The 2009 Dodge Viper SRT10 Coupe (Ingo Barenschee)
There is no killing the Snake.
The new management at Chrysler Group LLC has decided to keep building the iconic Dodge Viper SRT10, meaning the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit won't be shuttered in December, as had been planned.
The Viper was to slither into extinction, having failed to attract a buyer after more than a year of trying and eliciting bids of as little as $10 million for the division that makes a 600-horsepower rocket with an 8.4-liter V-10.
Chief executive Sergio Marchionne and his new management team have been conceiving a future product plan to better define the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Mopar brands.
The Viper's future was first on the agenda, and the new team decided the Dodge halo vehicle should stay, a spokesman said.
The first Viper concept was introduced in 1989 at the Detroit auto show, to much public clamor. Three years later, production began at the New Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit with an aluminum V-10 from the Mound Road plant.
In 1995, assembly moved to Conner Avenue and the engine followed in 2001. The specialized workforce has assembled, almost by hand, more than 25,000 Vipers, at times alongside the Plymouth Prowler roadster.
The Prowler was discontinued, but the Viper proved timeless, with sales spiking every time the automaker tried to kill it.
"The Dodge Viper has successfully captured the hearts and imagination of performance enthusiasts around the globe," said Mike Accavitti, head of the Dodge brand.
"The ultimate American-built sports car with its world-class performance will live on as the iconic image leader for the Dodge brand."