The fifth generation of the iconic two-seat, American-built supercar has been deliberately evolved to incorporate superior craftsmanship, a host of new technologies and ergonomic improvements while respecting its visceral legacy of outright performance.
“After a gut-wrenching period of uncertainty, the Street and Racing Technology brand team is extremely proud that our hand-built in Detroit, flagship supercar is back and ready to take on the performance car world,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “Beyond being the flagship for the new SRT brand, the launch of the 2013 Viper proves that we simply would not let the performance icon of the Chrysler Group die. Willed to live on by a very special group of performance enthusiasts inside the company and across Viper Nation, this SRT team under our new leadership was challenged to not just continue the legendary Viper, but to create a world-class supercar that would showcase the very best we have to offer.”
What happens when you merge a Dodge Charger with a Dodge Viper. We’ve got one picture for you, but if you need to see more, head on over to Carscoop.
December 13, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it will reopen its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit for the production of the next generation SRT Viper. With the plant’s reopening, nearly 150 jobs, both hourly and salaried, will return to the City of Detroit.
The Conner facility was idled when production of the Dodge Viper ended in July 2010.
“The next generation Viper will make its return to the product lineup in late 2012 as a 2013 model,” said Ralph Gilles, President and Chief Executive Officer – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “We’re extremely excited that our ultimate American sports car will continue to live on and be produced exclusively here in the Motor City.”
Current Chrysler Group hourly employees who previously worked at Conner were first offered the opportunity to return to their home plant. The balance of the positions will be filled by hourly employees volunteering to transfer to the Conner Avenue plant.
Conner Avenue will begin building the new Viper in late 2012, but employees began reporting for training and orientation this fall.
In preparation for the reopening, the Conner facility will begin its transformation by implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), a system that is focused on reducing waste and making continuous improvements throughout the assembly process to improve quality and productivity.
Viper production began in May 1992 at the New Mack Assembly Plant, then moved to the Conner Avenue site in October 1995. All Vipers that rolled off the line were hand-built in a low-volume, modular process. Over the course of 15 years, Conner Avenue employees built about 12 vehicles a day for a total of 22,070 Vipers.
The reopening of the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant reaffirms Chrysler Group’s commitment to the City of Detroit as the only auto manufacturer with two assembly plants in the city.
‘The Duel in the Desert’ – Inaugural ‘Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge’ – Premieres on Versus at 3 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, Oct. 9
Dodge Motorsports is offering race fans an exciting change of pace during the prime Sunday mid-afternoon viewing slot.
Airing at 3 pm (EDT) Sunday, Oct. 9, on Versus is the first-ever “Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge.” The unique one-race event was held April 13 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, and featured an impressive lineup of competitors from numerous forms of racing – all united under the Dodge Motorsports and Mopar® banners.
Leading the list of participating drivers was automotive legend and Penske Racing team owner Roger Penske, making a rare appearance behind the wheel. Penske hasn’t driven competitively since the mid-1960s following his being named the Sports Car Club of America Driver of the Year by Sports Illustrated. Joining their team owner in the “Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge” were Penske Racing and NASCAR superstars Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr.
Also participating were Robbie Gordon, driver and team owner of Speed Energy Racing; NHRA pro stock driver Allen Johnson; Hart and Huntington Racing team owner Carey Hart and his AMA Supercross rider Ivan Tedesco; Formula Drifter and TORC driver Samuel Hubinette; Viper factory driver Kuno Wittmer; Viper road-course racing driver/instructor Cindi Lux; monster truck pilot Mark Hall; and ARCA Series racer Maryeve Dufault.
Filling out the racing field were event host Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT® and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC; Dodge Motorsports engineer Matt Bejnarowicz and Viper Cup series drivers Connie Bogan, Jeff Courtney, Jason Daskalos, Eric Galerne, Brad Gorrondona, Billy Gropp, Ted Hughes, Todd Nelson and Fred Roberts.
“This was truly a once in-a-lifetime collaboration for us at Dodge Motorsports and Mopar,” Gilles said. “Seeing the diverse driving talent on the track was incredible and showed the passion and dedication our group of drivers has for the Chrysler Group and our various racing efforts.”
The 24 participants for the “Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge” were divided into 12 two-person teams. Single qualifying lap times by each of the two drivers were averaged together to determine the order for the standing start.
Teams then plotted their best driver rotation for the 50-minute timed race.
Once the green flag waved, the on-track competition was intense as 12 identically prepared, 640-horsepower Dodge Viper ACR-X spec cars began to speed around the 2.24-mile Miller Motorsports Park layout.
Halfway through the 50-minute race, each team conducted a mandatory timed pit stop and driver change.
“I can’t say enough about the generosity and mutual respect shown by each and every participant in the ‘Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge,’ Gilles added. “I’m proud to share the same common thread of being racers at heart that can take the time out to not only come together and compete on the same stage, but also raise money for worthy charity causes.”
The following charitable donations were made by the top-three finishing teams:
- Haiti Rescue Effort – $5,000
- National Breast Cancer Coalition – $5,000
- Shriners Hospital – $3,000
- Tarrant Area Foodbank, Fort Worth, Texas – $3,000
- Children’s Rare Disease Network – $1,000
- National Breast Cancer Foundation – $1,000
The airing of the “Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge” on Oct. 9 kicks off 11 straight weeks (through Dec. 18) of Dodge Viper Cup series coverage on Versus. All broadcasts begin on the subsequent Sundays at 3 p.m. Eastern.
This video was captured by observers and is not Chrysler released footage so be patient.
Alton, Va., Saturday July 9, 2011 – Ben Keating continued his dominance of the Dodge Viper Cup series by taking the pole by nearly one-and-a-half seconds and leading all the way to the race victory. Jeff Courtney qualified on the front row, but let Ted Hughes through into second after a bad start. He was back ahead of Hughes by lap two, but by that time Keating was a hundred yards ahead and flying.
Keating’s Victory Burnout
Courtney pecked away at Keating’s lead each lap, but was too far back and never got close enough to challenge. He finished second, but had the race’s fastest lap. Hughes held position the rest of the way and gained his first podium finish.
Keating leads Hughes, Courtney and the rest of the field while Michael von Quilich is punted off.
“I got a good start,” said Keating, “But Ted got a great start, and tucked in behind me going into the first corner and that gave me a little bit of margin ahead of Jeff. I got ahead by three and a half seconds and I was able to manage that. He was a second and a half behind at the end, which was enough.”
Two-time race winner A. J. Morgan had electrical gremlins in the morning practice session and was unable to qualify, so he had to start the race from the last row.
“We had a shorted wire in the system and it took three hours to find and fix it,” said Morgan. “Then we had to go out and take a hardship lap just to shake everything down, make sure it worked, and right after that went up to the grid and went out and ran [the race]. There was no time to rest. That was tough. I have nothing left in me.”
Keating (left) and Johnson
Morgan passed six cars on the first lap, crossing the start-finish line in 10th-place. From there he marched up the order, passing two more ViperACR-Xs on the third lap and ending the race in fourth place after passing Dave Fiorelli three laps from the end. Fiorelli scored his second straight fifth place finish.
Eric Galerne, in sixth place, had one of his best results since starting the series. Connie Bogan, too, had a good result with a seventh, while Brian Makse, one of the two celebrity drivers brought his Viper ACR-X in eighth. Chris Burandt, the other celebrity driver, finished 16th.
“It was frickin’ awesome,” said Burandt. “I got behind the Number 3 car [driven by David Mazyck] and we just had a battle all day. At the start I got into turn one way too hot and I didn’t look at the corner, I just looked at Number 3’s bumper saying ‘uh oh, uh oh.’ So much fun.”
“I was just focused on keeping Chris behind me,” said Mazyck. “He was all over me. There were six of us all within tenths of each other in qualifying [Brad Gorrondona, Larry Carter, Brian Makse, Bernie Katz, Mazyck and Chris Burandt in that order qualified at 2 minutes, two seconds and change], so we were looking forward to the race, but guys ahead of us were spinning and that gapped us.”
“Just fantastic,” said Makse, “I was just clicking off laps, kind of lost from the cars in front, but made sure the cars behind stayed behind.”
Keating extended his lead after five rounds, the halfway point, in the 2011 Dodge Viper Cup Series Presented by Pennzoil.
Dodge Viper Cup race six is Sunday afternoon at Virginia International Raceway
Follow the Dodge Viper Cup Presented by Pennzoil Ultra at http://www.ViperHeadquarters.com
Dodge Viper Cup Virginia International Raceway Race 1 (Round 5) – Saturday, July 9, 2011
Pos Car No. Name Best Time Laps Difference
1 33 Ben Keating 1:56.972 11 –
2 99 Jeff Courtney 1:56.597 11 0.425
3 5 Ted Hughes 1:58.828 11 25.704
4 59 A.J. Morgan 1:57.960 11 32.158
5 81 Dave Fiorelli 1:59.601 11 35.859
6 37 Eric Galerne 1:59.739 11 37.933
7 10 Connie Bogan 1:59.769 11 45.915
8 53 Brian Makse 2:00.394 11 49.424
9 86 Kurt Sollberger 1:59.965 11 50.799
10 1 Ralph Gilles 1:58.512 11 51.064
11 18 Todd Nelson 1:59.864 11 59.028
12 32 Bernie Katz 2:01.866 11 1:12.102
13 44 Larry Carter 2:02.306 11 1:18.753
14 19 Michael von Quilich 2:01.159 11 1:19.280
15 3 David Mazyck 2:03.447 11 1:26.848
16 52 Chris Burandt 2:02.560 11 1:27.125
17 26 Marc Montour 2:01.329 10 1 Lap
18 90 Brad Gorrondona 2:04.009 10 1 Lap
The Chrysler SRT group posted this on their fan page. Is their hidden meaning, or is it just a joke?