Sad news for muscle car lovers: Dodge may be discontinuing its legendary Viper in 2017.
That's because the car's Detroit assembly plant is closing under a provision of the new contract negotiated by the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, according to the Chrysler fan site, AllparNews, which first revealed details of the contract.
The Viper was introduced in 1992 as a raw, no-compromises, no-amenities 400-horsepower missile meant to cast a halo over the rest of Chrysler's product line, which at that time was entirely composed of pathetically sad, cheap, front-drive economy cars.
Today's product line includes winners like the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, reducing the need for the Viper to fly the muscle car flag.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world has caught up in horsepower, while providing welcome conveniences. In particular, the 650-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is giving the Viper high-performance headaches.
With two years of leeway, it is possible that the Viper will get a reprieve. But if not, it will have already served its purpose of boosting confidence in Dodge, both inside and outside the company.
Photos by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles