26 January 2005

An American muscle car invasion of the UK looks likely in the next 18 months. The Dodge SRT-10 Coupé (known as the Viper in the US), Chrysler’s 425bhp 300C SRT-8 the 300C estate and even the Firepower concept could all get a UK launch as Chrysler seeks to build on a growing reputation.

Chrysler Group sales and marketing boss Thomas Hausch told Autocar that although a final decision on the Viper coupé hadn’t yet been made, ‘it wouldn’t take much’ for it to follow in the tracks of the £77,500 drop-top Viper that was launched in the UK late last year. The UK should also get the 300C SRT-8, a 6.1-litre version of the big saloon. The standard car isn’t launched in the UK until October, but there are no engineering problems in bringing the super-quick V8 range-topper to UK showrooms. The huge 300C Touring was initially discounted from right-hand drive markets because countries such as Australia and South Africa don’t have a big demand for estates, but Chrysler has done an about- turn and the Touring should follow its saloon sibling in 2006. The Viper-based Firepower concept (below) is also edging closer to a production decision. Meanwhile, momentum is growing ahead of Chrysler sister brand Dodge’s big launch into the UK next spring. Parent company DaimlerChrysler has revealed that there will a four-model range in showrooms by the end of 2007, including Focus and Mondeo rivals as well as the SRT-10.

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Paul Barker

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