As we wrote that headline, it seemed to come across as a scoffing sacrilege to have a Viper chassis with a V8 and automatic. But truly, the opposite is true.
The Firepower's time has come.
-- Corvette sales this generation have been split 70/30 in favor of the automatic transmission.
----> Viper does not offer an automatic
-- For nearly all owners, a 6.1-liter V8 would be more than plenty to give true supercar performance
----> The Viper's 8.4-liter V10 is a major cost center for the vehicle, which in this generation stickers from $100,000 and up.
-- The Viper is unacceptably crude these days.
----> Increasing NVH refinement for the Firepower program would help the Viper to become more civilized as well.
For both of these reasons, an $80,000 Firepower today would be a great brand-builder for Chrysler with minimal input.
Sure, the counterpoint is that is might not sell at all. A Viper V8 automatic would easily be more desirable for its brand appeal, but even that fact does not dilute the overall potential of the Firepower.
Who else sees the potential in the Firepower concept?
Maserati, for one. The Alfieri concept is believed to have more than a few Chrysler Group bones under its swoopy skin.
2005 Chrysler Firepower