Is A V8 Viper Still A Viper?

There are some cars for which their powerplant is everything.

Certain iconic models are instantly synonymous with the types of engine you’d find inside, usually based around methods of aspiration or cylinder configuration. Good examples include Mazda’s RX-7 – always rotary, no questions – and older performance Audi quattros where its five cylinders and a turbocharger or it’s no sale.

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Other examples include the Ford Mustang – if you own a Mustang it has to be the 5.0 V8. Sure the 2.3L EcoBoost is a decent enough engine – it’s pretty quick and gives good fuel economy – but it’s just not a part of what makes the Mustang special. Mustang equals V8.

The same goes for BMW’s M3. When the E92 chassis was released, many BMW Motorsport fans weren’t impressed with the deviation from the traditional inline six of the previous models. Now, the E92 M3 proved itself to be just so damn good that enthusiasts forgave this, but the (successful) but brief move to a V8 might have changed what people expect from future M3s. For me, an M3 should have an inline six.

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When Fiat Chrysler announced the end of the Dodge Viper’s production last year, we thought it would be the end of the Viper V10’s legendary howl. Although Car & Driver have reported that the Viper will make a return in 2020, we might still be right.

2016 Dodge Viper GTC painted in “1 of 1” custom matte finish

Now, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has since quashed these rumours, apparently, but we probably shouldn’t be surprised that the Viper might come back again. It’s happened before, when the ‘final’ Viper rolled off the production line in 2010, only to have its replacement hinted at that very same year, and then make a return in 2012. If there’s a second resurrection planned, then the timing here at least follows the last.

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What we might be surprised by, and there’s no sources quoted here, is that C&D are oddly confident that when the Viper returns, it’ll be with an all-new aluminum V8 that Chrysler is developing to replace the Hemi engine. They’ve even quoted power figures – a possible 550hp naturally aspirated unit, with a 700+hp supercharged version to follow.

dodge-viper-srt-05

If these rumours end up being a reality, then the 2021 Viper could offer similar performance to the outgoing model. The good news is that, with a shared powerplant rather than the Viper-specific V10, the cost of the new model could come down. But will it be the same?

What do you think of the possible return of the Viper? And if it doesn’t come packaged with that V10, can we even call it a comeback? If there’s a comeback at all…

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters
jordan@speedhunters.com

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84 comments

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1
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

The Viper was originally designed as a modern Shelby Cobra. I don't see why a V8 Viper would be a bad thing. It would at least become what it should have been: an actual modern day Shelby Cobra!

2

A Viper w/out a V-10 is not a Viper.

3
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

That's like saying the new Ford GT is not a Ford GT for not using a V8.

4

Take that up with the Ford GT fans. If you own a Viper then you know what I'm talking about.

5
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a V8 Viper. For starters, the Challenger Demon's supercharged V8 already produces more power than the naturally-aspirated V10 while also meeting stricter emission regulations more easily. Secondly, being a V8 means the engine could be place further back in the engine bay, greatly enhancing the car's handling. And finally, using a V8 could possibly lower its price as well, since the V10 was only ever used in the Viper in the current Dodge line-up.

In fact, even Dodge muled the idea of a smaller engined Viper back in the late 90s. Remember the Dodge Copperhead?

6

Last comment on the topic.

If the father of the Viper says it must be true, then he's the final word on your pontificating.

Roy Sjoberg said. “We didn’t necessarily need the V-10, just the power of one.”

With some input from Lamborghini, the work on the Viper’s V-10 proceeded at Highland Park under the direction of Dick Winkles in parallel to the development work on the Dodge Ram truck V-10, which took place at the Plymouth Road facility. “We shared information back and forth with the truck team, but by the time we finished, our V-10 didn’t resemble the truck V-10,” Sjoberg said. “Our combustion chamber, for instance, was much closer to the Hemi’s.”

The very next prototype would be the car called VM02 . It would be populated with a V10.

The Viper that you're referring to was called the "White Mule"

I'd say this conversation is over.

7

You would know better than the company that's been building the car for decades. LOL.

8

"company", lol. Individuals would be the best term. Tell me if you can see Dick Winkles signature on the intake manifold. The Viper was here from 1992 to 2017. In total 31,947 cars were sold to the public. Both the first and last cars share the same paint color.

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9

Was General Patton a Nazi?

10

NO

11

Absolutely not. If it isn't gonna be a V10 leave it for the history books. We have the F-Type if we want a 500 hp "viper-esk" vehicle.

12

id be okay with it as long as the viper was back

13

Go ahead build v8 viper.

And when does not create your estimated sales figure, don't cry.

There is s**t load of good cars with v8 engines... What is your difference...

I do not understand why always new ceo come with stupid bean counting ideas for iconic car.

14

It's because in college when you learn business or economics they will forget to teach morality, enthusiasm, compassion, and creativity (etc). You learn how to count beans. You learn to deal in quantifiable terms only. The company probably has a collective erection at the idea of their desired sales figures because there's a spreadsheet telling them it'll be lucrative.

15

Which is why economics should never be the sole criteria involved.

16
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Not like these people who are here ranting about this news can even afford the Viper anyways.

17

I think, it's not going to be brutal machine! it's not just about V10 sound and feel. with less weight for the V8 engine, and maybe better weight distribution for the car and better handling. and maybe a modern gearbox. it's a tamed Viper !
surely V8 Viper will be a good car but in different way from its older generations.
but we have to wait to see.

18

Once you own a Viper, you'll understand. The engine is as iconic as the car itself.

19

thank you and I wish you the best too! ;)

20

I could see an eight cylinder as a base engine, but I agree that it should come with a v10. The original Viper was a giant glaring middle finger to the NHTSA as well as a halo car. A monstrosity to control with no nannies and an absurd amount of power (for the time). It was the Demon before the Demon. A car like that, IMO, instead of being bastardized by change, should die with its glory, before it ends up becoming what is now the Eclipse.

21

There shouldn't be a base Viper because you shouldn't have to qualify a Viper.

You just say, "it's a Viper" and everybody knows what you're talking about.

22

No... no it's not.

23

The V10 power plant was part of the Viper DNA, removing it is just diluting the models charm.

Someone that has ever actually driven a 1st or 2nd gen. Vipers will know that it was pure insanity on a straight shot but was shorts puckering trying to get the damn thing home in the rain. Modern day advancements like true traction control, launch control and variated, linked braking would make it a more driver friendly beast.

StateFarm and I still don’t talk after a certain 94’ V10 wound up in the ditch for saying “Hold on n’ watch this!”.

24

best looking Viper too. By and large.

25

nope .call it a hyper

26

It should absolutely come back and it should do so as best it can. If that means ditching the v10 then do it. To hold back a car and platform for the sake of "what's right and tradition" then we need to stop engineering and producing these beautiful beast. Progress always has been and always will be the only way to succeed.

27

People who embrace tradition get REAL mad when you try to move forward. That's with anything, not just things on 4 wheels.

28

who cares, the viper V10 sounds like shit anyway.

29

I don't see the issue. It's the same as BMW switching to a v8 isn't it? It'll probably be hybrid anyway if it does come back.
As for mustangs.... I resent them lol. Modified ones that I see (read: hear) are usually very poorly done with the ends being a very loud exhaust note. The turbo 4 cylinder one made me grin lol.

30

A Viper without a V10? FCA should change the name if they want to sell it. A Viper without a V10 means not a lot of enthusiast is gonna buy it. And if the Viper name didn’t sell, they should change it as well

31

Back in the 80s, Ford was seriously considering making the Mustang a FWD 4-banger.

The Mustang faithful howled, and Ford backed off.

The SN95 came out as a proper RWD car, and the FWD design became the Probe.

I suggest a similar strategy here.

32

This is strange logic for a site with so many engine-swapped cars. Although there are some iconic engines, it's the performance of the car that really matters. I'd rather have the Viper return with a different engine than to never return at all. We need these type of cars to be produced so they don't die off completely, and if it takes a change to common-architecture V8 instead of a V10, that's an acceptable compromise.

33

Sure bring it back, but call it MiniMe.

34

Uh, you mean Mini-V, right?

35

New Ford GT is V6TT right now, before last GT and GT40 are muscle V8. Next generation of Corvette C8 is going to be mid-engine, Corvette would not be traditional of front engine anymore. Two American icon of supercars have changed their ideal although some people don't like that, but they have to do because of competitive. I don't like New Ford GT is V6TT engine, but I admit that V6TT is awesome. I think that Viper switch from traditional V10 to V8 or even to V6TT isn't problem, as GM and Ford have changed their ideal to their supercar.

36
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

You, sir, share the same logical thoughts as me.

37

A front-mounted V8 is an essential part of the Corvette.

GM needs to stop worrying about the opinions of autojournos who want cache by condemning American cars for not being unreliable, or unaffordable by commoners or not having the engine behind the seats.

A rear-engined Corvette wouldn't be a Corvette - it'd just be a wannabe Lamborghini.

38

Two motors rule the world, turbo sixes and V8s. Whether it's motorsports, or production cars, those two powerplants could be the only two options to power any vehicle. I think everything else is just a different approach. They wouldn't make the switch unless it wasn't a better move from production to performance. It'll finally sound good, and it won't require such a long ass hood! Although, the OG Viper owners will always win a dick measuring contest with their V10 fender badges.

39

I still think that picture of the Viper entering the Presidio Parkway tunnel in SF is the sickest pic. I think I mentioned it in the original story about the two super rich tech geeks...

40
Jeff T Curtis Jr.

Viper test miles used the 5.9 liter V8 .. which Shelby preferred .. I’m sure a superchargered Hemi or Modernized update based on Demon block but maybe higher rpm capabilities forged internals , maybe Flat plane Crank with Hemi heads

41

I don't care but it has to have more power than the last... Not less. And I perfer it to be N/A

42
Jeff T Curtis Jr.

Maybe a New V10 Hemi .. take the existing V10 which shared architecture with 5.9 magnum and Redesign it .. You have Ferrari help develop it based on the Demon Hemi

43

I want to see a new Dodge Viper

45

If a V8 dropped the price, it can only mean we might see as many on the road as we do Corvettes, which I'm all for. The V10 will be missed, but having never owned or driven one, it's hard for me to get my panties in a twist about it. America needs more world-class sports cars, no matter the engine they come with.

46

Keep the V10, but small displacement, around 5 liters & twin turbo it. Should be able to get good numbers out of it.

47

>Small displacement Viper.

Seriously? What is the point of that?
The Viper IS the high displacement 'truck' engine that it carries, That is what makes the car. Turning it into a 'dollar store LFA' wouldn't do much good at all.

48

No forced induction. NA or nothing.

49

NO. Call it by a different name and start a new legend... as if the answer were hard. Imagine if Ford brought back “The Cobra” and stuffed a 1500hp electric engine in their lightest platform. Stupid. Sacrelidge. Their sales numbers will reflect the uncreative stupidity.
With so much creativity and talent and willpower, why would you NOT just start a new “name”? As if the ecoboost “mustang” couldnt be called a “Colt” or similar? Keep the icons pure, people.

50

The Viper should've had a V8 instead of a V10 in the first place! Sounds better, & lighter which make for better weight distribution which directly correlates to handling! The VERY REASON the Viper is dead today is because they're trying to cater waaaaaaaaaay Too Much to purists. The world is a better place with the Viper in it & for it to be it needs to evolve. Between the Sidepipes, Ridiculously harsh ride, & the V10, 2 out of those three need to go! I'm sorry but that's just facts! And for me it's the Sidepipes I think are a Staple (that & a manual transmission of course!) Don't EVER take away my manual transmission!

51

First, never apologize for stating your opinion.

Second, that harsh, unrefined character was always the point of a Viper. It was meant to be a throwback to a time when you needed skill to drive a fast car.

52

Stick with the V10, make it dohc with forced induction and make it a hyper car. If it isn’t a V10 then it can be called the Dodge Neon...

53

I would like to see a high revving DOHC V10 naturally aspirated that's about the size of the HEMI 392 tho: 6.4L, short stroke, big bore.

54

An engine like that wouldn't pass emissions in a million years.

55

True. Even Ferrari ditch their NA V8.

56

We still have this masterpiece going around.

:^)

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57

Just keep the engine up front.

58

Or go to something with more style like a V12 or a W10

59

The V8 Viper is a plot to make the discontinued V10 cars more valuable.

60

I feel like C&D’s speculating quite a bit. Chrysler is developing a new hemi, new viper is rumoured. Then they draw their own conclusions.
Although... if a new Viper did show up, it would have to completely reinvent itself, like the Ford GT did. When the Viper first debuted it was a scary overpowered death machine. Now they need to reinvent that scary death machine.
Wouldn’t matter what engine it had if it could regain its death machine status again.

61

Chrysler's making a new Hemi? Is it finally going to have hemispherical chambers again? Personally I think giving a non-hemi engine the Hemi name just for the sake of the idiots that buy into that name is... well, idiotic.

62

Hemi rims coming soon....

63

if not a V10.. leave it alone.. here is a suggestion.. call it the new Dodge Stealth.. I think that would make sense.. Viper best to stay V-10 or maybe a upgrade V-12 lol

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64

Take this picture in Australia, did you?

65

Not enough brown snakes and spiders, maybe South America/Africa?

66

No.

67
JBfromSiliconValley

Sergio Marchionne (sp?) cut down the rumors of the resurrection BTW. So I'd say it has a 40/60 chance of being built.

68

I doubt the potential buyers are going to complain if they get a Ferrari V8 instead of that boat anchor

69

A V8 Viper is better than no Viper.

70

No Mitsubishi Eclipse is better than Eclipse CUV.

No Viper is better than V8 Viper.

71

The motor doesn’t really matter as long as the power and performance is there. What needs to change is the transmission. If it comes back it needs to have a twin clutch or automatic. The lack of a self shifter is what killed the last one. It’s 2018, no body wants an antiquated manual with 3 pedals. They shift too slow, and require too much work. Had FCA added a proper auto box to the last Viper, sales would have tripled and it may have actually made money. But instead, they listened to the whiners, who couldn’t actually afford the car, about “yestertech” and kept it manual only. Look where that got them. A non seller that lost millions. Brilliant.

72

who cares what exact powerplant it has. while i would prefer a v10 just because its an odd configuration to see these days, if it still maintains the signature insanity then it can have anything it wants!

73

To the SpeedHunters editors and authors, in the future can you please label opinion pieces as such so regular readers who enjoy the write-ups and photos can avoid these pieces? Thanks, Jessie

74

The title made its intentions pretty clear. And if you're wanting photos, isn't it always worth a click just to scroll through?

75

This is exactly the sort of attitude that creates such a toxic environment is some parts of car culture.

A four cylinder Mustang is still a Mustang.
A water cooled Porsche is still a Porsche.
Engine swaps are great. An FC with an SR20 or a V8 is fantastic.

Stop being jerks. All of you.

76
Rapee Leepraditwan

I love to see Viper return even through it isn't coming with V10.

77

As a tried and true, (read: fossil fuel burning enthusiast) rotary lover and all around car guy, I have seen every conceivable engine put in an RX7, and usually they make it more reliable, add horsepower more easily/cheaply.

The question here is not V10 or bust, yet adapt or die. We can watch a beloved icon be rendered to nothing more than history, or we can see it change and evolve. The same goes with the future of electric cars, we must find a way to make the constraints of society and our environment work to our cause. If a V8 (albeit 500-700hp) Viper is the way to have this enthusiast driven vehicle, then do it. If electrification were to be implemented overnight, you can rest assured that someone out there will find a way to modify it to perform better. We adapt to the new or we as enthusiasts go extinct. We must get used to the idea that our big engines are going to get smaller...they may put out more power, but still smaller. Electric will happen, and it'll still be fun. So start now with adapting, if you're used to change, then it's not as bad. Yes the relics will be missed, the V10 makes a hell of a sound....

But I for one would take a gorgeous V8 Viper over an aging Challenger or Charger any day.

78

I don't really have a problem with a V8 Powered sports car. What I do have a problem with is having a V8-powered Viper. This idea harkens back to the return of the Charger. Although the car has grown on me and Dodge has done a great job of offering up many variants of the car, it's still not a Charger. It's a sedan...Chargers are NOT. All that Dodge did was use an iconic name for a sedan. Go ahead and make a V8 Powered sports car, but don't call it a Viper. Oh wait...you already do. It's the Challenger. Taking the V10 out of the Viper is taking out the heart of the car. It's part of the character of the car. The sound, the feel...you can't replicate that without that engine. If you're putting it to bed, put it to bed. Just don't resurrect an iconic moniker for the sake of popularity if you don't intend to keep the car's legacy intact. Chargers have 2 doors. Vipers have V10s.

79

No V10...not a viper.

80

Supercharged V8 from Dodge Demon sounds like a plan, however the V10 is the stuff of legend.

81

I say no. Build the car and call it a "spiritual successor to the Viper"... but don't call it a Viper. I'm sure a V8 successor will be an awesome car, but I would prefer to see a new legacy started if they intend on changing the powerplant. The Viper was a car of it's era and, to me, it's defining feature is the engine that the car is built around.

82
I'll have the tuna

I understand the desire to be a purist, but if it has a badass V8 and it's breaking track records, i'm sure the enthusiasts will enjoy it and laud it's capabilities. We are in a golden age of big horsepower power-plants, and I'm certain Dodge can more than adequately provide an awesome engine that will still retain it's Viper personality. This as opposed to an all electric motor, a front wheel drive Impala, or the whatever the hell the Eclipse has become is still a very positive direction.

83

With cars like the hellcat and demon... Why even viper?

84

I think you have to differentiate here: some cars are defined by their layout and some cars layout is defined by performance. Take the ford gt for example: going to the V6 was no problem for that one, i also feel like it wouldnt be a problem for a 911 to go mid engine if the car would be only race oriented and the performance increase was significant. On the other hand the Viper isnt per se about being the fastest, there are some versions of it that are, but if it isnt for something good, and fuel economy doesnt count because it doesnt contribute to the spirit of a car (except in the case of a Prius maybe) you shouldnt change the layout of the car dramatically.

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