Dodge will tap into Fiat's technology to help improve the performance of its sports car icon

Dodge will use Fiat technology to improve the performance and accessibility of the next generation of its Viper, due in 2012. But the American sports car looks set to retain its own platform rather than becoming too closely linked to Ferrari’s and Alfa Romeo’s product lines.

Fiat, Dodge’s new owner, gave approval to the new Viper in the autumn, and Fiat Group chief Sergio Marchionne revealed a preview of the car to Dodge dealers in September. But the new model was expected to make extensive use of the Fiat parts bin; some sources had even suggested that it could be based on the same platform as Alfa Romeo’s 8C Competizione.

See a sideways pic of the outgoing Dodge Viper

However, Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles has now revealed that the Viper will get a chassis set-up designed with assistance from Fiat but not derived from another product. The car “is not based on anything else”, he told the Detroit News.

“Where the cabin is, relative to the wheels, is unique,” said Gilles. “The Viper cabin is very rearward and the hood [bonnet] is very long. Few cars in the industry are designed with those proportions any more.

“We will use Fiat’s expertise to open the performance envelope in the Viper,” he added. “Fiat has an awesome ability to tune cars. I want the new Viper to be a more forgiving car to drive and accessible to more people. We’ve never had stability control on a high-performance car, which is about to happen on the new car.”

Read more on the new Dodge Viper

Gilles ruled out the idea of the Viper switching to Ferrari power but admitted that there won’t be a part of the car that’s not open to a radical overhaul.

It’s thought that two engines could be offered in the new Viper: an 8.4-litre V10, possibly making us of Fiat’s innovative MultiAir technology, and an entry-level V8.

Production of the current Viper stopped on 2 July, after 18 years. Chrysler has yet to commit to where its successor will be built, although it’s thought that the line will be kept in Detroit.

See all the latest Dodge reviews, news and video

Join the debate


8 December 2010

I never liked the Viper. It was all about skidpads not roads, brute power with a tone-deaf engine and a cabin like a pick up's (or a Corvette's). If the new model can be refined, spread out into a 2 or 3 car range and priced to cover the same market as the Corvette, it would be wonderful as competition would improve both of them.

8 December 2010

Maybe in return the Americans will be able to help the Italians squeeze a bit more than 35 mpg from its somewhat disappointing twin-air technology....

8 December 2010

[quote WFC Holden]Maybe in return the Americans will be able to help the Italians squeeze a bit more than 35 mpg from its somewhat disappointing twin-air technology....[/quote] I know this has been reported here for the 900cc is this the case for the 1.4 as well? I quite likely the idea of owning the Giulietta 1.4 but haven't seen any reviews now it has been out for a while. Actually I've never seen one on the road!

8 December 2010

That pic of the Viper is stunning, what an iconic car. Keep the body of the mark I GTS and integrate modern tech with a 700bhp engine and sub 1500kg, thanks.

8 December 2010

I really hope they capture that long bonnet in the design of the new model.

But on the topic of Autocar accuracy, The "See a sideways pic of the outgoing Viper", which is the same as the title pic, might have been accurate in about 2002, when that model was outgoing. That was the 2nd Generation, It was Majourly overhauled in 2003, and was refreshed again in 2008. So its the fourth generation model thats outgoing, not the second. Does anyone check this stuff?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka