The Holy Viper will Dead by 2017

1992. This was the year that I was born (if TAC goes big, you’ll have to find this post buried deep to find my age again… although I’m sure I’ve mentioned it elsewhere… probably many times… anyway). This was also the year that the Dodge Viper, our sacred icon of engine + chassis + steering wheel = car(?) for over two decades now. In many ways, this car is a part of me. It shares my upbringings as an awkward 90s kid making his way in a world full of diversity and European automotive prowess…

… Ok not really. I never much cared for the Viper as a kid and I lived in a largely Italian neighbourhood in the 90s that had nothing but Hondas and Toyotas. But the Viper is still one of our icons. It is easy to look at an E39 M5 and call that a special vehicle because it has a great V8 or because it was RWD or because it handled well for its weight. But, the M5 was just a mid-size performance sedan done exceptionally well. The Viper is not anything of the sort.

Along with cars like the Aerial Atom, the Subaru Baja, and the Pontiac Aztek (I had to), the Viper is in a league of its own. It isn’t a car that happens to have a huge V10 in it. It is a huge V10 that happens to have a car on it. It is something special that no one else had in bigger quantities. dg015_013vp997c66qc2s8n0q1v7isanlbea1

The 90s were definitely a time for out-of-the-box vehicles. And the Viper was no exception. If the stunningly raunchy V10 didn’t get you off, the sculpted body sure did, and it only got better as the years went by. By the time we got the “SRT” Viper, the current model, we had reached what I think to be the pinnacle of Viper design. Everything about this car is sexy, including having an engine that produced the most naturally-aspirated torque of any production gas engine.

Sadly, a grand era is about to come to an end. According to Automotive News, FCA is ending production of the Viper in 2017. SRT sold only 760 examples in all of 2014, which is undoubtedly the reason the hand-built snake has met its demise. Thus comes the end of a legend, and a halo car. Maybe one day we will get some sort of reboot that is more successful than, say, the RX-8 was for Mazda. But it will always live on in our memories. Look at me, I’m talking about it like its already dead. Keep it alive!

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Alex is an automotive journalist from Montreal, Canada since 2008. He is certifiably addicted and doesn’t think of anything but cars. Driving is his drug. He also occasionally suffers from bouts of afro hair.
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