With a quick and direct response to our question, Fiat Chrysler Automobile CEO Sergio Marchionne dashed any hopes among the faithful that the Dodge Viper might someday return.
“Viper cannot stand by itself,” said Marchionne, speaking at FCA’s Balocco proving grounds outside Milan, Italy during FCA’s Capital Markets Day, where the company laid out its plans for the next five years.
“We need to share the architecture,” he said. “And we can’t put a European turbo engine in it — it has to have a distinctly American engine.”
“But it can’t stand alone,” he continued. “I think it was a great old car. I would love to have it, but it’s not in the plan if that’s what you’re asking.”
The sales volume was way too low
The sales volume was way too low, he added. So the mightiest beast ever to carry the moniker of Mopar muscle is muted.
“In terms of replacing the architecture on the Charger and Challenger we have to take a very hard look at the product requirements for Dodge,” he said. “I am convinced we may not have to go as far as the Giorgio architecture as long as we upgrade the current architecture to make them competitive. We’re analyzing this issue now. By the time we finish (reworking the current platform), you will not recognize it from its origins.”
Why not use the Alfa Romeo platform?
“The problem with the Giorgio architecture is it reflects much more of a European influence; we have to be careful that we don’t lose (the Charger/Challenger’s character) in the translation.”Likewise, the Fiat 124 Spider, made with Mazda, is not going away.
“We will continue to provide the Spider as per the terms of our agreement (with Mazda),” Marchionne said.
In Ram trucks, look for a production version of the TRX concept truck that will be aimed squarely at the Ford F-150 Raptor, an all-new heavy-duty Ram, and a new midsize “metric ton” pickup, all before 2022.