News

UAW contract says Dodge Viper set to die in 2017

2016 Dodge Viper ACR with Extreme Aero package

 (Dodge)

The Dodge Viper is slithering toward the end of the road.

Automotive News reports that the 206 mph supercar is scheduled to go out of production in 2017. The information comes from a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles product plan included with the latest draft of its UAW contract.

Referring to the Conner Avenue Assembly plant where the Viper is made in small numbers, the contract states that the current model production ends in 2017 and no future model has been identified for the facility.

Dodge has not yet commented on the report.

Of course, the Viper has risen from the ashes before. First produced in 1992, it went on hiatus in the wake of Chrysler’s restructuring in 2010, only to return in 2013 with at 640 hp 8.4-liter engine and a top speed of 206 mph.

But sales never recovered, and only 503 of the Vipers were sold through September of this year. This was despite a $15,000 price drop that brought its starting price down to $84,955, putting it on par with the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, which Chevy sold nearly 10,000 of in the same period.

The Viper has a reputation of being a supercar from the old school that’s demanding to drive on the track, and not too smooth on the street. But while that hardcore image has gained it ardent fans over the years, including one couple that owns 79 of them, the sales figures indicate that it may be time time for something new.

Good thing for Dodge it has the Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats, which it literally can’t make enough of to keep up with demand.