• May 18, 2012
On Thursday night's Autoline After Hours, SRT boss Ralph Gilles sat down with show hosts John McElroy and Peter DeLorenzo, along with Autoblog and AOL Autos staffers to talk all things Viper. Among the interesting tidbits disclosed about the 640-horsepower supercar are plans for a new dealer certification process designed to encourage the sort of purchasing, service and ownership experience that buyers of six-digit cars have come to expect.

According to Gilles:

"It's going to be a qualified dealer situation... The ones who do the dealer training in terms of the tech. I want a tech. I want a display car. I want all these things. There's going to be a list. It's not going to be impossible, it's just that someone has to put in the extra effort and say 'I'm an SRT dealer.'"

Off the air, Gilles told Autoblog that Chrysler officials have already approached a number of dealers with a strong record of Viper and SRT sales to discuss how the certification process will work, gaining valuable feedback in the process. A document outlining the new certification program will go out to Dodge dealers next month.

Chrysler has yet to announce official pricing and the Viper won't go on sale until sometime in the fourth quarter of the year, but that hasn't stopped a queue of customer deposits from piling up. According to Gilles, one particularly strong Viper dealer already has around 90 such deposits in-hand. Considering that Viper sales averaged about 1,600 units in past years, that's a substantial figure.

In other news, Chrysler officials have been making a big point of talking about the 2013 Viper's newfound refinements, from reduced NVH to nicer interior materials and improved drivability thanks to the institution of technologies like stability control and traction control. Gilles says that great care has been taken to ensure the model's core personality still shines through, but given that much of the Viper's mystique is centered on its raw, leg-burning, hairy-knuckled persona, we couldn't help but wonder aloud if the new model's refinements have left room for a stripped-out hardcore version for Viper purists and racers. With raised eyebrows, arms gesturing wildly and stifling a smile, Gilles wryly said: "I love how you think. Next subject!"

To watch the Autoline After Hours episode in its entirety, scroll down.


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  • 37 Comments
      omgcool
      • 2 Years Ago
      Chrysler definitely has a winner with Ralph Gilles. By far my favorite character in the car business. I'd like to meet him sometime.
        avconsumer2
        • 2 Years Ago
        @omgcool
        Agreed. He's the most "car guy" CEO of the bunch. Also seems obsessed with pleasing us "car guys" instead of strictly profit - which is gaining him a fair following & will likely end up... turning a huge profit! I can imagine him & Sergio butting heads often - though, it looks as if Sergio is just letting him do his thing - which I believe is wise.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      For a car guy, there aren''t many jobs better than being the head of SRT AND a senior design director at Chrysler. I would love to hang out with him for a day at work. Looking forward to watching the show I couldn't make the live show unfortunately.
      #Tasering
      • 2 Years Ago
      NVH- Noise, Vibration, and Harshness. I would only abbreviate this term if it was used more than once in the article (after setting forth the definition).
      da.kid1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hardcore model planned?This is gonna be good...
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      GreaseMonkeySRT
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love the big shot of testosterone and adrenaline Chrysler is pumping into their vehicles. Not just the Viper, but all of them. Dare I say they have recaptured the soul of the American (part Italian) auto industry.
      graphikzking
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hopefully this helps them create a better car buying / service experience. Many of the Dodge dealers in my area are all about yelling and giving $5,000 ; $8000 ; even $10,000 for ANY car you trade in. Tired of the yelling and bad cliche dealer selling experience. I'm hoping they will eliminate some of these dealers that don't know anything about their cars. It's understandable when buying a $15,000 - 23,000 car but when you walk into a dealership ready to spend $100,000 on a car - that salesperson and service person BETTER know their product and their competitors very well. No offense to those that work hard, but who wants a $11/hr ASE drop-out mechanic changing their Viper's oil? I want mine serviced by an experienced mechanic that knows not to put the normal generic 5w-30 oil in it like every other car they throw in there. Also, Dodge you are the last company to use forced induction - don't get left behind. Ford (Ecoboost) / Mustang GT500, Chevy ZR1, BMW (M Series), Mercedes (AMG), Audi (S / RS series). Even Ferrari, Jaguar, Hyundai and Suburu know that they need forced induction. Dodge/Chrysler needs to start using turbos for performance more. I realize they have the new 4cyl turbo coming in the Dart but they need to have a $12,000 option for a very low boost Viper with 710hp just to trump them all.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @graphikzking
        710hp could be done cheaper, lighter, and more reliably without boost on such a big engine. If you need to boost the largest displacement production car engine in the world, then put those supposedly forged pistons to th test. 800-900hp factory supercharger, maybe as a Mopar performance bit. Turboes only for those willing to consider the realm of 1000+hp. Maybe down the scale a little bit, a turbo V6 would be cool inside a Charger, Chally or 300, do it the way Ford does with the F150 and price it a couple hundred more than the (small) V8, in this case 5.7HEMI.
          Nicholas Fitzpatrick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          Chrysler is already developing a new Supercharged Hemi to go into the new SRT 'Cuda to compete with the ZL1 and GT500. They are also working on a twin turbo version of the Pentastar V6. Keep in mind that the 3.6 Pentastar is already making over 300hp WITHOUT Direct Injection. Once they go DI with twin turbos - the motor will easily be capable of 420+
      Tina Dang
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love the new Viper
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      atvman
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of course there's a hardcore model planned. The ACR has been a huge success on the marketing front, it's a no-brainer that they'll do it again for the Gen V car. The results will probably be staggering too (if Fiat lets it that is).
      BryanGx
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, that car's devastatingly ugly. I think the hood intake makes it look like a pig.
        Ilovecars
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BryanGx
        Compared to what? It is truly stunning.
        Venom21
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BryanGx
        "devastatingly ugly"- who the hell talks like that? You are a loser with obviously no taste, and you drive a Toyota for sure,
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BryanGx
        I suggest a strong pair of glasses or laser eye surgery will fix your problem.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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