Making a case for the return of the Viper

For better or worse, Dodge’s first EV Muscle car is finally here. It’s called the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT and it did four things for the brand: it enabled Dodge to gain a foothold in the performance EV market, it became the first retro-futuristic EV, it brought an iconic old name back from the 1960s, and it brought justice to the Charger after turning it into a four-door sedan. Chrysler is embracing electrification across the board, and Dodge isn’t the only American brand under the Stellantis banner to do so. That said, this new direction opens up new possibilities for reinventing other iconic models, and if there’s one nameplate that deserves a comeback, we can all agree it has to be the Dodge Viper.

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Does the Viper need to be reborn?

To answer that question, we need to look at what the Dodge Viper would compete with. So far, we’ve only gotten a virtual rendering of a hypothetical sixth-generation Viper, but when it does, it’ll be nearly 100 percent a powerful EV, positioned above the Charger Daytona EV. The high-performance EV segment is not overcrowded yet. When it comes to all-out performance models, the main rivals are the Rimac Nevera and ultimately the Tesla Roadster.

Would an EV Viper make sense?

I can already hear some of you talking about the absurdity of this statement. While I agree that the Viper’s greatest charm is that it’s one of the very last analog sports cars and that it sometimes wants to kill you, an all-electric successor is more feasible than you might think. The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT is supported by the STLA Large platform, one of Stellantis’ skateboarding platforms, reserved for BEV applications.

We know that the all-electric Dodge Charger Daytona SRT has four-wheel drive, which equates to at least two electric motors. Stellantis promises that the 800-volt system would deliver better performance than the Hellcat. While no actual horsepower figures have been quoted yet, we have come across the number 1,000 horsepower more than once. While this is enough for an EV successor to the Hellcat, it’s nowhere near enough for the Viper, should it compete with Tesla Roadster and Rimac Nevera.

That said, there’s no reason a Dodge Viper EV can’t use the same STLA Larger platform as the Charger Daytona SRT. If that supposed 1,000 horsepower figure comes from two engines, just double the engines and you’ll get Rimac Nevera rival power levels. The layout of the 2+2 coupe will simply be sacrificed for a sleeker look with more classic proportions likely to remind old Vipers. I can already imagine an all-electric Dodge Viper with a design inspired by earlier models.

Would an EV successor affect the Viper’s collectability?

One thing to consider when it comes to the Dodge Viper is collectability. Despite often being compared to the Chevy Corvette, previous Vipers competed with Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche, making it technically an exotic car from America. Each Viper was built by hand and was nowhere near as mass-produced as the Corvette. Chevy actually wanted to steal a piece of the Viper’s pie by introducing a V-12-powered C4 Corvette, but it never went into mass production.

The last Dodge Viper rolled off the production line in August 2017 and marked (again) the end of an era. The Viper had already left once before, in 2009, when the fourth generation was discontinued, only to return in 2013. by not building them indefinitely.”

That said, an electric successor to the venomous snake probably wouldn’t hurt the value of previous generations, especially if it’s more mass-produced and not hand-built like its predecessors. While it will undoubtedly be the fastest Viper ever, it would be devoid of what made the Viper special in the first place, at least in the eyes of hardcore fans. Despite the obvious price speculation with certain examples and the fact that the car market is going haywire, the Viper is still an appreciative, modern classic.

As nostalgic as the 2024 Charger Daytona SRT

Obviously, the 2024 Dodge Charger Daytona SRT wants to be as futuristic as it is nostalgic. It may be all-electric, but Dodge has decided to give it a “manual” transmission that you can shift yourself. It also comes with a fake exhaust that will produce up to 126 decibels. Dodge’s “performance made us do it” approach will likely apply to any Viper successor the company decides to come up with…if it happens. What are your thoughts on it? Should the Viper return as a high-performance, Tesla Roadster-rivaling EV, should it use Dodge’s next-gen, supercharged V-8, or should it stay in its entirety for good?

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