One of America’s most iconic sports cars, the Dodge Viper, is entering its final model year after 25 years and three generations.
It won’t be the first time that the Viper has died though, with the current, third-generation having revived the nameplate back in 2013 after a four-year hiatus. Only time will tell if Chrysler’s venomous serpent will rise again.
Its maker is at least giving it a proper send-off for the 2017 model year, with five special edition versions in the form of the Snakeskin Edition GTC, Vooodoo II ACR, GTS-R Commemorative Edition ACR, Dealer Edition Viper ACR and 1:28 ACR. The latter pays tribute to the Laguna Seca lap record of, you guessed it, 1:28.65, set by Randy Pobst in a Viper ACR.
Besides a rather consistent approach to styling through the years, one thing the Viper has always retained is its V10 engine configuration. The current Viper has an 8.4-litre V10 that delivers a whopping 480kW, but even the original 1992 model year Viper was quite potent for its time, with 298kW on tap.
The Viper had originally been shown as a concept car back in 1989 and its radical design signalled a turning point for Chrysler, which had been churning out some rather bland machinery in recent years. The original 8-litre RT/10 roadster of 1992 was followed up by the even faster GTS of 1996, which brought 335kW to the party, while the first major redesign came in 2003, with power being raised to 373kW. 2008 brought a new 450kW 8-litre V10 to keep fans amused in the two years leading up to Viper’s first death.
Many of them will be hoping that the car is now facing its second, not final, discontinuation.