The Dodge Viper isn't long for this world, and now we know why. At the 2016 Detroit auto show, a person intimately familiar with FCA's plans told us the sports car is being discontinued because it can't comply with a federal safety standard intended to prevent occupant ejection.
That standard, FMVSS #226, requires side curtain airbags. The Viper as it currently exists can't be fitted with curtain airbags without significantly reducing its already limited headroom. Thus, the model will die in 2017, when all vehicles will be expected to comply with FMVSS #226. But that may not be the end of the story. FCA boss Sergio Marchionne recently said the Viper may live again on a different architecture. Though we don't know exactly which architecture he was alluding to, platforms from Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Ferrari could be on the table. When asked which platforms and powertrains are being considered for a future Viper, the person we spoke to only offered a big smile.
Given that the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR wowed us with its Z06-beating track performance, the model will go out on a high note. Will FCA follow up with an even more potent encore? We hope so. Announcements on the company's future product strategy are expected to be made during an analyst call at the end of the month.
By: Mike Connor - Motor Trend