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Old 10-21-2015, 01:06 PM   #1
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Default Dodge Viper Deathknell ?

From The Car Pro Weekly news.

"The Viper, Dodge's all-American exotic sports car launched nearly a quarter-century ago to much acclaim, will end production in 2017, according to details contained in Fiat Chrysler's new contract with the UAW.

The product plan is included in the agreement that will be voted on by UAW members next week. It also indicates that FCA will upgrade its eight-speed automatic transmission.

The original Viper went into production in 1992. It was updated in 1996, 2003 and 2008, before Chrysler's bankruptcy ended its run in 2010. A redesigned version debuted in 2013, but a big price increase and improved competitors hurt sales.

The 650-horse sports coupe is built at FCA's Conner Avenue assembly plant in Detroit. The company's $5.3 billion product plan indicates no replacement vehicle for the small factory where Vipers are built by hand by about 80 employees.

FCA has struggled to sell the Viper since its relaunch. Through September, just 503 Vipers were sold in the United States, down 7.9 percent from the same period a year before. Dodge sold just 760 Vipers in all of 2014.

In addition to other product changes first reported in September -- such as Ram 1500 production moving from Warren Assembly in suburban Detroit to Sterling Heights Assembly 10 miles away -- the plan also shows that FCA plans to squeeze more efficiency out of its current eight-speed automatic.

The transmission -- used in almost all of FCA's rear-wheel-drive based cars, crossovers and SUVs -- will switch from a current "Gen1" to "Gen2," according to details given UAW members about FCA's Kokomo, Ind., transmission complex.

No timeframe was provided for the transmission upgrade, however.

The eight-speed was designed by ZF Friedrichshafen and licensed to FCA. In its current configuration, the eight-speed provides a 9 percent boost in fuel economy over a six-speed automatic, according to FCA's securities filings.
"


Kinda figured after Fiat control the Viper's days were numbered
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:30 PM   #2
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Actually Sergio Marchionne was the person who green lighted the 2013+ Vipers. Dodge just introduced the car at too high a price point. Not to mention, the horrible dealer network, and inability to get people behind the wheel to find out what the car is all about. Although I am sad to see this happen, Fiat can't be blamed for it, they did give it a chance.

That being said, my 2013 is an absolute blast to drive, I'm glad to have got my dream car before production ended.
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:50 PM   #3
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I am thinking Extreme Aero ACR before it's over
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:40 AM   #4
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That car is so ridiculously awesome, I'm glad we are at least going out with a bang.
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:33 PM   #5
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I've always liked the Viper and respect the 2013's efforts to make it more driver friendly sad to see it go! I guess there will always be the hellcat for you Mopar guys.
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Old 10-30-2015, 04:10 PM   #6
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That's like saying there will always be the Panamera for you GT3 guys. Hellcat is cool and all, but it's a bloatus.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:51 PM   #7
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Going out in style.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...300171797.html
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:20 AM   #8
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The news made my week!
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Old 11-04-2015, 02:21 PM   #9
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I was told don't believe everything you read in the press when its source is a UAW contract about labor at the plant.
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:44 PM   #10
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It's not dead, it's alive:
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:35 AM   #11
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You're gonna be very happy with the quality of the Prefix paint job Keith. One of the best I've ever seen!
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:33 AM   #12
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Did you Order an ACR Too? The more Vipers in DFW the better IMO ill try to control my drooling.
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:20 AM   #13
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and now chassis, drivetrain and suspension
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:09 AM   #14
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You're going to love that thing man! Congrats! Had the privilege to barely scratch the surface of the car's potential behind the wheel of Will's T/A a couple of weekends ago... damn.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:14 AM   #15
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Preliminary report for MotorSport Ranch Cresson, 1.7 mile Clockwise (opposite the more traditional direction that Dodge used when developing the car). Very windy day with splashes of rain around noon but dry track conditions. Last session was 77 deg ambient, 29.79 in Hg, wind SSE 17-12 knots, 70% humidity. Started tire pressures 27F and 28 R. Left side tires came up to 34 F and 33 R. Right side gets less work and about 1 psi less hot. Pretty consistent 1:18s with best of 1:17.8. Temps went to 216 water, 235 oil. I left the stability on track mode, traction off. This is the least intrusive stability system I've ever used and I could feel it some but only when overdriving the car. It is not fast to hoon around on the Kumhos.

Subjectively this is the easiest Viper to drive ever. Maybe one of the easiest vehicles to drive. In 5 sessions I dropped 2 wheels once, otherwise the car just went where pointed. The aero is a real treat. I found that in the high speed stuff it's better to turn in early and use the extra grip and trail a bit extra to the apex. The brakes were sublime. Firm, easy to modulate, consistent without a hint of fade and completely confidence inspiring. Wear rate is very modest (CCM, by the way). I've driven a lot of cars here, including Spec Miata, Spec Racer Ford, 991 GT3, 996 GT3 Cup, MP4-12C, C6 Z06, Radical SR8, Formula Mazda, many flavored of Viper street and race cars and this car is the fastest car with an interior and DOT tires I've ever driven.

One significant negative that I anticipated due to the front tire wear issues others have faced. This car has a big push. Not as bad as the GT3 or McLaren, but IMO a big reason for tire destruction is the push. In slow stuff I was kicking the throttle to rotate the car. I'd pick up at least .5 sec if I can get rid of the push. My first effort will be to take fronts to 3.2 deg camber from current 2.7, then maybe more rake. I may also soften front shock or stiffen rears, but I suspect that will be fine tuning. I sure wish I could add more rear bar or soften the front. Dodge should have put adjustable bars on this car and maybe aftermarket will do it.

But overall, this car is the absolute king of the hill for showroom stock street cars I've ever driven on track. And by a wide margin. If you street drive this car it's like having a Kentucky Derby winning thoroughbred and using it to pull carriages around the park. The car becomes so much more lively and a Zen-like experience when the Gs and RPMs and pace go up.

Brilliant!

PS Ken O in his underpowered shoebox was very close in lap times. He can definitely drive!
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:25 AM   #16
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Lol... nice write up. I particularly like the zen reference. The latest Viper is a force of nature, I'd love the opportunity to play with it some day. I'm sure it is as thrilling as you say.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kverges View Post
Preliminary report for MotorSport Ranch Cresson, 1.7 mile Clockwise (opposite the more traditional direction that Dodge used when developing the car). Very windy day with splashes of rain around noon but dry track conditions. Last session was 77 deg ambient, 29.79 in Hg, wind SSE 17-12 knots, 70% humidity. Started tire pressures 27F and 28 R. Left side tires came up to 34 F and 33 R. Right side gets less work and about 1 psi less hot. Pretty consistent 1:18s with best of 1:17.8. Temps went to 216 water, 235 oil. I left the stability on track mode, traction off. This is the least intrusive stability system I've ever used and I could feel it some but only when overdriving the car. It is not fast to hoon around on the Kumhos.

Subjectively this is the easiest Viper to drive ever. Maybe one of the easiest vehicles to drive. In 5 sessions I dropped 2 wheels once, otherwise the car just went where pointed. The aero is a real treat. I found that in the high speed stuff it's better to turn in early and use the extra grip and trail a bit extra to the apex. The brakes were sublime. Firm, easy to modulate, consistent without a hint of fade and completely confidence inspiring. Wear rate is very modest (CCM, by the way). I've driven a lot of cars here, including Spec Miata, Spec Racer Ford, 991 GT3, 996 GT3 Cup, MP4-12C, C6 Z06, Radical SR8, Formula Mazda, many flavored of Viper street and race cars and this car is the fastest car with an interior and DOT tires I've ever driven.

One significant negative that I anticipated due to the front tire wear issues others have faced. This car has a big push. Not as bad as the GT3 or McLaren, but IMO a big reason for tire destruction is the push. In slow stuff I was kicking the throttle to rotate the car. I'd pick up at least .5 sec if I can get rid of the push. My first effort will be to take fronts to 3.2 deg camber from current 2.7, then maybe more rake. I may also soften front shock or stiffen rears, but I suspect that will be fine tuning. I sure wish I could add more rear bar or soften the front. Dodge should have put adjustable bars on this car and maybe aftermarket will do it.

But overall, this car is the absolute king of the hill for showroom stock street cars I've ever driven on track. And by a wide margin. If you street drive this car it's like having a Kentucky Derby winning thoroughbred and using it to pull carriages around the park. The car becomes so much more lively and a Zen-like experience when the Gs and RPMs and pace go up.

Brilliant!

PS Ken O in his underpowered shoebox was very close in lap times. He can definitely drive!

Your ACR is absolutely wicked in blue. It looks so smooth and at ease on the track.

The shoebox took a ton of effort to get it hustling around.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:28 PM   #18
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Great to hear some feedback
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kverges View Post
Preliminary report for MotorSport Ranch Cresson, 1.7 mile Clockwise (opposite the more traditional direction that Dodge used when developing the car). Very windy day with splashes of rain around noon but dry track conditions. Last session was 77 deg ambient, 29.79 in Hg, wind SSE 17-12 knots, 70% humidity. Started tire pressures 27F and 28 R. Left side tires came up to 34 F and 33 R. Right side gets less work and about 1 psi less hot. Pretty consistent 1:18s with best of 1:17.8. Temps went to 216 water, 235 oil. I left the stability on track mode, traction off. This is the least intrusive stability system I've ever used and I could feel it some but only when overdriving the car. It is not fast to hoon around on the Kumhos.

Subjectively this is the easiest Viper to drive ever. Maybe one of the easiest vehicles to drive. In 5 sessions I dropped 2 wheels once, otherwise the car just went where pointed. The aero is a real treat. I found that in the high speed stuff it's better to turn in early and use the extra grip and trail a bit extra to the apex. The brakes were sublime. Firm, easy to modulate, consistent without a hint of fade and completely confidence inspiring. Wear rate is very modest (CCM, by the way). I've driven a lot of cars here, including Spec Miata, Spec Racer Ford, 991 GT3, 996 GT3 Cup, MP4-12C, C6 Z06, Radical SR8, Formula Mazda, many flavored of Viper street and race cars and this car is the fastest car with an interior and DOT tires I've ever driven.

One significant negative that I anticipated due to the front tire wear issues others have faced. This car has a big push. Not as bad as the GT3 or McLaren, but IMO a big reason for tire destruction is the push. In slow stuff I was kicking the throttle to rotate the car. I'd pick up at least .5 sec if I can get rid of the push. My first effort will be to take fronts to 3.2 deg camber from current 2.7, then maybe more rake. I may also soften front shock or stiffen rears, but I suspect that will be fine tuning. I sure wish I could add more rear bar or soften the front. Dodge should have put adjustable bars on this car and maybe aftermarket will do it.

But overall, this car is the absolute king of the hill for showroom stock street cars I've ever driven on track. And by a wide margin. If you street drive this car it's like having a Kentucky Derby winning thoroughbred and using it to pull carriages around the park. The car becomes so much more lively and a Zen-like experience when the Gs and RPMs and pace go up.

Brilliant!

PS Ken O in his underpowered shoebox was very close in lap times. He can definitely drive!
Keith,

I thought the same regarding the push in my TA. Nobody makes a bigger rear bar or an adjustable one, so I tried downgrading the front bar to the hollow base-model version. (TA & ACR have the same solid bars; base are the same OD but hollow).

With the softer front bar, I noticed three things: (a) too much roll in the front end, and (b) better rotation at low speeds, and (c) too much rotation at high speeds. For example, at TWS, with the soft front and stiff rear bars, the TA was way better in the carousel but worse in turn 2. Whereas stock the car was a monster in turn 2, with the softer front bar, the rear end kept trying to dance around me exiting T2. I kept thinking, if only my car had a bigass rear wing, this bar setup would be perfect.

I actually took it back off and set my TA back to stock spec. Less fun but better for fast corners.... I'm going to test it out again this weekend at TWS now that I did a proper track alignment.

But for your car, with all that adjustable (and huge) rear aero, the soft front / rear bar combo may be the ticket.


Cheers,
Andi
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Last edited by Andi; 05-13-2016 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:56 PM   #20
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One thing I forgot to mention: the front tires are a significantly softer compound than the rears.
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