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News: TOTD: Has Corvette De-Fanged Chrysler's SRT Viper?

Rob

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Has Corvette De-Fanged Chrysler's SRT Viper?

by Rob Loszewski,
CorvetteActionCenter.com


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The battle between the Dodge Viper and the Chevrolet Corvette has raged on ever since the Dodge Viper went head-to-head with the legendary Corvette ZR-1 in 1992. Since then, the Viper has either been nipping at the Corvette's heels, or giving it a run for its money on the race track. However, all is not well in today's SRT Viper camp.

According to the Wall Street Journal, it appears SRT Viper sales are so poor, that Chrysler is forced to idle the Conner Avenue production facility for 10 weeks resulting in the layoff of 91 employees starting the week of April 14th and resuming the week of June 23. This is the second time this year that Chrysler has had to suspend Viper production due to an over-abundant infestation sitting on dealer lots. At the end of February, dealers had approximately 756 Vipers in stock which is enough to last them more than a year if Chrysler was to suspend Viper production right now.

A Chrysler spokeswoman stated that the SRT Viper was never meant to be a mass-produced vehicle like Chrysler's other products and this temporary downtime in Viper production allows them to “meet our customers’ desire to keep these special cars exclusive.” With 756 Vipers out basking in the sun on dealer lots, I hardly think the shutdown is being done to increase exclusivity for owners. Let's face it - Chrysler is no Ferrari - where they can purposely limit production of a vehicle and increase profitability as a result. Fiat-Chrysler is in the business of selling as many "units" as they can produce. If one of their products isn't selling, they're not making any money.

That brings us around to the introduction of the 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray. Even though GM has recently bumped up the price of the Stingray in order to meet demand, the C7 Corvette is still nearly half the price of the SRT Viper. Given all the test results that have come in from the automotive rags comparing the Viper to the C7 Corvette, the performance of the Corvette is identical, if not better in some aspects, than the Viper.

So...more than a year's worth of Snakes laying around on dealer lots, vs. approximately a one-month supply of C7 Corvettes in current inventory (not to mention the 2015 C7 Corvette Z06 peeking around the corner...), what could this mean for the future of the SRT Viper?

Thoughts?
 

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catbert

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The Viper has a rabid fan base, as does Corvette, although much smaller. One thing I take away from the Viper problem is that it's price sensitive, and the Viper price has soared. Remember when the Viper was about 10-15% pricier than the C5? When the Viper crossed the $100K line sales almost stopped. Are you listening GM?
 

Hib Halverson

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The Viper has a rabid fan base, as does Corvette, although much smaller.
(snip)

Well, the previous generations of the Dodge Viper might be "rabid" but saying that the fan base for the current Viper is "rabid" seems to be a gross misuse of that adjective.

With only 91 cars sold since the current Viper was introduced, it appears that the car has little attraction to anyone. With 756 cars in inventory, Fiat-Chrysler dealers have enough cars to last more than a year.

Life ain't much better over in the Porsche camp. Automotive News carried a story on its web site this morning saying that Porsche is recalling all
785 2014 911 GT3s to replace the engines. So far, two 911 GT3s have caught fire after engine failures. One could assume that, if these engine failures caused fires which consumed the vehicles then the engine failures must have been, uh....catastrophic.

No wonder C7 sales are though the roof compared to the final years of C6.

The other day, I passed a 911 GT3 in my "old" C6 Z06. When I got to the next stoplight, I put the window down and stuck my hand out and pointed to the "427" numbers on my CF hood and yelled, "Dude! It might have pushrods but, it doesn't blow up then torch my car!"

(ok just kidding on that last part)
 
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Rob

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(snip)

The other day, I passed a 911 GT3 in my "old" C6 Z06. When I got to the next stoplight, I put the window down and stuck my hand out and pointed to the "427" numbers on my CF hood and yelled, "Dude! It might have pushrods but, it doesn't blow up then torch my car!"

(ok just kidding on that last part)
I can totally see you doing this! ;LOL
 
L

ltmax

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Dying Snakes and Smoking Porsches

Porsche is scrambling to replace burning GT3 engines, something with the con-rods, I think. We'll see what kind of press coverage this gets but I wouldn't get to 'uppity' over it with this GM keyswitch fiasco going on now. I hope new CEO Mary Barra breaks out with a creative and effective recovery to it, props to her if she pulls it off. They need to subpeonea Ackerson!!!
As for the Viper, not to be heartless but as the Vette racing team would put it: Take No Prisoners. Stick the knife in, put 'em out. Get Gilles to STFU. Then Cadillac should do the same thing to Lincoln, take them out. Then GMC should move on with trucks. You can imagine where I'm going with this...
 

catbert

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(snip)

Well, the previous generations of the Dodge Viper might be "rabid" but saying that the fan base for the current Viper is "rabid" seems to be a gross misuse of that adjective.

With only 91 cars sold since the current Viper was introduced, it appears that the car has little attraction to anyone. With 756 cars in inventory, Fiat-Chrysler dealers have enough cars to last more than a year.

Speaking of gross, you made my point, exactly. The old Viper buyers who used to snatch them up at 65-85K are now totally out of the market at north of $100K. The Viper clubs are disappearing, and the brand appears defunct. This is disturbing, because I believe the buyer demographic is probably close to the Vette. I believe that the Vette and Viper buyers don't cross-shop the European brands. When they get priced out of the segment, they are history. I hope the Vette doesn't go down the same road, and cringe at every price increase. With the Z51 price increase of over 5 grand in mid introductory year, GM appears to be ignoring history. The upcoming Z06 at close to $100K loaded out the door won't help.

GM is hitting some home runs with the Vette, ATS etc, and I hope success doesn't go to their head.

BTW. I saw in the business section of the paper that BMW is experiencing record profits, despite lower Continental sales - go figure.
 
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ltmax

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No prisoners...

Hib and I agree: stick the knife in, get blood. To hell with this 'nice guy' in the marketplace. Everyone knows the Caddy simply outclasses lincoln by lightyears. Why stop there? Put them out and move on. Viper? too bad, put them out. Then bring on a true full-size Chevy ( I think the current "SS" is slated for only 3 years?) with the Monte Carlo that dominates that segment, motivating Lexus and Mercedes trade-ins. Then - a full-frontal assault in the pick-up line, to be led by GMC with a simply unstoppable machine. But I guess first things first, eh? What's with the recall fiasco? Stop-sell on the Cruze as the latest? Damn! Maybe this might be Mary Barra's idea of a major house cleaning, which can only be a good idea but I hope not too damaging. I agree with Rob, you can have the baddest ride on earth, but if you think it's gonna get you killed, ya won't drive it... you won't buy one either. Get it together, GM!!!

Also Rob - agreed again about the BMW. I'm afraid they're losing their way, chasing every freakin' niche in the market and trying to be all that in all places. I think the new 3-series is a bloated horse too. They have a new 2-series but we'll see. As for that monstrosity of an X6 :puke I have a very non-descript little 4-door 1990 325 that I bought for 7thou back in 1997. I love the thing and have lost more tailgaters in highway interchanges... I look in the mirror and wonder "Where are you, I thought I was in your way".
You're not catching too much guff about havin' a Bimmer in our Vette world are ya? :rotfl

Anyway, all the best. Have fun out there :beer
 
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Rob

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Also Rob - agreed again about the BMW. I'm afraid they're losing their way, chasing every freakin' niche in the market and trying to be all that in all places. I think the new 3-series is a bloated horse too. They have a new 2-series but we'll see. As for that monstrosity of an X6 :puke I have a very non-descript little 4-door 1990 325 that I bought for 7thou back in 1997. I love the thing and have lost more tailgaters in highway interchanges... I look in the mirror and wonder "Where are you, I thought I was in your way".
You're not catching too much guff about havin' a Bimmer in our Vette world are ya? :rotfl

Anyway, all the best. Have fun out there :beer

BMW has peaked my curiosity with the M235i. I want to see it in person and possibly drive it before I pass final judgement. Same for the new 435.

Catch too much guff about having a Bimmer - sometimes because I'm a Chevy guy at heart. But I just love performance, wrapped in sexy styling with creature comforts and good ergonomics. So far, I am not impressed with their new generation, but I still have to wait and see the M235 and 435 in person.

Oh...and with twin turbochargers...I'm never in anyone's way. They're usually in mine. LOL :thumb
 

KANE

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I agree with catbert completely. The economics of the Viper is killing the consumer demand.

My biggest issue with GM is the Lambda platform. The Acadia/Traverse is a neat concept- they have the potential to be great cars- but they are a mess in terms of issues that GM has never seemed to address successfully.

I owned one. The sunroof leaks are the stuff of legends... they leak and the water rolls into the birdcage and destroys the PCM.

I got rid of it and now own GM truck.:thumb
 
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wesj1

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TOTD: Has Corvette De-Fanged Chrysler's SRT Viper

I have never been a Viper guy, but I appreciate the fact that two such machines have been made in America. The loss of the "healthy competition" between these marques may dull the edge, and our future Corvettes may be the worse for it.
 

rch105

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Apples and Oranges

Just as we have apples, we also have oranges. The same applies...Just as we have Vipers, we also have Corvettes. Both are to be enjoyed!

I know, I come from a family that has had both. Every since watching the filming of two "Route 66" TV episodes in Poland Spring, Maine back in the early 1960's, I just loved that '63 Split. Then, about '65, a local hillclimber's (Al Loquasto) mechanic, Tommy Vogren, took me for a ride, albeit a short one, in his Vette. Fast forward to the recent past and I now have a C5 (traded the C4) and my son bought a 2004 Viper. It was an $80k+ car when new. He paid about $38k. My other son went out and bought a new 2007 C6 and put some goodies on it. Sure it was very fast, but not as fast as the Viper. Now, I got kidded a lot, considering I've been the president of a local Mopar car club for the past 4 years...but I also have a '72 Demon 340. Fast in it's own right, but not in the Vette or Viper league.

I have opted for the Vette as it's a fantastic road car, great mileage, bells and whistles...the works. But when I want pure raw power...it's time to take out and drive the Viper. Yes, there are Vettes faster...but not too many...let's be honest. And driving down the road...what's the ratio of Vettes to Vipers, you see?

Let's keep them for what they are...PURE ENJOYMENT! Neither is a threat to each other...let's keep both of them and have fun. :w
 

LT4CE

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I have never been a Viper guy, but I appreciate the fact that two such machines have been made in America. The loss of the "healthy competition" between these marques may dull the edge, and our future Corvettes may be the worse for it.

I couldn't agree more. Competition breeds excellence. Viper has always been a worthy competitor for Corvette. :beer
 
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I agree about the $100K price point for the Viper. Seems once it broke that barrier the sales just weren't there. Of course, I can't understand why anyone would spend $77k for a Camaro when the same money will buy you a top of the line C7.

I have always liked the Viper because it has the reputation for just being brutal and unwieldy. I haven't driven one yet. I like the looks of the new Viper. I can't believe that it's not selling.
 

lucastdo

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i don't know about the viper n the lamborghini but i've smoke them both already with my 05 vette n around 500 ponies under the hood maybe they just don't know how to handle their ride n they both tried real hard
 

Rob

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