The Viper wouldn't be the Viper if it wasn't the most powerful model under the Chrysler umbrella. But with the arrival of the Hellcat engine in the Dodge Charger and Challenger, the Viper has fallen behind in the bragging rights department: where the new supercharged V8 produces 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, the naturally aspirated V10 offers "only" 640 hp and 600 lb-ft – gargantuan output figures by almost any other standard, but crucially behind on the SRT power scale. Conner Avenue is going to have to do something about that.

Although the Hellcat's engine reportedly won't fit under the Viper's hood, SRT is now rumored to have another trick up its sleeve: supercharge the existing V10. According to the Pentastar performance enthusiasts at allpar.com, Chrysler has already taken delivery of the first such prototype engines so that it can begin the process of fitting it into an upgraded Viper.

The spooled ten-pot is tipped to produce around 800 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. More than that and the Viper's drivetrain, chassis and bodywork would have to be substantially reworked. Though beefier transmissions are available, fitting them would reportedly set off a domino-game of changes required to handle the added torque. Which may be something Chrysler would be prepared to do for the next-generation model, but in the meantime, 800 hp could prove enough to put the Viper back atop the Mopar performance ladder where it belongs, and give it an edge against the new Corvette Z06 to rekindle sales.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 82 Comments
      DMW2315
      • 4 Months Ago

      I have been a long time Viper fan.  Always dreamt of owning one ever since I saw Lenny Kravitz pull up in his 96 GTS in Blue with White Racing Stripes as a teenager.  It blew me away.  I have also been strictly a Manual Transmission guy.  My current 2012 BMW E92 M3 Coupe is a 6MT but I cannot deny the performance advantages of a proper Dual-Clutch gearbox.  For those who keep saying the Viper needs an Automatic Transmission, I would hope you guys (and girls) are speaking of a Dual-Clutch Transmission like BMW's DCT or Porsche's PDK trans and not just a standard auto.  They shift blistering fast and effortlessly and provide better acceleration, especially when tracking the car.  I do believe the Viper should always be a Manual Transmission car, but to offer a Dual Clutch Trans as a special order would be a smart move.  I have no issues with Dodge pairing the NA V10 with a supercharger.  Superchargers offer similar performance to a turbo but better throttle response, a concern of losing when going to Forced Induction.  If the Viper is to remain the halo car for Dodge, supercharging needs to be done, especially if they are to compete with the upcoming C7 Z06 Vette.

        oknahs
        • 3 Months Ago
        @DMW2315

        GM developed the new automatic tranny that does not require a dual clutch.  The corvette for 2015 has the fastest shifting automatic in the world proven on the dyno. 

        carguy1701
        • 4 Months Ago
        @DMW2315

        Team Viper said that a DCT that could handle the Viper V10 would cost as much to develop as the current car did. It didn't make fiscal sense, they said.

          DMW2315
          • 3 Months Ago
          @carguy1701

          I'm sure that the Fiat group could source a DCT from Ferrari and call it a day. After all, it's in-house

      Ernie
      • 4 Months Ago

      In '05 I supercharged my SRT Ram Truck. With just 5.1 lbs. of boost I ended up with 646 RWHP. It was a 6,000 lb. beast all growl and roar. The V10 is a Big Block Gear Head's wet dream. The torque is huge, mine was dyno'd at somewhere north of 800 ft. lbs.

      For the much lighter Viper they will need to keep it tuned to handle the low end and mid range power. My friend had his done up by Hennesey's. They did the 750 HP version and he can hardly control the car from a standing start. But is sure does hit 210 MPH quicker than you can pray for salvation and a safe landing.


      Bill Burke
      • 4 Months Ago

       I'm a Viper and Dodge fan, so I get most of the arguments on the "status quo" approach to Viper past, present and future, including 10 cylinder exclusivity, pricing exclusivity, manual transmission exclusivity, Clearly the operative word has been and that which is so destructive is "exclusivity". Dodge loyalists know that owning a Viper, for most, is an improbable wish. Dodge loyalists are now realizing that that improbable wish and that exclusivity mentality will lead to a death spiral of Viper. Those who could afford and those who till now have dictated the rules of exclusivity sadly will horde the treasured remains of a potential icon for the Dodge brand. Or maybe not !

       If Dodge will purge Viper of all the self imposed exclusivity restraints, Dodge can transform the Viper from a poorly-competitive anachronism of self proclaimed exclusivity, into an attainable, competitive and profitable world class sports car. The lifeline for survival is held by a Viper LINE that is affordable, includes both V-8 and V-10 engines, both automatic and manual transmissions and the input of a greater and more diverse "New Viper Nation". The continuation of the "status quo" thinking, with heads in the sand and noses in the air will eventually destroy Viper and the purging of those characteristics for those modestly proposed changes can save the Viper for a much wider ownership market. I hope Dodge chooses wisely.

        Damion Green
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Bill Burke

        I dont think exclusivity killed the car...128k killed it, focus on the intrior killed it. The lack of a significant hp gain killed it. The fact that in every major comparo the viper had it got beat(well except the one with the Viper TA on motor trend)...The Focus on trying to attact new purchasers with the interior killed the car...the pink shirt audi owners arnt going to buy a viper no matter how nice the interior.

          Bill Burke
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Damion Green

           Somewhere in your reply I see agreement with my basic contention, that Viper needs to change it's market strategy and broaden it's market appeal and price positioning to survive. I'm not calling for a volume vehicle, but I am calling for enough volume to continue the business case for it's existence and that involves more models,with more options like V-8 power and automatic transmissions and a lower price on some of it's models and maybe a little help from cousins Alfa Romeo and Ferrari on creating a sports car that can accomplish these goals. Maybe if more average guys believed they can save enough money to afford a Viper it would enhance that Dodge image of affordable performance. I think there is a larger market for Viper, even for people with pink shirts.

        superlightv12
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Bill Burke

        Absolutely agree. Give me a proper sports car chassis for that Hellcat drive train and maybe I'm in. Price it like the Hellcat Charger / Challenger and it would become a more direct competitor to the Corvette, which sells in a reasonable, profitable volume. Make the SRT/10 the halo car and maybe something around $60K and another smaller model around $35K. A sports car for everyone, without the Dodge brand on it.

          oknahs
          • 2 Months Ago
          @superlightv12

          Come on man.   Pricing the car below cost is insane.   You know little about business fundamental's so take some classes.   The Viper is a hand built, hand painted sports car so as I commented many times before the assembly must be robotic.   Now we are talking apples to apples with the vette.   A auto tranny will open the market to more consumers that want a fast shifting sports car thats more efficient than the manual.   $35k gets you in the small hemi R/T club.   Kick it up a notch and get 485 hp beast in the SRT Scat Pack for $45k.  A Viper for $60k is a LOL moment.

        TrueDat
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Bill Burke
        I agree.. but it will still need something special, IMO. so keep it with 10 cylinders, but redesign the motor from the ground up. a 5.5 liter V10 would be perfect for that "base" model. something with around 500 hp. make it just a little bit better than the base Z51 Corvette. then bore that out to 6 liters, add two turbos, and we arrive at 750 hp for the flagship "SRT/10" (yes.. bring that name back).
          General No Name
          • 3 Months Ago
          @TrueDat

          Why would they go through the huge added expense of designing and building a completely new engine for no reason?  Why not use awesome engines they already have?  They need a 5.7 hemi model Viper, a 6.2 model viper, the current V10 and then either the Hellcat or the TT or supercharged V10 as the super car model.

      andrewhartley11
      • 4 Months Ago

      I love the Viper and I hate to say this but they really need to offer an auto if they want to compete and get sales back on track. The supercharged V-10 would be awesome on this car. Dodge will have to come up with a cool name for it. Hellsnake?   

        fuzzyfish6
        • 4 Months Ago
        @andrewhartley11

        Can't disagree with that. Just leave the manual for us who wants one!

        Cameron Channell
        • 4 Months Ago
        @andrewhartley11

        Viper isn't supposed to be a volume seller.  It's supposed to be a pure sports car.  Diluting it to increase sales defeats it's purpose. 

          TrueDat
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Cameron Channell

          age old idea.. time to change.

          General No Name
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Cameron Channell

          Their plan is not working.  Nobody in the real world even know the Viper exists.

        imag
        • 4 Months Ago
        @andrewhartley11

        I don't think there will be a next gen unless sales pick up.

          TrueDat
          • 4 Months Ago
          @imag

          which requires redefining what the Viper is. world class sports car or brute american exotic.. i prefer the former.

        dude
        • 4 Months Ago
        @andrewhartley11

        why not HellViper

      rmt_1
      • 4 Months Ago

      I hope Dodge will continue to offer the NA V10 engine as a base powertrain and have the supercharged "Hellcat" (?) V10 version as an option. Nothing else can match the purity of sound that the NA V10 produces, but I can see the marketing necessity of having their Viper flagship being made more powerful than their Hellcat Challengers and Chargers. Overall, I find it hard to imagine that the Viper's greatest limitation is the fact its transmission can't handle more than 650 lb-ft of torque. I wonder how insanely powerful the next-gen Viper will be?

      jimenezphoto
      • 4 Months Ago

      Recently I read right here in Autoblog that Chrysler could not sell the Vipers they have in hand. Will Chrysler actually use more resources on a car that is not selling???? 

      BipDBo
      • 4 Months Ago

      "Although the Hellcat's engine reportedly won't fit under the Viper's hood"

      That didn't stop Carroll Shelby from building the Super Snake.  He simply built a new hood.  As Mr. Cosby described it, "That hicky man, that’s where the superchargers live."

        southpawxj
        • 4 Months Ago
        @BipDBo

        The block is also too wide to fit between the frame rails on the inside. You would have to fundamentally change the structure of the vehicle to make it fit. The hood would also have to be raised several inches as well,  which would look really ridiculous on the Viper.

        Carpinions
        • 4 Months Ago
        @BipDBo

        "Won't fit" doesn't always mean "too tall". The hemi engine is too wide because of the heads, which are quite sizable for OHV heads. Compare the heads of the V10 or the Chevy LS/LT V8s and the Hemi is OHC-like in its head size, which means Chrysler had to re-engineer more of the car to swap in a new engine, and even then only to gain 67 hp.

        SpacemanSpiff
        • 4 Months Ago
        @BipDBo

        It's probably a whole lot easier to slap a SC on the existing V10 than it is to re-do the whole front frame/body structure to fit a V8 that wasn't supposed to go there, just because. And it's hard to argue with 800HP vs 700.

        Plus, all Vipers have a V10, it's as much part of what makes it a Viper as anything else on the car. That should never change.
      Bryan Wilson
      • 4 Months Ago

      Hmm.  I know the Hellcat V8 won't fit under the current Viper's hood (definitely too tall and probably too wide), but it was only a matter of time before this was done.  I know Mr Marchionne has been wanting to make the Viper more accessible to buyers, which is why it has become more comfortable with this generation, so I wonder if the automatic tranny from the Challenger/Charger Hellcat (which I think can handle the hp/torque figures of this supercharged V10) will make it into this Viper?  Probably not in this generation.  We'll see

        carguy1701
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Bryan Wilson

        The ZF 8HP90 can handle the current N/A V10.  I do not think there is an automatic (planetary gear or dual clutch) that could handle that engine if it were supercharged.

      Daekwan
      • 4 Months Ago

      Shyt just got real!

      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 4 Months Ago

      Down vote all you want. Manual is...ok. But a viper with an auto? Yes....please!! You did it with the hellcat....time to ad it to the Viper. Sales will be up. Most people that can afford a car over 100k will want an auto. 

      carguy1701
      • 4 Months Ago

      As cool as a supercharged V10 would be, it isn't what the Viper needs, sales wise.  What the Viper needs is an automatic transmission on the options sheet.  That alone would increase sales 50%.  'Purists' may howl and whine, but in this day and age, even sports cars need a self-shifter to get past accounting.  Use the one from the Hellcat, it should be able to hold up to the N/A V10 just fine.

        superlightv12
        • 4 Months Ago
        @carguy1701

        Funny that you are getting down voted for this comment. Even though I would never buy a Viper with a slushbox, the fact is that every premium sports car made that offers both sell more with an automatic than they do with a manual.

      bethany.omalley
      • 4 Months Ago

      Why? Just why?

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