- Dodge’s high-performance Viper sports car looks like it’s headed for cancellation
- Labor union deals seem to signal the sporty Viper’s demise, likely in 2017
- That would mark 25 years since the original Viper came out as a 2-seat roadster
The high-performance Dodge Viper sports car is likely headed for cancellation. That’s the latest from Automotive News, which reports that a new labor deal between Dodge’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler, and the United Auto Workers appears to signal the Viper’s demise.
According to Automotive News, the labor deal says Viper production will end sometime in 2017. That would mark 25 years after the car originally went on sale, when it was offered solely as a 2-seat roadster with 3-spoke wheels, a cloth top and finicky windows that needed to be set in place rather than rolled up or rolled down.
Over the years, the Viper had several major refreshes: an update in 1996 added a coupe variant, dubbed the GTS, while a full redesign in 2003 produced new styling and more power. The most recent change came in 2013, when the Viper earned even more power and an improved interior after a 2-year absence from the market. But high prices have kept buyers away from the most recent model — and as a result, its demise probably won’t surprise many Viper owners.
Of course, we wouldn’t want to be announcing the Viper’s death before it’s happened — so it’s important to note that Fiat Chrysler has yet to confirm the Automotive News report. But contracts with labor unions like the UAW frequently indicate future product changes, as labor deals often must be in place before production can begin or end.
If the Dodge Viper does depart, we’ll miss its amazing performance and enormous engine — a rarity in an age when increased fuel economy seems to be the biggest concern for most automakers.
What it means to you: The Viper may be going away — but you can always get a Hellcat.