- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is folding its short-lived SRT brand — including the SRT Viper — into the Dodge brand as part of the latter's renewed emphasis on performance.
- As part of the move, the SRT Viper will be reborn as the Dodge Viper, according to future-product plans presented this week to analysts.
- By 2018, Dodge plans to offer SRT versions of the Charger, Challenger, Dart and Journey.
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is folding its short-lived SRT brand — including the SRT Viper — into the Dodge brand as part of the latter's renewed emphasis on performance, with SRT boss Ralph Gilles relinquishing the reins to focus on product design and motorsports.
As part of the move, the SRT Viper will be reborn as the Dodge Viper, according to future-product plans presented this week to analysts. Viper is due for a midcycle freshening in summer 2015, the company said. The 10-cylinder sports car started life in early 1992 as the Dodge Viper RT/10.
When asked by Edmunds when the Viper will start wearing the Dodge badge again, Chrysler spokesman Richard Deneau replied: "Don't know the answer to that."
SRT, which stands for Street and Racing Technology, originally was the name of Chrysler's in-house performance group and has been used for more than 10 years to denote special performance-oriented editions of various Chrysler models, from the Neon compact to the full-size Ram pickup.
Under Fiat's ownership, SRT was spun off into a separate brand for the 2012 model year.
In addition to the SRT Viper, the SRT label currently is used on four Chrysler Group models: The Chrysler 300 SRT, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, the Dodge Charger SRT and the Dodge Challenger SRT.
In the analyst presentation, Fiat Chrysler executives laid out plans for future products through 2018, but the only reference to the SRT label was made by Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis, who also assumes responsibility for SRT.
By 2018, Dodge plans to offer four SRT models:
? In late 2016, the all-wheel-drive Dart SRT with a high-output turbo four-cylinder engine.
? In early 2017, the all-wheel-drive Journey SRT, with the same turbo four.
? In late 2018, SRT editions of the next-generation Charger and Challenger, each equipped with a new supercharged V8.
There is no mention of an SRT edition of the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is due in fall 2017, or the next-generation Chrysler 300, due in mid-2018.
Edmunds says: The Viper returns to its roots.