Dodge confirms what's been painfully obvious for a while now: that the Viper will die.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] confirmed today that the Viper's final model year will be 2017, and that a series of final editions will send it off to history's big garage after a 25-year run.
Since 1992, approximately 30,000 Vipers have been built at the Connor Ave. Assembly Plant in Detroit. The final model year for the Viper will begin production on Friday, June 24.
The final production run will include these limited-edition models:
Viper 1:28 Edition ACR: This model pays tribute to the current ACR's lap record of 1:28.64 at Laguna Seca Raceway. A total of 28 will be made, all with a black exterior, a painted rear wing, red ACR stripes, an aero package, and carbon-ceramic brakes.
Viper GTS-R Commemorative Edition ACR: This special edition will sport the white and blue color scheme from the 1998 Viper GTS-R GT2 Championship Edition. It will wear pearl white paint, blue pearl GTS stripes, an aero package, and carbon-ceramic brakes. As many as 100 Vipers will be built in this configuration.
Viper VoooDoo II Edition ACR: Modeled after the the 2010 VooDoo edition, this Viper will feature black paint with a graphite metallic ACR driver's stripe and a red tracer outline, an aero package, and carbon-ceramic brakes. No more than 31 units will be built with this setup.
Viper Snakeskin Edition GTC: Inspired by the 2010 Snakeskin ACR, this Viper features green paint with a patterned SRT stripe, an aero package, and a black interior. A total of up to 25 Vipers will be available in this configuration.
Dodge Dealer Edition ACR: This version will only be sold at two of the top-selling Viper shops in the FCA footprint--in Tomball, Texas, and Roanoke, Ill. This Viper features a white exterior with competition blue racing stripe, an Adrenaline Red driver stripe, carbon-ceramic brakes, and an aero package with an ACR interior. Up to 33 of these Vipers will be sold.
FCA didn’t say why it’s culling the Viper but a combination of low sales (just 676 were sold in 2015) and stricter emissions regulations is the likely reason. It’s certainly not that the car is now outmatched by rivals. The current Viper in ACR trim has destroyed 13 meaningful lap records.
Might we see a new Viper in the future? It’s possible. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has stated that the Viper nameplate is part of the automaker’s heritage and thus too important to be sold. He’s also said a new Viper was possible given the various platforms FCA either has in its portfolio or is developing though conceded the timing for such a car wasn’t clear.
As the current car roars loudly into the night, we leave you with this video of a Viper ACR with straight pipes.