FCA Boss: Dodge Viper Revival ‘Not in the Plan’
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne immediately shoots down a recent report regarding Viper rebirth. But he also refuses to shut the door.
As the old saying goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But sadly, this cliche isn’t always true. The latest victim of this unfortunately appears to be the rebirth of the Dodge Viper. It was mere days ago when Car & Driver confidently declared that the venomous sports car would make a triumphant return for the 2021 model year. But Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne wasted no time crushing that dream during a Q&A session with reporters just days later.
Detroit Free Press reporter Eric D. Lawrence and Automobile mag’s Todd Lassa both tweeted Marchionne’s exact words, which are pretty hard to misinterpret. Even if you try and read between the lines, “it’s not in the plan” is a pretty firm statement. And yet, he still leaves the door slightly open. Understandably, Marchionne admits that the Dodge Viper simply wasn’t profitable enough to justify building another one.
Return of the Dodge Viper? Marchionne says it’s not in the plan, but if FCA could find a way to get it done he would be happy. Says it never really made any money for the company. Didn’t sell enough. #FCAFiveYearPlan #FCACapitalMarketsDay
— Eric D. Lawrence (@_ericdlawrence) June 1, 2018
The other issue, of course, relates to the Viper’s powertrain. C&D reported that it would eschew its traditional V10 for a V8, but Marchionne clearly doesn’t like that idea.
New @Dodge Viper? Marchionne: “That’s a great question. … It’s not in the plan, if that’s what you’re asking.” Didn’t make money, and wouldn’t work with a “cute” Euro-style engine…@fcagroup #FCAFiveYearPlan @automobilemag
— Todd Lassa (@AM_Lassa) June 1, 2018
So you’re saying there’s a chance? Even if it isn’t a money-maker, it seems like Dodge is missing out on the sports car market by not building another Viper. Or maybe it just doesn’t care about competing with the Corvette or (if you can get one) Ford GT. Or maybe, just maybe, this slightly vague non-answer is exactly that.