Dodge Viper Farewell

Don Sherman
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2001 ABS finally became standard in all Vipers.

2002 To close out the first generation, 360 final edition Vipers painted red with white stripes were built.

2003 A thorough redesign gave the Viper roadster - now called SRT-10 - fresh bodywork, a larger and more potent engine, and various chassis improvements.

2006 A new coupe arrived with 510 horsepower.

2007 Busy tooling up a third-generation design, the Viper team extended 2006 production and skipped the 2007 model year.

2008 Raising the V-10's displacement to 8.4-liters, adding variable valve timing on the exhaust side, and comprehensive induction and exhaust refinements boosted output to a nice round 600 horsepower. Transmission, differential, and tire improvements yielded significant acceleration benefits. The new Michelin Pilot Sport 2 radials were a boon to handling. Eliminating the crossover pipes helped reduce cockpit heat.

2009 Late in the year, Dodge boss Ralph Gillies announced the Viper's impending demise. While there were hints a replacement might arrive someday, the chances of the name, V-10 engine, or original character surviving are miniscule. A few worthy suitors offered to buy Viper manufacturing rights but Chrysler's new owner Fiat spurned those overtures.

2010 Dodge dealers began accepting deposits for 510 Final Edition Vipers. The roadster is priced at $91,185, the coupe costs $750 more, while the ACR model runs $106,485 (destination charges included). The intended split is 20 coupes, 18 roadsters, 12 ACRs. The last of approximately 27,000 Vipers will roll off the assembly line in July.

VIPER'S MAJOR COMPETITION ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Four FIA GT2 championships
  • Ten FIA GT championships
  • Overall victory at Daytona, Nurburgring, and Spa 24 hour races
  • Three LeMans GT2 class wins
  • One LeMans GTS class win

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