Citing a source “intimately familiar with FCA’s plans,” Motor Trend is reporting the Viper isn’t being axed over slow sales. Instead, the publication says the model cannot comply with federal safety standard FMVSS #226 which requires vehicles to be equipped with side curtain airbags. As the source explained, adding side curtain airbags would significantly reduce the vehicle’s limited amount of headroom.
While it sounds odd that Chrysler wouldn’t have factored in upcoming safety regulations when the Viper was being designed, it’s far from the first model to disappear due to problems meeting safety regulations.
Of course, the Viper’s disappearance could be short lived as FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has said “Given the architectural development within the brand, there is a possibility that a new version of the Viper may surface.” Nothing has been decided but FCA is reporting considering an all-new Viper based on the same platform that underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulia. Unfortunately, even if the Viper survives it will likely eschew a V10 engine.
Source: Motor Trend