For Sale By:Dealer
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Exterior Color: Blue
Interior Color: Blue
Cuero, Texas, 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.
Dodge has just confirmed that it will be bringing its newest Dart variant, the Dart GT, to Detroit next week, but we're still in the dark about when we'll see a truly hotted-up SRT4 version. But now, by way of the rumormill anyway, we've got at least one proposed, potentially Dodge-based rendering to light our way.
Seen here is what would appear to be a design sketch of the SRT4 Dart. Obviously the image that has surfaced is of rather low-resolution, but there's at least some evidence to support that it may be legitimate. In the original picture, one can just make out the name Tim Doyle in the lower right corner. As it turns out, Tim Doyle's name is also watermarked on the final design image for the 2011 Dodge Durango Citadel Black & Tan, a model that was shown at SEMA in 2010.
Of course, even if this really is the work of Doyle, there's nothing to say that this image isn't one of a great many potential looks for the future SRT4. In fact, the departure of the cross-hair grille from the Dodge's nose seems like it could be a hard sell, though we do, naturally, dig the sleek hood scoop and the bulked up wheel/tire combination.
A raft of important production models from the last hundred years were available for me to either drive or ride in.
Dodge is 100 years old this year. So, as happened on Ford's recent centennial, the 50-year birthday of the Porsche 911, and others, the company has an excuse to trot out the highlights of its history next to its upcoming model lineup, and declare that "these are the fruits of the Dodge Boys' tree whose roots have grown strong." Or something like that. Never so hampered by marketing skepticism that I'll pass up the opportunity to burn someone else's rubber, I was happy to drive out to Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills, MI - former grand estate of the Dodge family - to hear the spiel.