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Car and Driver: It’s Official: Dodge Viper Is Bowing Out, Special Editions Ease the Pain

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Dodge is celebrating the 25th anniversary and final year of Vipe

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Fiat-Chrysler isn’t mincing words: The 2017 Dodge Viper, as rumored for the past eight months and kept hush by management, is indeed the “final year of Viper production.” To mark such a sad occasion, the Viper plant will roll out five special edition cars—some of which may look familiar.

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While any Viper can be painted and configured in a claimed 50 million ways within the 1 of 1 customization program, most these cars share their cold blood with previous special-edition Vipers. All the models come with plaques, special badges, and color-matched car covers printed with the owner’s name above the driver’s door. Production is limited to between 25 and 217, depending on the model—but may be less depending on demand. Viper sales through May totaled 241 in the U.S. Last year, 676 were sold.

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The green and black-striped car is the Snakeskin Edition GTC, derived from the 2010 Snakeskin ACR, and is equipped with the Advanced Aerodynamics package (carbon fiber rear spoiler and front splitter) and a black interior. No more than 25 will be made.

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All the rest are ACR models suited up for extreme track duty with the Extreme Aero package (enormous rear wing, rear diffuser, dive planes, and a removable front splitter, all in carbon fiber, along with removable hood and fender vents) plus carbon-ceramic brakes. The Dealer Edition ACR isn’t pictured, and you’ll only know about it if you live near one of the two Dodge dealers—in Tomball, Texas or Roanoke, Illinois—that happen to be the two hottest-selling locales for new Vipers. That car is white with a Competition Blue center stripe, an Adrenaline Red driver’s-side stripe, and red accent stitching. Up to 33 will be made.

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Dodge is celebrating the 25th anniversary and final year of Vipe

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The white Viper pictured above is undoubtedly a favorite, and much like the car we configured when the 1 of 1 program went live. It echoes the 100 blue-striped white GTS-R models Dodge built after the Viper’s 1997 FIA GT2 championship win, and as before, production will be capped at 100. The GTS-R Commemorative Edition ACR (just call it GTS-R) throws some shade on the Pearl White body with the Exterior Carbon package and matte black ACR wheels. As on the original, American flag decals dress up the B-pillars. Red seat belts are the only major change inside.

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Now, for the two black ACRs, there’s a choice between the VoooDoo II Edition (sic on the extra “o” versus the 2010 VooDoo) with a thin gray stripe on the driver’s side outlined in red, and the 1:28 Edition, which despite the faraway shot is not a 1:28 scale model. The number references 1:28.65, the production-car lap record at Laguna Seca set by Randy Pobst in October. As you can guess, it’s faster than the 1:33 edition from 2010. Up to 31 VoooDoo II and 28 1:28 Vipers will be produced.

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Could this really be the last of the Vipers, after 30,000 built over the past 25 years? The hand-built supercar took a two-year sabbatical between 2010 and 2012, and FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has hinted the Viper could return on a modified Alfa Romeo platform. We won’t give up hope, and we suppose, neither will the Detroit plant workers at Conner Avenue.

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We can only hope they'll follow through on what Mercedes wanted to do and spin it off as a private company to some investor.

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I liked the Viper but not really one way or another of it ending production again for a while.

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