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New Viper to get traction control

2010-12-08 07:03

PROUDLY AMERICAN: Although set to be tamed by traction control, the new Viper will not share a platform with any Fiat group product – as initially expected.

After months of rumour mongering about an Alfa Romeo platform, Chrysler’s confirmed the new Dodge Viper will retain a majority American engineering identity.

Although most industry insiders expected it to fade into history after production ceased in July (after 18 years), American’s most notorious supercar was given a second lease on life by Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, after the Italian industrial giant gained control of ailing Chrysler.

Not an American 8C

Marchionne previewed the next-generation Viper to Dodge dealers in September at a secret venue in Florida.

The new car was expected to make use of the Fiat group’s performance car parts bin, especially Alfa Romeo’s 8C Competizione. Dodge boss Ralph Gilles has now confirmed the new Viper will ride on its own dedicated platform and retain a distinctly American design DNA.

The next-generation Viper "is not based on anything else", Gilles told the Detroit News this week.

Where the new Viper will gain from its relation to Fiat is in terms of dynamic finesse.

"I want the new Viper to be a more forgiving car to drive and accessible to more people. We’ve never had stability control on a high-performance car, which is about to happen on the new car."

Gilles also denied any possibility of the new Viper, due for release by 2012, using one of Ferrari’s engines. The Viper’s signature 8.4-litre engine will in all likelihood be retained, with Fiat’s revolutionary multi-air induction system transposed to the Viper’s single-camshaft V10, ensuring it meets emissions and efficiency targets.

An increase in induction efficiency and better valve-lift control should benefit output numbers too, with a figure in excess of 500kW expected, bettering the last production version of the 8.4-litre V10’s power peak of 447kW.
There is a possibility of an entry-level V8 engine bolstering the Viper line-up and broadening its appeal.

For fans of both the Fiat group’s performance cars (Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari) and Dodge’s Viper, the news of cooperation, instead of happenstance platform sharing, is good news all-round.

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Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy auto – understated and smart new hatch

When it comes to the mid-size hatchback choice, there are a few default choices, a few bland ones… and some often overlooked cars. The Opel Astra hatch is an example of the latter, writes David Swanepoel. - Sponsored

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