Since 2008, Chrysler Group has been playing mongoose to the iconic Dodge Viper. In recent weeks, the end appears near for the American supercar as Dodge has announced a highly-limited 2010 offering known as the Dodge Viper Final Edition.
While this is not the first that the Dodge Viper is being delivered in a Final Edition package (360 cars are sold in 2002 as the Viper transitioned to the 2003 model), the 2010 Viper SRT10 Final Edition will arrive with uncertainly for the supercar’s future.
Reflecting the somber occasion, the final 50 Dodge Viper SRT10s (20 Coupes, 18 Roadsters and 12 ACR-prepped cars) will share a dark coloured interior and exterior treatment. Outer panels wear a graphite clear coat with a black stripe running lengthwise down the center of the hood. A subtle red striping accent frames the black center striping of the Viper SRT10 Final Edition.
For the interior, a deep satin black floods the two-seat Dodge Viper cabin. A handsome use of red through the seat stitching and around the instrument cluster gauges provide a fitting contrast to the black.
Fitted as an appearance package only, the Viper SRT10’s beloved 8.4 liter V-10 engine is left untouched. Exploding to produce 600 horsepower and 560 pounds-feet of torque, should there be any additional expectations from the race-proven powerplant.
Put into production in 1992, the Dodge Viper served as a beacon to American performance. Even before its official release the Viper to showrooms, the Chrysler supercar combed over what was a controversial choice even the Dodge Stealth was originally slated to be the 1991 Indy 500 pace car.
Conceding to opposition over the choice of the Japanese-built Stealth, a prototype version of the Dodge Viper was readied to lead the world-famous race. The shear beauty of Dodge’s American supercar stole the show on race day and instantly earned fanfare.
Thanks to the high-profile appearance, the Viper also drew eyeballs to the entire Chrysler auto company which was undergoing a radical revamp of their lineup. With the LH cars, Ram pickup and Neon, these vehicles anchored by the Dodge Viper sparked a brief resurgence of the Chrysler Corporation.
Also becoming a championship fixture within auto racing through GT series competition, the Viper sports car holds victories at the 24-hour races of Daytona, Le Mans, and the 12-hours of Sebring. Away from the racetrack, the Dodge Viper would find itself to be an idolized figure in American culture.
In fact, a crime-fighting show in the 1990s called “Viper” chronicled an highly-advanced version of the supercar. The Viper TV Series lasted 4 seasons and 78 episodes (much longer than the rebooted 2008 Knight Rider series).
Sending the glorious American production supercar on its way, Chrysler Corporation is going to let the loud, thundering exhaust of the Dodge Viper trumpet the departure the current production run. Besides the Final Series, a race track-only Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X are just now moving out of the factory for 10-race Dodge Viper Cup Series slated to start in July.
Without even as much as a recent concept car available to judge supercar, there has yet to be an official pledge by Dodge to a new high-performance sports car. However, the press information clearly defines the Final Edition is “To celebrate the final year of production for the current-generation Dodge Viper”.