We were incredibly saddened to learn that the Dodge Viper would end production in 2017. Even more so than the Corvette, the Viper is arguably the last great American sports car, raising a proud middle finger to anyone or anything that questions its brashness. Despite that, it’s never been a sales success, leading Dodge to cut prices by $15,000 in 2014.
Now there’s a faint glimmer of hope for the beleaguered Viper. In a press conference at the Detroit auto show, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said that a new Viper is a possibility, according to an Automobile report.
“Given the architectural development within the brand, there is a possibility that a new version of the Viper may surface,” Marchionne said. What isn’t clear is whether a new Viper would be ready in time to immediately replace the current-generation Viper, or if it would appear further down the road.
The ever-pragmatic Marchionne isn’t a fan of the Viper’s proprietary platform, so a theoretical future Viper likely would be based on a version of the new rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulia. The Giulia, which is Alfa Romeo’s on-ramp to volume U.S. sales, is reportedly delayed six months in Europe and even longer in the U.S.
Any future rear-wheel-drive cars from Fiat Chrysler—barring Ferrari, of course—will be commensurately delayed because of the Giulia. So a new Viper isn’t exactly around the corner. Furthermore, Marchionne said Alfa Romeo won’t receive as much investment as was planned a few years ago due to a scaling back of its ambitions in the faltering Chinese market.
While we’d very much love to see a new Viper, Marchionne’s statements don’t sound very promising. File this under “we’ll believe it when we see it.”
This story originally appeared on Road & Track.