For Sale By:Dealer
Number of Cylinders: 8
Sub Model: Hemi
Exterior Color: Purple
Interior Color: White
Lynnwood, Washington, United States
You've got to hand it to Dodge for having the gumption to put the original Viper into production in the first place. It was, after all, much more of an emotional decision than a practical one, and a move which saw the first production V10 engine placed in a road car - long before the advent of the Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8, Porsche Carrera GT or Lexus LFA, not to mention the other Ford, BMW and Volkswagen Group models that used such engines.
It's now been 22 years since the first Viper entered production and the Viper still rolls on several generations later, but we're sad to say that courageous decision has not always been met with overwhelming sales success. In fact parent Chrysler was forced to idle the Conner Avenue plant where the Viper is made back in April due to slow sales. And while production resumed again as planned on June 23, it apparently didn't do the trick.
As a result, Chrysler corporate communications chief Shawn Morgan revealed to Autoblog that the assembly line has been shut down again for another two weeks. The line was up and running for nearly two full work weeks from June 23 until the holiday weekend that started on Thursday, July 3. But instead of coming back online today as planned, it's been idled again for the weeks of July 7 and 14. That means it will be July 21, at the earliest, before the serpentine supercars start slithering down the assembly line at Conner Avenue again. Once it does, however, production is set to resume at the same pace it was before the shutdown.
The fact that the Dart's launch has been a pretty dismal affair isn't what we'd call secret. Judging by its mounting inventories and poor critical reception, Dodge's successor to its unloved Caliber has struggled since it hit the market. And while both of those are difficult problems to address, at least their cause is well known - the powertrain.
Even Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has acknowledged that the powertrain options in the Dart are substandard, admitting at January's Detroit Auto Show that the powertrains are "less than ideal." Leading with the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found in the Fiat 500 Abarth left a bad taste in the mouths of consumers thanks to the laggy engine and dead throttle response (to say nothing of the manual and dual-clutch gearboxes that needed more refinement). The addition of the 184-horsepower 2.4-liter Tigershark in the Dart GT has helped matters some, but apparently Auburn Hills doesn't think it's quite enough.
If rumors are to be believed - get that salt ready - a possible solution may be in the works. A report from Allpar is claiming that Dodge is considering fitting a Pentastar V6 into the Dart's engine bay. As the Mopar-obsessed website points out, the critically acclaimed Pentastar is available in three different sizes - 3.0 liters, 3.2 liters and the original 3.6 liters. We don't get the 3.0 here in the US, but the 3.2 can be found in the new Jeep Cherokee and the 3.6 has been seemingly fitted to every model Chrysler can shoehorn it into.
If you want to go fast, there's certainly nothing wrong with the Dodge Challenger SRT8. With 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque for 2014, there's certainly not much to complain about. But what if you want something more aftermarket in flavor? There's no shortage of options, but while turning to the tuner world will make your car plenty fast, that extra power won't just shred rear tires, it'll torch your warranty, as well. That's where Dodge's Scat Pack comes in.
With three stages of mods for both the 5.7 and 6.4-liter Hemi V8s Challenger (as well as the 5.7-liter Charger and, soon, the four-pot Dart), the Scat Pack cars give drivers all the power, aggression and noise of a heavily modded aftermarket car while maintaining the piece of mind provided by the Dodge warranty.
Power gets bumped up to 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque with the 6.4-liter Scat Pack, while the 5.7-liter can provide up to 58 hp and 47 lb-ft of torque to add to the stock engine's 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet. It's the latter engine that can really get some work done, with upgrades ranging from the mundane - intake and exhaust - to the racy, like the ported heads and high-flow headers.