Chrysler Group announced that it will reopen the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit in order to prepare it for the production of the next generation SRT Viper. This means that almost 150 jobs will be created, both hourly and salaried. For those who don’t know, the plant was closed back in July 2010, when the production of Dodge Viper ended.
According to the official statement, the production of the new Viper will begin in 2012, but the employees began reporting for training and orientation this fall.
The production of the Dodge Viper began back in May 1992 at the New Mack Assembly Plant, then moved to the Conner Avenue site in October 1995. Since then, a total of 22,070 Vipers were built.
“The next generation Viper will make its return to the product lineup in late 2012 as a 2013 model,” said Ralph Gilles, President and Chief Executive Officer - SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “We’re extremely excited that our ultimate American sports car will continue to live on and be produced exclusively here in the Motor City.”
The new Dodge SRT Viper runs with an all-aluminium V-10, 8.4L overhead valve engine. This hand-assembled powertrain is just one of the changes allotted for the new SRT Viper this 2013. The fully dressed engine has lost over 25lbs of weight as it now comes with the new aluminium flywheel, catalysts, sodium-filled exhaust valves, lightweight composite manifold intake and superior strength forged pistons.
The V-10 engine’s preliminary performance shows an impressive 640hp and 600 lb.-ft. of torque, and probably the most outstanding torque to ever come out from a naturally aspirated engine.
The SRT Viper 2013 is also equipped with Tremec TR6060, (a 6-speed manual transmission) with improved features. It has been adjusted with closer gear ratios and a shorter throw shifter resulting to its shortened final drive ratio of 3.55 from 3.07. Overall, the new Viper model can deliver up to 6,200rpm top speed using the 6th gear.
We can only see how Dodge brings together an outstanding mix of capability, ride and handling with the new SRT Viper. The tougher body frame now offers 50% more torsional rigidity than before. Its chassis has been designed based on the Competition Coupes and Viper GTS-R models.
Moreover, new enhancements come with the new X aluminium brace underneath the hood, which holds the suspension’s pickup points towards the magnesium cowl super casting. This structural support helps in enhancing its stiffness and torsional strength. Additionally, it has the latest designed impact beam at the front end (made also of aluminium) that helps in proper weight distribution aside from raising safety during a crash.