FCA boss rules out return of iconic supercar
The rumoured revival of the Dodge Viper has been shut down by the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Sergio Marchionne.
"[It] didn't make money, and wouldn't work with a "cute" Euro-style engine," he added.
Last week Marchionne revealed the FCA group's product plans for the coming years, which included a strong focus on its 'global brands' like Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Maserati and Ram – leading some to believe Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat could be on the chopping block.
However, the outspoken boss described those latter rumours as "nonsense", and later confirmed those brands will continue, though will be limited in terms of their budget.
Chrysler will "continue to be relevant in the United States", though will become a "people carrier brand" – meaning the Pacifica could soon be its sole model, spelling the eventual demise of the 300 sedan.
Meanwhile, Fiat will focus primarily on the Latin American market, due to that region's high uptake of cheaper and less sophisticated vehicles, though it will occupy a "more exclusive area" of the European market, namely city cars and electrified vehicles.
In statements reported by Autocar, the next-generation 500 will ride on a new platform, which will also be used by the new Panda. In addition to an electric drivetrain, the new 500 will be available with a mild-hybrid setup, and gain a Giardiniera wagon variant.
Dodge's rear-wheel drive vehicles will not move onto the platform used by the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio. Instead, the marque will use a heavily updated version of the architecture underpinning today's Charger and Challenger.
Less than a fortnight ago US publication Car and Driver made a firm claim that "a new Viper is happening", suggesting it would downsize its engine to a eight cylinders and be a competitor to top-spec versions of the Chevrolet Corvette along with the Ford GT – it seems like they were wrong.
New @Dodge Viper? Marchionne: "That's a great question. ... It's not in the plan, if that's what you're asking." Didn't make money, and wouldn't work with a "cute" Euro-style engine...@fcagroup #FCAFiveYearPlan @automobilemag— Todd Lassa (@AM_Lassa) June 1, 2018