Although the fifth-generation Dodge Viper exited production last year, Viper fans needn’t shed a tear just yet; according to Car and Driver, an all-new one is on the way for the 2021 model year. Dodge’s new halo car won’t likely have a punchy, charismatic V10 like the old one, C/D reports, drawing instead upon a brand-new alloy V8 for power, but FCA won’t repeat the same product-planning missteps it committed last time around, launching the new Dodge Viper as a convertible first and a coupe second.
Even down two cylinders, Dodge’s 2021 Viper is expected to pack even more of a punch thanks to an optional supercharged-V8 option. Granted, even the base, naturally-aspirated V8 ought to be a boon to performance; FCA is rumored to be cooking up a replacement for its heavy, elderly iron-block Hemi engine range, and an alloy block would mean less weight on the nose. Plus, with pushrod technology now thoroughly antiquated, we have a sneaking suspicion FCA could be fixing to introduce a more modern DOHC engine, with four valves per cylinder providing better breathing at higher engine speeds.
The real trick for the 2021 Dodge Viper will be building a palatable business case, especially with FCA’s Conner Avenue Assembly Plant now shuttered. C/D speculates that FCA may try and contract production out to a suitable third party, much the same as Ford’s GT supercars are being built by Canada’s Multimatic. That could lengthen development time, the publication says, and it could make for leaner margins. On the other hand, using a new alloy V8 common to other products in the FCA portfolio could save the automaker a bit of cash on each unit.
An all-new, 2021 Dodge Viper could bow as soon as the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January, which not-coincidentally will mark the 30th anniversary of the original Viper concept’s world premiere. The new top dog in Dodge’s lineup isn’t expected to launch until late-2020.