Chrysler has announced the official manufacturing launch of the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 at the Connor Ave Assembly Plant in Detroit. In the press release after the jump, you'll learn that the Viper is hand-assembled by a team of 48 UAW "Craftspersons" (political correctness is wonderful, isn't it?) as the supercar traverses 26 stations on its 705-foot assembly line. Of course, some of you might find the car itself a lot more interesting than the manufacturing process behind it. 600-horsepower 8.4L V10s tend to do that, at least for us. Along with today's announcement, Dodge released a mess 'o new pics of its most potent snake yet, so click the gallery below for a look. That's the work of a master
Chrysler LLC Launches Production of New 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10® at Conner Avenue Assembly Plant
- 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10® hand-built at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant
- Additional 90 horsepower on tap from all-new 600-horsepower 8.4-liter Viper SRT10 V-10 engine built at Conner Avenue Assembly
In a time when most manufacturing plants utilize hundreds of state-of-the-art robots to assemble vehicles, a unique plant in Detroit is producing hand-built performance vehicles.
At the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant, workers called "Craftspersons" hand-build the new Dodge Viper SRT10 and all-new 600-horsepower 8.4-liter SRT V-10 engine. Utilizing 26 work stations on a 705-foot-long assembly line, 48 hand-picked UAW workers assemble each vehicle. Each vehicle remains stationary for up to 49 minutes per work area as the Craftspersons make any necessary adjustments. This process eliminates traditional repair stations with all procedures verified by Craftsperson team members.
Each Dodge Viper is primarily made of seven component modules (instrument panel, fuel tank, suspension corner modules, wheels and tires, cooling module, lift gate assembly and full dressed engine). With the exception of the engine, all modules are shipped to the Conner facility from other locations. Stamping, casting and welding all take place off-site with body panels arriving already painted.
Normally performed only on race cars, an alignment machine sets caster and camber at normal ride height, at jounce and at rebound (upward and downward travel of suspension). Typical factory alignments set caster and camber in the normal ride height position only. The 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 is the only U.S. production vehicle set up for such alignment at the factory.
"Our assembly process is just as exceptional as the car," said Melissa Holobach, Plant Manager – Conner Avenue Assembly Plant, Sterling Heights Vehicle Test Center (SHVTC) and Pilot Operations. "The process of building these vehicles by hand has allowed us the freedom to produce race-inspired performance without the constraints of mass production," Holobach said. "Our workforce is committed to producing the best vehicles possible and it shows in their commitment to detail."
The all-new 600-horsepower 8.4-liter SRT V-10 engine is built next to the vehicle on a 24-station circular line by nine Craftspersons. These nine workers assemble and certify each engine before they are installed in the chassis.
Each Dodge Viper is tested in place on the assembly line utilizing special rollers. At this stage the vehicle is a rolling chassis without its body panels. During this "roll test" it is driven through all six speeds of the transmission, up to 90 mph to verify vehicle function.
Since its introduction as a concept car at the 1989 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Dodge Viper has captured the hearts and imagination of enthusiasts around the world. The 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 is offered in both Roadster and Coupe versions. With its dramatic styling and 600 horsepower, the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 is the ultimate American sports car.
"The 2008 Dodge Viper continues to be an icon for not only the Dodge brand but the Company, " said Frank Ewasyshyn, Executive Vice President – Manufacturing. "Compared to our other manufacturing facilities, this is a very labor-intensive plant, but to build the Dodge Viper any other way wouldn't be right. This small craft shop allows us to produce a true American legend."
The next chapter of Dodge Viper continues to set the definition of extreme, yet features greater levels of refinement and finish. The new 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 boasts more of what performance aficionados crave: more horsepower, benchmark braking, world-class ride and handling, a race-inspired interior and bold exterior styling.
While every SRT vehicle offers balanced overall performance, the heart and soul of the new 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 is its new powertrain. For 2008, SRT ups the ante with a new, 8.4-liter aluminum V-10 engine that produces an astounding 600 horsepower and 560 lb.-ft. of torque.
With 600 horsepower – 90 more than before, and 0-to-60 performance in less than four seconds, the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 sets a new benchmark for the ultimate American sports car.
The new 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 will arrive in Dodge showrooms in North America this fall with a new level of customization options, including five new exterior colors, four new interior color combinations and a new wheel design.
Street and Racing Technology
SRT creates Chrysler's boldest, most distinctive products by single-mindedly following its core vision: Deliver benchmark performance at the lowest price, and deliver it with absolute integrity and credibility.
Every SRT vehicle showcases five key aspects: Exterior styling that resonates with the brand image; race-inspired interiors; world-class ride and handling characteristics across a dynamic range; benchmark braking; and standout powertrain.
Chrysler's commitment to the City of Detroit is strong. In 2006, Chrysler generated over $960 million in annual wages, over $16 million in income taxes, and over $44 million in personal and real property taxes in the City of Detroit. Throughout Michigan, the company has 35,000 employees who generate more than $4 billion in annual wages and provide more than $258 million in taxable income to the state.
Since April 2007, the company has invested $1.8 billion in Detroit-area plants in support of flexible manufacturing efforts.
The company's operations in Detroit include Conner Avenue Assembly Plant, Jefferson North Assembly Plant, Mack Engine Plants I and II, Detroit Axle, Mt. Elliott Tool and Die and the Plymouth Road Office Complex. Other facilities in southeast Michigan include its global headquarters and Technology Center, Chelsea Proving Grounds, Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA), Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, Sterling Heights Stamping Plant, Trenton Engine Plant, Warren Stamping Plant and Warren Truck Assembly Plant.