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TorqueNews exclusive: CEO Gilles confirms 2013 Dodge Viper

While attending the press preview of the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, I had a chance to sit down with Dodge brand CEO Ralph Gilles and during our discussion, he confirmed a few key points on the next generation of the Dodge Viper. While Gilles didn’t dish the dirt on items like power or performance numbers, he confirmed that the design phase of the new Dodge Viper is complete and this new supercar is expected to be introduced in the summer of 2012 as a 2013 model.

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The 2013 Dodge viper will redefine the American supercar

Along with the model year and release date, CEO Ralph Gilles also mentioned that they hope to make the 2013 Dodge Viper a little friendlier to the driver. Items like traction and stability control systems will make the car more manageable for the average driver, allowing Gilles to “toss the keys to (his) wife or nephew and not have to worry” but with the Corvette ZR1 nipping at the Viper’s heels we can certainly expect the return of race-ready power and handling from the 2013 Dodge Viper.

One of the key complaints of the previous generation of the Dodge Viper was that it was basically a race car with provisions to make it street legal but the average driver found that running around town in a 600hp Viper could be a difficult task. The addition of driver-assist systems like advanced stability/traction control, similar to that found on many other modern supercars could help the 2013 Dodge Viper to be more user-friendly while also enhancing the car’s performance capacities.

There has long been speculation as to whether or not the next generation Dodge Viper would retain the naturally aspirated, big cubic inch V10 that helped it achieve supercar and superstar status or if Dodge would lean on new sibling brand Ferrari for powertrain development for the 2013 Viper – possibly something along the lines of a forced induction V8 with less engine volume than the current 8.4L found in the last generation of the Viper.

I had the chance to speak with a few individuals (who asked to remain nameless) who have already seen the 2013 Dodge Viper and the common term that they all used to describe it was “amazing”.

The next question - when will the world meet the 2013 Dodge Viper? When a model likely to grab as much attention as the 2013 Viper is debuted, it is usually done so at a major auto show, well in advance of its public launch date. I would be shocked if the new Viper didn’t make its grand debut at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show, so will Dodge wait until the 2012 Detroit Auto Show to debut the car, just a few months before it is expected to reach the market?

Or, will Ralph Gilles take the stage at the upcoming 2011 Detroit Auto Show and introduce us to the 2013 Dodge Viper – even if only in concept form? You can be sure that will bring you all of the latest 2013 Dodge Viper news whether it comes in January of 2011 or if we all have to wait a bit longer to see what Ralph Gilles and his team of supercar builders have in store for the 2013 Dodge Viper. In any case, we can expect the next generation Viper to raise the bar for supercars around the world.

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