Back to its '90s roots.
Dodge (and SRT) made five generations of the Viper, spanning over a quarter-century, before it pulled the plug the year before last. But what might it look like if FCA brought it back, and took it back to its roots?
That's the idea behind these renderings, released on Behance by American designer Rick Salinas. Instead of evolving from where the last Viper left off, it takes its stylistic cues from the original. And we have to say that we like what we're seeing, especially with the '90s style we grew up with coming back around into vogue.
The original Viper was, after all, one of the most audacious moves ever undertaken by any mainstream automaker. It started in the late '80s with a brief (from Chrysler's then-president Bob Lutz) to revive the spirit of the legendary Shelby Cobra, initially yielding the concept pictured at bottom. Carroll Shelby was directly involved, and so was Lamborghini – which was, at the time, a Chrysler subsidiary and was tasked with developing the V10 engine, alongside the one it was developing for the Gallardo. And its styling, lead by Tom Gale, was one of the most eye-catching designs ever to hit the road.
It was, by all accounts, a handful (and a half) to drive. And though it evolved considerably over the course of the four iterations that followed, the Viper never lost its bite. Which is why we were sorry to see it go when Fiat Chrysler discontinued production less than two years ago, closing the plant that built it and retiring the massive eight-plus-liter V10 that powered it.
Maybe FCA (or whatever corporate organization might succeed it) will bring back the Viper some day. And when that day comes, we hope it looks more than a little like this.