Mopar and Viper fanatics, prepare to revolt! Your much-anticipated 2012 Viper might just be a reskinned Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione.
Before the heart attack sets in, you should know that nothing is official, and this could all be meaningless conjecture. But I hope not.
The 8C is perhaps the most beautiful car ever made, and the Viper could use a dose of its Italian sex appeal. While it may not be the fastest or best performing supercar in the world, neither was the Viper.
Here’s what we know:
Last week at a dealers’ conference, Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly pulled the covers off a new-generation Dodge Viper. Since the current Viper has already shed its last skin, this new development comes warmly welcomed.
According to AutoWeek the new Viper, which should arrive sometime late next year as a 2012 model, looked a lot like an 8C Competizione with a more Dodge-like front end. While that’s not enough to claim this rumor as true, it provides some hope that the Viper will come back infused with the same Maserati architecture that underpins the 8C.
I realize that giving the 8C a new shell and calling it a Viper will strike many as blasphemy. But come on, things change. Might as well get used to it. Maybe reading what Marchionne said while introducing the car will help:
We had been debating this particular nameplate for a long time, and every time I just could not get there. And then one morning the product committee went into the dome and saw it, and we all knew we were in front of something magic, unique. It took less than five minutes for the committee to fund the initiative. Not a negative comment, not a remark, not a single question. And so I leave you with this. The 17th car in the lineup, in select dealers in 2012.
Combine that with Car and Driver‘s take on the 8C Spider:
Press the sport button, use the column-mounted manual paddle shifters, and the Alfa becomes a beast that will torture its rear 285/35ZR-20 Pirelli P Zero tires. It’s fast in a straight line and exhibits the purest handling balance one could wish for: understeer on turn-in, neutrality with the application of power, and yee-haw oversteer with too much right foot. The brakes are sensational, and the gearshifts are superfast in manual mode.
Sounds good enough to be a Viper to me! Do you agree?