Viper-Ferrari by Ralph Gilles?

Posted on 25 November, 2009

After setting a new lap record at Laguna Seca the other day, Dodge announced some minor revisions to the all-conquering Viper ACR for the 2010 model year. The snake that swallowed the famed 11-turn race track whole will be treated to some revised gearing and aerodynamics, a new short-throw shifter, the addition of a new color to the catalog and an updated interior to boot. There’ll also be a special edition ACR to commemorate the record-breaking lap time. But in the process, a senior Chrysler executive clarified some rumors that have been circulating regarding the next generation Dodge supercar.

Back in August we reported that the next-gen Viper could get a heart transplant in the form of a Ferrari-developed modular engine. The program spearheaded by Chrysler’s new corporate cousin in Maranello was tipped to form the basis for new engines that would find their way into the bays of upcoming Maseratis, Ferraris and Vipers. But in speaking with AutoWeek, Dodge brand chief Ralph Gilles reportedly put the brakes on the rampant speculation, saying that any collaboration between Dodge and Ferrari on the Viper’s replacement wouldn’t extend beyond some input from the Italian marque on the car’s development. And while that doesn’t necessarily mean the engine programs couldn’t be merged, “Ferrari is Ferrari, according to Gilles, and “Viper is Viper”.