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Auto blogWed, 20 Aug 2014 11:30:00 EST
The Viper wouldn't be the Viper if it wasn't the most powerful model under the Chrysler umbrella. But with the arrival of the Hellcat engine in the Dodge Charger and Challenger, the Viper has fallen behind in the bragging rights department: where the new supercharged V8 produces 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, the naturally aspirated V10 offers "only" 640 hp and 600 lb-ft - gargantuan output figures by almost any other standard, but crucially behind on the SRT power scale. Conner Avenue is going to have to do something about that.
Although the Hellcat's engine reportedly won't fit under the Viper's hood, SRT is now rumored to have another trick up its sleeve: supercharge the existing V10. According to the Pentastar performance enthusiasts at allpar.com, Chrysler has already taken delivery of the first such prototype engines so that it can begin the process of fitting it into an upgraded Viper.
The spooled ten-pot is tipped to produce around 800 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. More than that and the Viper's drivetrain, chassis and bodywork would have to be substantially reworked. Though beefier transmissions are available, fitting them would reportedly set off a domino-game of changes required to handle the added torque. Which may be something Chrysler would be prepared to do for the next-generation model, but in the meantime, 800 hp could prove enough to put the Viper back atop the Mopar performance ladder where it belongs, and give it an edge against the new Corvette Z06 to rekindle sales.
It has been over a year since Chrysler first announced its recall of 3,660 2003-2004 Dodge Vipers because the airbag could suddenly deploy. The repairs are finally beginning, and it appears to be a nightmare for mechanics.
According to the automaker's filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the airbag control module can fail, which causes the bag or the seatbelt pre-tensioner to deploy without warning. It took over a year to design the new parts, according to The New York Times. However, Chrysler finally has a new "jumper harness with an in-line diode filter circuit" ready to fix the problem.
The dilemma now moves to the mechanics who have to actually install the part. A 47-step guide from Chrysler explains that the procedure should take about two hours. It's not an easy job, though. Most of the dashboard has to be taken apart, and the instructions include this helpful bit of advice: "Installing the jumper harness and filter box into position is not an easy task. Patience, perseverance, and small hands are required." We wish the best of luck to them. The fix comes just in time for the Vipers to enjoy the summer sun.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is showing off a completely redesigned Dodge Charger Funny Car at this year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas and it's ready to blow through the NHRA timing lights next year. Initially, the shape might look like any of the other entrants in its class burning through the quarter mile, but this is the first comprehensive rethink for the racecar's aerodynamics since 2006, says Dodge.
Draped in classy red and black Mopar livery, the 2015 Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car tries to share the front and rear styling with its roadgoing counterpart, plus the scallops along the side, but this racer is all about crossing the finish line first.
The major goals for the redesign included making the body stronger and lighter without sacrificing aerodynamics, and that has been done with materials like Kevlar and carbon fiber. However, engineers have accomplished even more. By moving the cockpit further back, they've increased engine clearance and improved driver visibility.