The future of the Dodge Viper has been in question since the summer of 2008, when it was reported Chrysler was considering selling the rights to their halo sports car instead of killing it all together. Initially, there seemed to be plenty of interested parties, including Roush and Saleen, but the dwindling economy led to just one lowball offer from Michigan-based Devon Motor Works. Even after the Viper's production facility re-opened last month, it was still assumed that the 600 horsepower sports car would up for grabs. Not anymore.
Today, Chrysler announced that the Viper program is no longer for sale and that it will be continued to be produced past the end of the year at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant. There was no mention as to why the decision was made or what will happen beyond 2010, but for now, the Viper is safe. The official press release doesn't offer much information, but you check it out after the jump, along with a video from Chrysler discussing the decision and giving brief history of the Viper.
Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.
Chrysler Group LLC announced today that production will continue for the legendary Dodge Viper SRT10.
Originally slated to cease production in December 2009, the Chrysler Group Connor Avenue Assembly Plant -- the exclusive home of Dodge Viper production since 1995 -- will continue to build the V-10 powered sports car. Chrysler Group is no longer pursuing a sale of the Viper business assets.
"The Dodge Viper has successfully captured the hearts and imagination of performance enthusiasts around the globe," said Mike Accavitti, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dodge Brand. "We're extremely proud that the ultimate American-built sports car with its world-class performance will live on as the iconic image leader for the Dodge brand. "
Introduced as a concept car in 1989 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Dodge Viper was designed and engineered to test public reaction to the concept of a back-to-basics, high-performance, limited production sports car.
The reaction was so overwhelming that customer orders began to flow in even before the auto show was over. Chrysler Corporation immediately decided to determine the production feasibility on transforming the crowd-pleasing Dodge Viper show car into a limited-production sports car in no more than three years.
In May 1990, after months of intensive study and testing, Chrysler Corporation announced that the Dodge Viper, powered by an aluminum V-10 was a "go."
Dodge Viper production began in May 1992 at the New Mack Assembly Plant and was moved to Conner Avenue in October 1995. Viper V-10 engine production transferred from Mound Road Engine to Conner Avenue Assembly in May 2001. In 2008, Dodge introduced the all-new, fourth generation Dodge Viper SRT10. With more horsepower, more torque and more than 30 exterior and interior color combinations, the latest Viper gives enthusiasts the performance they expect on the track and off, with more factory customization options than before.
For 2009, the Dodge Viper SRT10 offers outrageous power, with an 8.4-liter, 600-horsepower (450 kW) V-10 engine contributing to blistering acceleration (0-60 mph in less than four seconds, 0-100-0 mph in the low 12-second range), setting an American sports car benchmark.
To date, more than 25,000 Dodge Vipers have been built.