Dodge has decided to discontinue production of its Dodge Viper, a sports car similar to the Chevrolet Corvette. In its 25th year of production, the Viper is being discontinued because of its lagging sales. Dodge plans to release five special editions of the car prior to ending production in 2018.
Road & Track reported that the long-anticipated death of the V-10 sports car finally occurred after 25 years of production. Although a final edition of the Dodge Viper was expected, Dodge is actually releasing four final models for buyers. The editions will include the Viper 1:28 Edition ACR, which is a commemorative edition of Randy Pobst’s astounding 1:28.65 lap of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which set a new record and beat the one previously established by a Porsche 918 Spyder. It will offer all of the usual go-fast options that buyers look for in a sports car, and it includes an extreme aero package and carbon ceramic brakes.
— Car and Driver (@CARandDRIVER) June 21, 2016
Other editions of the car include a white Viper GTS-R Commemorative Edition ACR with blue stripes. It is based on the 1998 Viper GTS-R GT2 Championship Edition, and it is being built to commemorate the 1998 version that won the FIA GT2 championship.
Parent company Fiat Chrysler has been unable to funnel the resources necessary to continue to sell the 8.4-liter engine sports car when so many other companies are looking for ways to boost fuel economy. The Viper may be revived at a future date if FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has his way.
Dodge Viper Production Ends After 25 Years https://t.co/GZaZYk0mgm #Lovecars
— Lovecars (@Lovecars) June 22, 2016
Top Gear offered a list of the final editions of the Viper, which includes other colors for buyers, including green paint for the Viper Snakeskin Edition GTC, which also includes racing stripes. The Voodoo II ACR will offer black on red.
Tim Kuniskis, the head of passenger cars at Dodge, said that the Dodge Viper had had a good run.
“The Dodge Viper has had a great run, and 25 years after it was first introduced, it leaves the supercar world reaching for the records it continues to set. With more track records than any production car in the world, the Dodge Viper ACR will live on as the fastest street-legal Viper track car ever, the car that has set the benchmark for all that follows in its tracks.”
The Detroit News reported that Dodge would officially end production of the Dodge Viper at the end of 2017. Fiat Chrysler made the announcement and said that five final special edition models would be released. The final editions will mark the 25th anniversary of the Viper.
— Jalopnik (@Jalopnik) June 21, 2016
Fiat Chrysler didn’t say what would happen to its 392,000-square-foot Connor Avenue assembly plant or the 75 workers, including 60 hourly workers, who worked at the plant. Although no new vehicle has been outlined for the plant to produce, a Fiat spokeswoman refused to say what would happen to the plant or workers once the production of the Viper ended.
The Dodge Viper first began production in 1992 at the Mack Avenue Assembly Plant. Vipers were built there from 1992 to 1994. Since then, Dodge has built over 30,000 Vipers, but there were no cars built between July 2010 and December 5, 2012. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said that the Viper had been a labor of love since the company came out of bankruptcy in 2009. The company also owns the Italian brands Alfa Romeo and Maserati, and the CEO said that the company had access to new technologies that would allow the company to develop a car with significantly improved performance.
[Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]