The Dodge Viper quietly slipped off sale amid the turbulence of Chrysler's restructuring. At one point, they even considered selling the brand wholesale. But today in New York, Dodge unveiled the new 2013 SRT Viper.
It's business as usual: excess all areas, a low-slung, unmistakably American long-nosed sports car from the old school of muscle-car styling. And the rampant 8.4-litre V10 engine continues.
Dodge SRT Viper (2013): in detail
This car is again built around a steel spaceframe chassis, but many of the panels wrapping that 4463mm body are now crafted from carbonfibre.
Bonnet, roof and tailgate are made from composites, while the doors are fashioned from aluminium. It's enough to peg weight to a whisker under 1500kg.
So they've stuck with the V10 engine on the new Viper?
You bet. It's the same 8.4-litre lump we've seen previously, tuned up to provide a wholesome 640bhp and 600lb ft - a production car torque record for a naturally aspirated engine. This thing will be sensationally fast.
It' quite different inside, too, with a hitherto unknown focus on comfort and quality. The Viper GTS model is even quite plush, with extra leather, new colours and a host of gadgets and goodies quite alien to previous generation, you're-lucky-you've-got-a-steering-wheel Vipers.
Check out niceties such as a seven-inch customisable instrument pack and Uconnect multimedia systems to sync your Bluetooth gadgets. As if you'll be able to hear anything over that bellowing V10.
So when can we buy a new 2013 Viper?
Ah yes. Production starts at the end of 2012 in Detroit, the Viper's spiritual home. But no word yet on the likelihood of it coming to Europe. It was never a big sales success over here and it seems probable that the Euro importers will prefer to concentrate on their bread and butter cars.