FCA design chief Ralph Gilles has posted a series of images on Instagram of the last-ever Dodge Viper to be produced at the company’s Conner Avenue Assembly plant in Detroit.
The images show two fifth-gen Vipers – a yellow ACR with black racing stripes and the other sporting a red exterior. As per Gilles’ comments on his Instagram post, the red Viper is the last-ever example of the car and is headed to join the company’s heritage collection. The yellow ACR Viper, on the other hand, will be headed to a customer.
FCA had confirmed way back in October 2015 that it would end production of the Dodge Viper after a 25-year run. Another one of Gilles’ comments on his post offered a possible explanation for why FCA decided to end the Viper’s production: “It sold well over the last couple of years at a great mix of mostly ACRs in the last 15 months. It has more to do with a new ejection-mitigation regulation airbag that simply won’t fit in our package. The Gen 5 had a great five-model-year run and the Viper platform which has not changed much over the years had a great 25-year run!”
Recently, a Viper ACR with Extreme Aero Package, piloted by Dominik Farnbacher, clocked in a blistering time of 7:03:45 around the Nürburgring – the fastest time ever set by an American car, as well as the fastest lap set by a manual-transmission and rear-wheel-drive car around the Green Hell. The entire campaign had been crowdfunded by Viper fans.
The Viper made its debut in concept form at the 1989 North American International Auto Show with a V10 under the hood, side pipes, no roof and no windows. It seemed unlikely that the concept would make it to production at the time but come 1992, the first-generation Viper – in the form of the original R/T-10 – hit the market. The year 1996 saw the introduction of the GTS Coupe and by the time third-generation SRT-10 was introduced in 2003, the Viper had already established itself in proper supercar territory. The current fifth-generation model hit international markets in 2013.