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A New Dodge Challenger Concept or the SRT Viper Roadster Could Steal the Show in Detroit

The 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is only a couple weeks away and either a Dodge Challenger Concept or a droptop version of the SRT Viper could help the Chrysler Group steal some high performance attention from the cross-town rivals.
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While both Ford and General Motors have been very vocal with regard to their high performance vehicle debuts set for the Motor City show, the Chrysler Group really hasn’t had much to say about the 2014 North American International Auto Show. The next generation Chrysler 200 will make its debut in Detroit but if Chrysler really going to stick with just a midsized, low-buck luxury sedan when GM is showing off the best performing Corvette of all time and Ford is showing off the next generation Ford Mustang? I really feel that with both GM and Ford showing off their high performance wares at Detroit’s Cobo Hall, the Chrysler Group will roll out something that creates some driving excitement at the big home town show. I am hoping that the first look at the new Dodge Challenger in Concept form or the droptop version of the SRT Viper could be the vehicle to give horsepower junkies something to look forward to in the Chrysler Group display in a few weeks.

Ralph Gilles stated at the 2013 New York International Auto Show that the 2014 Big Apple show would bring about our first look at the revamped Dodge Challenger – or the long-rumored SRT Cuda. Gilles was a bit vague as to what we will see in New York but it should have something to do with the modern Mopar muscle car. The odds suggest that it will be the newest SRT Challenger powered by a monster supercharged Hemi codenamed “Hellcat” but the discussion in which SRT boss Ralph Gilles hinted to the 2014 NYIAS debut also included some talk of the possible SRT-only Cuda. The Detroit show could serve as the launching point for that new Challenger or Cuda in concept form similar to how the original (modern) Dodge Challenger R/T Concept debuted in Detroit while the production model debuted in Chicago.

There is also the possibility that the 2014 NAIAS could feature the debut of a new concept muscle car (either the next Dodge Challenger or the SRT Cuda) while the 2014 New York International Auto Show would feature the other vehicle. Chrysler could really push teasing a new model to the next level by simply rolling out the Hellcat Hemi on an engine stand with the promise of the vehicle that relies on that engine debuting in New York. The debut of an engine may be a bit anticlimactic to some but to Mopar fans and diehard American performance car lovers – the introduction of a new production-bound supercharged Hemi V8 with between 600 and 700 horsepower would be enough to make some waves in Detroit.

The other possibility is that the Chrysler Group could introduce the 2015 SRT Viper Roadster/Convertible at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. Although Detroit is the home of Viper manufacturing – making the mighty Viper the only American supercar made in the Motor City – Detroit was one of the last cities to meet the new Mopar monster when it arrived at the 2013 NAIAS. Even if only in concept form, the debut of the SRT Viper Roadster would most certainly steal some attention from Ford and General Motors.

Now I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the possibility of a new, higher performance SRT Viper debut at the 2014 NAIAS. Since before the current Viper was introduced, it was widely rumored that what is now the current generation SRT Viper would include an American Club Racer (ACR) package. The ACR was the version of the previous Dodge Viper SRT10 that established the now-broken Nurburgring lap time record and it is still expected that SRT will eventually roll out a modern SRT Viper ACR that will make short work of the competition from General Motors. However, I would expect that Chrysler will wait and see what GM has in store for the next generation Corvette Z06 that will debut in a few weeks in Detroit. The Viper ACR (should it be called that) will be designed to best the Corvette Z06 so I would imagine that it won’t debut until the SRT team has had a chance to analyze the C7 Z06 but stranger things have happened. I don’t think that the next high performance package for the SRT Viper will debut in Detroit but I expect to see something along those lines in the coming year or so.

The 2014 North American International Auto Show opens in Detroit’s Cobo Hall on January 13th (for the media) and you can be sure to find all of your hottest NAIAS right here on TorqueNews.com.


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