Could Dodge really go toe-to-toe with the new Corvette and Ford GT?
The Dodge Viper is an automotive icon. Built over five generations from 1991 to 2017, the Viper was known for its behemoth of a V10 engine ranging from 8.0 liters to 8.4 liters in displacement and developing up to 645 horsepower in its most powerful incarnation. It was an unlikely supercar, one that bucked convention in size and style, and yet time after time it destroyed lap records and ran with the best the rest of the world had to offer. But three years after its demise, a digital artist going by the name of Abimelec Design has given us an idea of what might happen if Dodge were to resurrect the Viper as a mid-engined supercar to rival the Ford GT and C8 Chevrolet Corvette.
The front-engined nature of the Viper was one of the key reasons it was never able to truly outgun the rest of the world's supercar elite - after all, the weight of a V10 hanging over the front axle meant the weight balance was heavily biased towards the front end, negatively impacting handling, while the lack of weight at the rear meant power quickly evaporated as tire smoke. Those are just some of the reasons the C8 Corvette went mid-engine, and why Chrysler once contemplated a mid-engine Viper. But in these renders, we see the Dodge Viper's 8.4-liter V10 from the fifth-generation shoehorned behind the driver's head, with the cabin pushed forward to accommodate the engine placement.
It's all theoretical, but the mid-engine positioning would help the Viper better deploy its 645 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, with the weight over the rear axle helping pin the tires down and improve grip. If a front-engine Viper ACR could set a lap record of 1:28 at Laguna Seca, imagine what a better-balanced, and possibly even more powerful mid-engined one could do?
The styling employed by Abimelec is heavily inspired by the Vipers of yesteryear, retaining signature elements handed down from generation to generation such as the bold air vents on the front fenders and a hood scoop that we presume would be used for cooling instead of air intake. The rear is classic Dodge, with elements taken from the previous Viper such as the taillight design and the prominent ducktail spoiler. While Dodge has no plans to revive the Viper, we can certainly say that if they did, we can only hope it'd look this good.