Si­lence of the Viper

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORING -

IT’S THE end of the road for the Dodge Viper, the iconic Amer­i­can sports car known for its wild and un­tamed na­ture.

Due to slow­ing sales of the car in the US, Fiat Chrysler Au­to­mo­biles has de­cided to quit pro­duc­tion of the 8.4-litre two-seater coupe. On Au­gust 31 the last Viper will roll off the pro­duc­tion line of the Con­nor Av­enue assem­bly plant in Detroit where more than 30 000 Vipers have been built since the car was launched in 1992.

Five spe­cial-edi­tion mod­els will be avail­able to com­mem­o­rate the car’s fi­nal, 25th an­niver­sary year in 2017.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Ser­gio Mar­chionne re­cently said the car was a “labour of love” and that the com­pany, which also owns Ital­ian brands Alfa Romeo and Maserati, has ac­cess to other ar­chi­tec­tures that could be used to de­velop a car with sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved per­for­mance.

For a quar­ter of a cen­tury the V10-en­gined Dodge Viper has left an in­deli­ble foot­print on Amer­ica’s sports car land­scape with its raw and fire-breath­ing per­sona.

The spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor to the leg­endary Co­bra, the Viper made its de­but in 1992 as a two-seater ret­rostyled road­ster pow­ered by a huge 8-litre V10 truck en­gine boast­ing 298kW. It was built in road­ster and coupe body styles and un­der­went sev­eral it­er­a­tions, cul­mi­nat­ing in to­day’s 481kW 8.4-litre ver­sion.

The car spawned var­i­ous spe­cial edi­tions in­clud­ing the ACR (Amer­i­can Club Rac­ing), Voodoo and Snake­skin. - Mo­tor­ing Staff

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