Dodge may be taking a page from Alfa Romeo’s playbook with the 2013 Dodge Viper. Hitting dealers next year, the new Viper will be imbued with passion, and Dodge’s hope is that it will become a vehicle younger people aspire to own similar to that of the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette.
Ralph Gilles, the head of Chrysler design and the Dodge brand, stated yesterday at the Automotive News World Congress that the Viper “is an icon, and Dodge as a performance brand, it’s important to have a performance vehicle.” The Dodge Viper was taken out of production after the 2010 model year and was slated to potentially return no earlier than 2012. The Viper has been a niche product, selling just over 2000 units in the last three years; however, there is no plan to make the Viper a volume seller. The number of cars sold for the Viper program is not important to Gilles, but he states that the new Viper will turn a profit and will sell a small number of cars in Europe.
Gilles has also told us that the design for the 2013 Dodge Viper is inspired by a naked woman on a beach. With the exception of a coke-bottle body shape, we are intrigued to see how she comes across in automotive form. With this potentially racy new design, Gilles and Dodge hope to capture the hearts and pocketbooks of people under 45. Gilles and his bosses at Fiat want to lure in buyers who would otherwise be saving up for something out of Porsche’s model line or from Chevy’s stable of Corvettes. Speculations about the 2013 Viper using a Ferrari-sourced engine have officially been ruled out. Will the new Dodge Viper adorn the walls of teenage boys in the near future? If Gilles’ enthusiasm is any indication, we hope so.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)