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Dodge Viper is back on the prowl

Dodge Vipers are back on the prowl
Dodge Vipers are back on the prowl
Mary Conway photo

Chrysler is once again producing the Dodge Viper SRT after an unusually long summer break. Chrysler halted production of the sports car, because of slow sales, earlier this year. Workers, this week, are back building the 640-horsepower beauty after being laid off for more than two months. This is in stark contrast to other automakers like Ford and General Motors that shortened their summer shutdowns because of high demand for vehicles.

The Dodge Viper SRT has always struggled with sales. It is considered a halo vehicle for the automaker. It is built mostly by hand and is expensive compared to other sports cars. Its list price starts at just over $100,000 and costs climb from there. The two seater is known for its beauty and power. Designer Ralph Gilles admits that he took his inspiration from a woman's body.

The word that Dodge is restarting production of the Viper, this week, comes just as the Dodge brand is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Dodge turned 100 on July 1st, 2014. To commemorate its birthday, the company released a statement saying that "Dodge is getting back to its performance roots with every single model it offers."

During a recent restructuring of the Chrysler brands, Dodge and the SRT brands were consolidated. SRT stands for Street and Racing Technology. Dodge is considered the performance brand of the Chrysler group. SRT is called the "ultimate performance" halo of the Dodge brand.

In keeping with its desire to be the ultimate in performance, Dodge recently announced that its 2015 Challenger Hellcat will carry an impressive 707 horsepower. That is the highest horsepower of any factory production vehicle.

It is unlikely that the Dodge brothers could have imagined such powerful vehicles when they founded the brand, a century ago. Now Dodge features a full line of vehicles from the Dart to the Charger, the Challenger to the Grand Caravan minivan.

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