R.I.P. – 2017 Dodge Viper Will Be the Last of the Breed

The 2017 Dodge Viper will be the last snake to roll off the assembly line after 25 years of production.

Dodge today announced the end of the line for the Viper at the end of 2017. To make the  goodbye a little less sad, Dodge also announced five new limited-production models that will serve as the swan song for this very American super car. You can see the four new special editions models in the image below.

“The Dodge Viper has had a great run, and 25 years after it was first introduced, it leaves the supercar world reaching for the records it continues to set,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger cars, FCA, North America. “With more track records than any production car in the world, the Dodge Viper ACR will live on as the fastest street-legal Viper track car ever, the car that has set the benchmark for all that follows in its tracks.”

Over the last year, the current Dodge Viper has systematically set record after record at over a dozen racetracks around the country. But perhaps this newly found venom was just too little too late the save the Viper from the bone yard of perished cars.

Sales of the current generation of Viper began at a slow pace with Dodge forced to cut the car’s M.S.R.P. by as much as $18,000 dollars to get Viper to move from the showroom floor.


Why such sluggish initial sales?

Perhaps the biggest issue with the current generation of Viper was the lack of an automatic transmission. Back in 1989 when the original Viper was first introduced, manual transmissions were still in vogue, but today the manual is all but dead. Especially if that manual is in a car with a massive V10 and enough horsepower and torque to have a serious tug of war with a Ram 3500.

I was luck enough to drive the Viper both on the road and on the track when it was first introduced to the press back in November of 2012. The more interesting video we produced at the press launch is this one that chronicles the very intriguing history of the original Viper when Carroll Shelby was still alive and very much involved in the original car along with Bob Lutz.

I don’t fit into the current generation if the 2017 Dodge Viper so I never became buddies with the car. However, I will always respect and admire Dodge and Ralph Gilles, the new car’s designer and godfather, for building it.

I had the chance to spend some time with Ralph on the race track in the new latest model as Ralph showed me what the car can could really do in the hands of a pro.

The Viper was green-lit during the darkest days of the recent automotive industry melt down. In fact it was almost never, built but instead the name was almost sold to an investment fund before Chrysler was bailed out by both the U.S. government and Fiat. The by the skin of its fangs, the car survived those turbulent days. It was built on a shoestring budget by a team of passionate car guys and gals. There’s more blood, sweat and tears in the current model than you will ever know.

Rest in Peace Viper. You will be missed!

And of course you can still get yours. Below are the 5 new special additions models that you can still purchase according to Dodge:

GTS-R Commemorative Edition ACR – One of the most iconic Viper liveries of all-time
VoooDoo II Edition ACR – Rebirth of the VooDoo ACR
Snakeskin Edition GTC – Inspired by the original Snakeskin, now with unique snakeskin stripe
Dodge Dealer Edition – Viper ACR special edition available through Tomball and Roanoke Dodge dealers

Each limited-edition Viper model features a serialized instrument panel badge with the model name that can be customized with the customer’s name