A 550bhp naturally aspirated unit will power the entry-level Viper, according to Car and Driver, but the range is expected to top out with the 700bhp V8 shared with the brand’s future Hellcat muscle cars. The engine will be an all-new aluminium V8 to replace the Hemi unit currently used across fast Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) products.
The Viper will retain its distinctive shape, so a front-engine, rear-drive set-up is inevitable. The lower power means weight-saving will be a priority - an aluminium spaceframe and carbonfibre bodywork are expected, although it’ll be built by an outside contractor, given the closure of the Viper factory last year.
The Viper will be launched as a convertible, with a coupé following some time after. Later, the 700hp version will arrive, likely in the form of a hardcore variant akin to the Viper ACR of 2016. A motorsport challenger is also expected to bring the Dodge brand back to the GT3 championships.
The Viper isn't not expected to reach the UK officially, although some grey imports are sure to make it in very small volumes. In the US, a price of around $90,000 (around £67,000) is mooted in order to attract a wider market than more expensive American supercar offerings.
With the Chevrolet Corvette switching to mid-engined layout, the Viper will be in a unique position in the market, with pricing to reflect its blue-collar performance roots. Purists will also appreciate the high likelihood of the Viper being offered with a manual gearbox.
The introduction of the new Viper would be unusual, given FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s streamlining approach, under which less profitable models have been, and will continue to be, axed.