We have expected the return of the Dodge Viper given the frequent confirmation from the company. We didn't expect it--and still don't--until late 2012 as a 2013 model year car, despite reports of a 2012 model popping up in the Chrysler dealer inventory system, according to Allpar.com.
To make it to market in time for the 2012 model year, the Viper would have to go on sale sometime late this year or early next. Getting the car into the ordering system for pre-sales six or more months early makes good sense--except Dodge has stated the car won't be back until the end of 2012 as a 2013 model. Getting the car into the systems 18 months early seems over-eager, and there are other reasons to doubt the information.
Both coupe and convertible, complete with SRT-10 names, are in the computers, according to the source. That hints that the 8.4-liter engine will stick around, despite rumors of alternatives. However, this factoid triggers our doubt-sensors, especially when combined with the inclusion of an Final Edition Group for the convertible--indicating possibly that the model names themselves are artifacts from the previous Viper, which was available in a Final Edition trim for obvious reasons.
Whatever the final model designations, or form the next-gen Viper takes, we're eager to see it return, despite its rather drastic change of nature via planned refinement and safety equipment like traction control. The raw power and fear-factor of an unleashed Viper was a large part of its appeal. Will the new one live up to the name?