And so it is, the end of the Dodge Viper now has an official date. For years, rumors and speculation surrounding the Viper’s fate has been one of the most talked-about items in the auto industry and while we’ve known for quite a while now that Dodge was in fact sending the Viper to retirement, we didn’t receive an official date until Fiat Chrysler Automobiles design chief and former SRT CEO Ralph Gilles finally made the announcement at the Chicago Auto Show. The Dodge Viper, after a polarizing run in the industry spanning 25 years, will no longer be built on August 31, 2017.
Check your calendars, ladies and gentlemen. That’s a little over six months away until we officially say goodbye to the iconic sports car. For those who need a refresher, the Viper burst into American automotive consciousness in 1992 before becoming an unwitting victim of Chrysler’s bankruptcy that led to the car taking a temporary hiatus. It came back in 2013, but it was never the same as slow sales and evolving consumer preferences turned the Viper into an expendable model.
FCA ultimately decided in 2015 to retire the Viper this year and with Gilles’ comments in Chicago, the cast for the brash and brutish sports car’s tombstone is now being created.
It’s a sad end for the model many believed to be America’s last true sports car. For a time, the Viper was a force of sports car personality that epitomized the rawness and unbridled thrill of sports car driving. It was never the best-looking sports car, nor was it the fastest and most powerful. But it did have all three qualities in spades and unlike most of today’s refined and tech-driven performance car’s the Viper’s reputation for being difficult to tame spoke to the thrill of actually being able to drive the sports car up to its full potential.
It’s been a great run for the Dodge Viper and the car will undoubtedly be missed by the industry. But like everything else, every story has an opening and closing chapter, and the Viper’s closing chapter will come to a conclusion on August 31.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.