We first heard the rumors last week, and now they're confirmed: Fiat Chrysler will end production of the Dodge Viper in 2017. We'll miss you, you venemous brute.
The end of the line for the V-10 sports car was buried in the contract proposal for the next four years between Fiat Chrysler and the UAW. That contract was just ratified with 77 percent support from UAW members, .
The just-passed contract contained a detailed plan for future production, including plans to upgrade FCA's eight-speed automatic transmission. And , the draft contract specified no new vehicle production at FCA's Conner Avenue plant in Detroit, where Vipers are built by hand by a team of roughly 80 employees.
It's a sad end for the Viper, which went into production in 1992 after wowing fans as a concept car at the North American International Auto Show in 1989. Updated in 1996, 2003, and 2008, the Viper met a temporary end in 2010, a victim of Chrysler's bankruptcy. Thankfully, the current Viper returned in 2013, but it's been somewhat slow-selling— that just 503 Vipers were sold this year as of September, with only 760 sold in all of 2014.
That's a shame, because in many ways the Viper is the last great American sports car: Brash, brutish, and with a strong disdain for those who can't handle its challenges. In a world where even the 650-horsepower Corvette Z06 has the polish, refinement, and digital help of its European competition, there was something great about the Viper's love-it-or-hate-it untamability.
So if you want a Viper, now's your chance. You'll on one before 2017 rolls around.