If you were one of the relatively few folks to have bought a Viper in recent weeks you might be muttering angrily when you discover Dodge has slashed the price of the 2-seat muscle car in a desperate bid to boost sagging sales.
The 2015 Dodge Viper SRT will start at $84,995, or $15,000 less than for the 2014 sports car – though dealers will not give a similar discount on leftover models.
The drop in price comes even as Dodge upgrades the sports car. In 2015 trim it will get an extra 20 horsepower, boosting the pony count to 645 – or just short of the 650-hp under the hood of the Corvette Z06 Chevrolet will bring to market early next year.
Industry analysts blame overly aggressive pricing for the poor performance of the Viper which was brought to market in 2013 after an absence of several years. Demand has been running far short of the 1,600 sports cars originally expected to be produced annually. Though demand has gained some ground in recent months, Dodge has sold just 438 Vipers since the beginning of the year.
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Production has been interrupted several times since the beginning of the year at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant on Detroit’s East Side, where the Viper is produced, in an effort to bring production in line with demand.
Even so, the maker is delaying the launch of the 2015 model-year version until the first quarter of next year.
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When the Viper was re-launched, it was initially marketed under the SRT division, Chrysler attempting to create a standalone brand for its performance badge. It has since decided to roll Viper back under the Dodge brand, which has handled the sports car since it first debuted as a back-to-basics roadster in 1992.
The original price tag was $50,700 – which would work out to $85,642 today, adjusted for inflation.
Along with cutting the price of the Viper, Dodge will now let all 2,300 of its dealers handle the car. It originally limited sales to just a handful of select retailers.
Along with the boost in power, the 2015 Dodge SRT Viper will now get 20 mpg on the highway, a 1 mpg boost.
And buyers will have two more versions to choose from, the TA and the GT. The latter slots in-between the current “base” SRT and the premium GTS model. It will feature an adjustable suspension and a five-mode stability control system.
As for buyers who might have snatched up a Viper prior to the latest news, Dodge doesn’t want them to go away mad. It will give anyone who purchased the fifth-generation sports car since its 2013 launch a discount certificate worth $15,000 towards another Viper.
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