Exhausted and hung over from my latest Mexican adventures, I struggled to comprehend Autoweek’s headline: “Chrysler rips ‘for sale’ sign off Dodge Viper business.” Actually, I like mine better, but the new Chrysler has finally figured out that the Viper might still earn them both prestige and money. This after peddling the marque at fire-sale prices—and getting no takers.
They will keep making the ACR version, whose 8.4-liter, 600-hp V10 will continue to roar on. It will be built at the first assembly plant to reopen after the bankruptcy. The history of the Viper is briefly recounted in the company’s Friday news release, which went on to say with perfect candor:
With a work-hard, play-hard attitude, the Dodge brand continues to offer a full line of cars, trucks, SUVs, commercial vehicles and a sales-leading, fifth-generation minivan in 2009. Dodge will soon add to its award-winning Ram lineup with the introduction of its all-new 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks.
Just look at all these petroleum-suckers. We know the Viper has been called everything from a sled to an icon. Well, is Chrysler crazy to bring it back in a time of strict downsizing, global warming, and eco-consciousness?