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FCA CEO: Dodge Viper could live on

by Byron Hurd

Sergio Marchionne says new Viper is a \"possibility.\"

Jeep wasn't the only FCA brand with some potential at this year's . America's supercar, the Dodge Viper, may not be entirely dead.

During his news conference Monday, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters that there is "[...] a possibility that a new version of the Viper may surface."

The FCA CEO felt that, given the company's dedication to rear-wheel-drive platforms, the right ingredients exists to bring back the Viper. He called the timing of the potential revival "unclear," and stressed that the V10 sports car's current, exclusive architecture is not a viable approach to a future car, Automobile .

What could that mean for a potential return of America's reptilian record-setter? For starters, the V10 is likely out. The Alfa Romeo platforms that are expected to underpin FCA's future rear-wheel-drive products were likely not engineered with the 8.4L engine in mind.

Despite the V10's modern tech and lightweight, all-aluminum construction (it's the only performance engine in a Dodge product that can claim such), its roots go all the way back to Chrysler's "LA" lineup of cam-in-block engines. Its closest relative, the 8.0L Magnum V10 truck engine, was discontinued in 2003.

While the supercharged, iron-block Hemi V8 found in FCA's current (and forthcoming) Hellcat products may not survive FCA's transition to smaller, modernized platforms, the company's performance brand engineers certainly aren't opposed to building high-output engines. Could the future Viper be powered by a blown or boosted V8?

More importantly, will Viper fans accept downsizing in a car that has been centered around excess since its inception?

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