This is certainly not the first time FCA has us wondering whether its decision makers actually have a plan or are just playing it by ear.
Never mind the countless changes of heart when it comes to Alfa Romeo; the latest case has to do with the Viper and if it’s going to be axed, as reports suggest, or not.
It’s a fact that the brand-new model failed to deliver both on the road and on the sales charts. Business is business et al and there’s little room for sentiment, especially in CEO Sergio Marchionne’s mind.
Dodge, nevertheless, took a Viper ACR fitted with the Extreme Aero Package to no less than 13 US circuits, record lap times, made sure they were certified them and now brags about it being the “Track King”.
“The SCCA has certified that the new 2016 Dodge Viper ACR holds more track records than any other production car in the world”, said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands for Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “We expected our new Viper ACR to be the fastest street-legal Viper track car ever. Now we know without a doubt that it is.”
In order to make a point about its performance being accessible to nearly everyone and not just pros, all but two of the lap records were done with Vehicle Dynamics Engineer Chris Winkle at the helm.
The carmaker also claims that, in spite of many miles of abuse on the track, it proved that it can handle anything that’s thrown at it without a hiccup. “This car is not a 1-3 lap track special. You can run the car at the track all day, and the performance doesn’t fall off”, said Kuniskis.
Fine, we heard you loud and clear: the Viper ACR is a record-breaking, street-legal race car. Is this all about 8.4-liter, 645 HP Snake grabbing headlines, making history or an effort to keep it alive and not consign it to history?