At the New York Auto Show in April Chrysler will finally reveal the third generation Viper sports car after a two year production hiatus. In the run up to the reveal, Chrysler has begun to tease the new model with the new logo making its debut yesterday. Each of the three generations has had its own unique take on the snake head design getting more sophisticated as the car evolved.
The Viper has always had an interesting relationship with Chrysler with each generation appearing at a time of rebirth for the company. The original 1989 concept arrived as Chrysler suffered through a recession with an aging product line. Francois Castaing, Bob Lutz and Carrol Shelby conceived a new interpretation of Shelby's original 1960s Cobra with a massive 8.0-liter V10 engine. Like the Cobra, the Viper was very basic, with four wheels, two seats, lots of power and not much else.
The production model arrived two and a half years later in 1992 at more or less the same time a new generation of Chrysler vehicles (the LH models) were coming to market. While it never was a big seller, it quickly became an icon and achieved huge successes on the track over the next decade.
A decade after the original, a followup arrived at around the same time that the Chrysler 300 revived the classic American big sedan idea. Production of the Viper was wound down in 2010 as sales dropped during the recession and Chrysler put its focus on new mainstream models post-bankruptcy.
I can't wait to see what the team has done with the new Viper. It will apparently retain the V10 configuration and the classic muscle roadster proportions but little else is known at this time.
#viper #dodgeviper #srtviper #chrysler
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