Since it hit the market with a bang, the SRT Viper has mainly soldiered on making nothing more than a whimper. Demand for the reborn, V10-powered rocket has struggled, although SRT boss Ralph Gilles remains committed to the slinky serpent, according to a report from Wards.

"The plant is booked solid. We actually have several hundred units outstanding we still have to build," Gilles told Wards. This despite Chrysler trimming production early in the Viper's life, missing its internally targeted on-sale date and having no shortage of competition from the cheaper and equally new Chevrolet Corvette.

The problem Chrysler and SRT are facing now is one of very particular customers, according to Gilles. "I think the mistake we're making is understanding the customer who spends $130,000 to $140,000 for a car. They want what they want - their color, their stripe, their package, their interior. And dealers trying to anticipate the market ended up creating a car that may not be the right car," he said. "I don't think our network understands the segment very well."

Despite this specificity on the part of owners, Gilles claims that sales remain strong heading into the slow winter months, with a majority of Chrysler's 443 Viper stores having inventory in stock. "Most of these vehicles are enjoying an incredibly wonderful life sitting in showrooms looking very sexy, and they've been sitting there since August," Gilles told Wards. "So it's not really all that bad. I'm not worried about the sales."


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  • 106 Comments
      Joe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Simple explanation.. If you can read the review of the Best Drivers car example and still want one after youre insane. The brake pedal jamming to the floor.. Seats barely attached, hood vents flying off.. Paint peeling.. And one other thing wrong with it that no one mentioned.. VERY uneven fit on the body panels, did you see the size of that hood gap? With the Corvette at half price with better build quality its a no brainer which car i would have.
        k_m94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joe
        And this is the problem. SRT sent out a poor example, actual customer cars don't really seem to be showing these issues.
      brianXL
      • 1 Year Ago
      "I don't think our network understands the segment very well." Understatement of the century. I also think the car is just too expensive.
      Street King
      • 1 Year Ago
      He does have a point, I just watched a viper video last night, the video showed the car when they got it (a white GTS with black stripes) and then showed it a couple weeks later and the black stripes were gone. That basically says they bought it off the showroom floor and MADE it their own, when they could have just ordered it the way they wanted in the first place. Except dealer orders have priority so ordering your own car gets put to the back of the line. (many 2012s turned into 13's just because of the line up, now 14's) If I am spending 130K its NOT going to be on a car that Mr minivan Sales Manager picked out, its going to be the one I picked out.
      craig5540
      • 1 Year Ago
      You save 60k buying the new Corvette. That could be part of the problem!
      rtkewley
      • 1 Year Ago
      Gilles can spin this any way he likes - the bottom line remains that the car is significantly overpriced relative to what it delivers, and had the misfortune to be released at the same time as a dramatically improved (and MUCH cheaper) Corvette.
      Eta Carinae
      • 1 Year Ago
      it also could be because of the corvette matching its performance will costing half as much and this is only the base model trim.......i wonder how the order books will look when the Z07 hits the dealer floors...
      partsrack
      • 1 Year Ago
      IF the Orange 2014 TA was a $25k lower MSRP, there would be one-fewer of them looking sexy in a showroom. As a multi-year Viper owner like Gary, (we both had a '92!) I am suffering from Gen 5 Sticker Shock. The resulting cure is an uncomfortable "withdrawal" from the brand I love......til a USED orange TA appears that is...... Dibbs.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      No kidding. Only 69 Vipers sold in October. 3929 Corvettes were sold that same month.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        111 GT-Rs sold in October. That is a 6 year old car. Butt ugly 6 year old car.
      mitytitywhitey
      • 1 Year Ago
      When the Viper first came out, it was a huge improvement over any version of the late C4 Corvette. This justifies the price and exclusivity. But they let Chevy catch up to and overtake the Viper. Now anyone with Viper fever is paying more for the same or less.
        mitytitywhitey
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mitytitywhitey
        The Viper really needed to stay 2 steps ahead of Corvette. The 1994 Viper was way better than a 1994 Vette.... not true for 2004 or 2014.
          Stars_Fan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mitytitywhitey
          Huh the C4ZR1 was pretty much equal in acceleration performance with the first gen viper. The ZR1 was actually .1 seconds quicker 0-100mph and was much faster 0-100-0 due to superior brakes.
      Agent55
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Meat-head Dodge dealer doesn't understand high-end sports car demographic." Ya don't say?
      k_m94
      • 1 Year Ago
      What I dont understand about the whole "The Viper is underperforming" argument is that the idea of "If you're not first, and ahead by a large margin you lose" is preposterous. 640hp is not the problem. It's enough to smoke up the second widest rear tires on a production car (next to a Veyron) all the way through 1st, 2nd, hell maybe even 3rd gear. It's RWD and manual so it's not like a GTR or 911 Turbo where 10.X second quarter miles are just a button press and gas stomp away. 700hp will not magically change anything and 640hp is still more than Ferraris and Lamborghinis twice the price. Speaking of price, the Viper is a $100k car to start with, and if all you want is the performance with no frills then you don't need the pricey cosmetic and luxury options like $5000 stripes on $14000 red paint and an interior with 18 speakers and $8000 leather. Those all add up to $140000+ cars that sit on dealer lots because nobody wants the particular combination that dealer ordered at that crazy price. And having an expensive and expansive option list is something that is way too common for many car brands. Whether it's BMW charging you extra for real leather and nav and stuff until you're dropping $50k on a 328i that's not a stripper model, or Porsche's ability to turn a $70,000 Boxster S into $100,000, or Ferrari charging that much in options alone for a full specced 458.
      jebibudala
      • 1 Year Ago
      The NSX suffered the same fate for the same exact reason. Both are amazing machines, just playing in the wrong price territory.
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