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What If... Dodge Brought Back the Viper as a Lamborghini Urus-rivaling SUV?

Do you know what I just realized? The 2021-2022 Boston Celtics might win the NBA Finals this year. Oh, right, cars, sorry. Here it is - I think Dodge should bring back the Viper as a high-end performance SUV and I’m not even joking.
Dodge Viper SUV rendering 7 photos
Photo: Joao Kleber Amaral for autoevolution
Dodge Viper SUV renderingDodge Viper SUV renderingDodge Viper SUV renderingDodge Viper SUV renderingDodge Viper SUV renderingDodge Viper SUV rendering
Usually, when we do our ‘What If...’ stories, we hypothesize wildly about things that are probably never going to happen, at least for the most part. I mean, you’d need Doctor Strange in order to find a universe where the Brabus Rocket 900 is a Toyota Camry or where luxury tuner Mansory would ever lay their hands on a Dodge Charger.

This is different. We live in an age where “extreme” sells, especially when you can get it in SUV form. Sure, we considered something very similar with regards to the Dodge Challenger (as an SUV) back in April, but as interesting as that would be, it doesn’t really have a leg to stand on.

But the Viper? It makes perfect sense as an SUV, and here’s reason no.1: It already failed as a supercar, from a financial standpoint. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling the Viper a failure, because it’s not.

However, bringing it back using the “original recipe” would likely yield similar results as before, especially since nowadays you’re either going full electric in order to partially justify whatever body style you’re promoting, or you’re going for practicality and performance, which is what you get with high-end SUVs and crossovers.

Dodge Viper SUV rendering
Photo: Joao Kleber Amaral for autoevolution
At the same time, I’m not suggesting that Dodge should abandon everything the Viper brand has ever stood for, because you can’t delete such a rich history. The Viper was at the top of its game for a good five generations, between 1991 and 2017. Even those early models that were notoriously unforgiving to drive have long since garnered icon status.

And let’s not forget that at its best, the Viper was a true record-setter. The ACR variant clocked the fastest time for a rear-wheel drive car at the Nurburgring back in 2017, with a 7:01.3 lap.

I also don’t see why Dodge couldn’t bring back the Viper brand in a more diversified form, where on one end you have the Viper supercar, maybe a plug-in hybrid or battery-electric, and then on the other end you have an SUV variant. Think about the Lamborghini Urus. In a way, isn’t it just an SUV version of the Huracan or the Aventador?

But whether the Viper SUV would be a standalone model or part of a future two-car range for the Viper brand, that’s beside the point. What matters is that car enthusiasts would get yet another performance SUV to play with, one that would likely cost a pretty penny too.

Dodge Viper SUV rendering
Photo: Joao Kleber Amaral for autoevolution
Now, from a visual standpoint, feel free to use our exclusive rendering of the Viper SUV, based of course on the fifth-generation model. It looks interesting, to say the least. I mean, what does the Aston Martin DBX have that this doesn’t have, aesthetically? And make no mistake, the Viper SUV would rival the DBX and the Urus, and not something oversized and lumbering like the Durango SRT Hellcat - and this is reason no.2 why it should exist.

Speaking of rivals and all that stuff, all we can do is speculate here with regards to performance. If I had my pick, I wouldn’t want the fifth-gen Viper’s 8.4-liter V10 engine inside the Viper SUV. It’s a great power unit, yes, but these types of SUVs usually come with twin turbochargers and what do you know, word has it that Dodge is already developing a twin-turbo straight-six engine capable of “Hellcat numbers”.

That’s what I’d put under the hood of my Viper SUV, but feel free to let us know what your ideal specification would be.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
Sergiu Tudose profile photo

Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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