 'vette lights'...this is a mule! it's to test drivetrain!...to say its ugly, ok any car with bra material slapped on would be ugly dontcha think? regarding the headlights...we'll have to wait for the full reveal, but i do think that both cars are trying to emulate each other in some way. appearance alone, the c6 got more 'curvy' like a viper, while the latest viper lost some curves and got more creases..like the c6....so, who's copying who here?
      LUSTSTANG S-197
      • 3 Years Ago
      Challenger, Charger, 300, Viper, and who knows, maybe a Dart R/T down the road? That has to be one of the most exciting lineups in the entire auto industry, especially when you exclude premium and exotic brands. I wish more auto companies injected this much enthusiasm into their lineups.
      hywayhero
      • 3 Years Ago
      I own a 2003 Ram pickup with over 100 thousand on it and it still looks and runs like a new one.I will put it up against any F-150 or GM model of the same year, I'ts a great truck. I hope Chrysler does as good with the Viper.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      viperdalee
      • 3 Years Ago
      Typo..... 2010 Viper
      Xedicon
      • 3 Years Ago
      My sheer excitement over this post caused me to make a small scene out of myself at the airport just now, hehe. So excited for the Viper's return, here's to hoping that it's as much of a monster as it ever was! I really love that they reopened the original Viper shop - most people don't realize the Viper was closer to a coachbuilt car than just humming off a factory line (a mix of the two really). If you really wanted to you could get custom whatever you want in terms of interior and paint, but of course it cost you. Woo Viper!
      Elmo
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really can't wait. I hope Chrysler keeps this car as pure as the previous generations. No TCS or ABS, or any computer that assists the driver in any way shape or form unless it has something to do with power steering.
        lostboyz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Elmo
        Those are federally mandated, but rest assured you will be able to turn them completely off.
          Carlos Cruz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lostboyz
          I'm sure the only one that can be turned off is ESC.
        Carlos Cruz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Elmo
        "Pure" *pfft* why dont you just get an engine from a 1970's Chrysler pickup truck, put it in a plain steel chassis "a la Go Kart" and use fiberglass as the bodywork, and you get essentially a Viper. I'm not going to go into more detail because I'm sure you're elmo and I dont want to get a headache today. I'm actually happy that Fiat will be giving the Viper some sort of seriously overdue tech update.
          Elmo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Carlos Cruz
          You know, ANYTHING you say about the Viper should not be taken seriously. Because from what I've, and so many other people have seen in the past, you hate the Viper. You're just as bad as Fried_Rice, True voice (which I don't think exists anymore), and Laser.
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