How Chrysler's SRT Viper made it on four auto monthly magazines simultaneously is an amazing feat in itself but it is also quite baffling. Usually, magazine editors aim to have a different cover from the competition. Automobile, Car and Driver, Motor Trend and Road & Track magazines will have the Viper on their cover.
The new issues arrive at newsstands this week. The Viper, clad in fiery red sheet-metal, is an American icon that was revived as a concept by Chrysler even while the company continued to struggle in 2009. Earlier, Autoweek had featured the Viper on its April 16 issue with the line: "Second Coming of Awesome!".
Goodie bags at the New York Auto Show included a copy of Autoweek. Its Editor Wes Raynal said that he wouldn’t have put the Viper on its cover if the magazine won’t be the first to do so. Jean Jennings, editor-in-chief at Automobile, said that this is “very rare,” saying the last time it happened was four years ago, with the introduction of the new Dodge Challenger.
Last January, Chrysler's PR and marketing arms got in touch with Jennings and the other magazines about the Viper as the team was planning its debut at the New York show. Jennings said that car companies know that there’s no guarantee on getting on the cover.
It becomes more unlikely, considering that the Viper is a limited edition V10-powered, ubermuscle car. Jennings said that the Viper stood out because it was the hottest car back then and when the New York show opened, it’s also clearly the “hottest car.”