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Becoming A Mechanic? Learn Why Dodge Viper Will Cease Production in 2017

Published on December 24, 2015 by in Blog, CATI

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has made headlines more than once in 2015. The company faced one of the biggest fines in automotive history for mishandling recalls, had to rework the software for many of its Jeep models after a major hack, and has recently announced that it will be pulling the plug on production of its Dodge Viper for 2017.

Along with other changes, FCA’s decision to cease production of the Viper was released in the details of a new contract with the United Auto Workers Union (UAW). While the Viper has a global fan following, it simply has not sold well. It’s no surprise that this sleek American muscle car is capable of turning many heads when it rolls down any street, and it’s a car that will be missed by many auto-lovers.

If you are planning to pursue car mechanic training, read on to learn more about the history of the infamous Dodge Viper, and find out some of the items that were mentioned in the new FCA contract.

A Brief History of the Dodge Viper for Students in Car Mechanic Training

The Dodge Viper was first unveiled as a concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 1989. At the time, Dodge was mass producing vehicles that were anything but interesting (think: Dodge Aries) in an effort to pay back government loans.

The Viper, however, was unlike anything that anyone had ever seen. It was gorgeous, sleek, and ridiculously fast thanks to its huge 8-litre V-10 engine. The car received a lot of attention in Detroit, and was an immediate hit in the auto world—even before it went into production a few years later.

The first generation Viper RT/10 roadster didn’t disappoint. Its body contours resembled the concept, except for a few small changes, such as a longer windshield and bigger rear-view mirrors. Its 8.0-litre overhead-valve V10 was one of the most powerful and unusual production engines in the world at the time. The Viper was able to go from 0-96 km/h in 4.4 seconds and beat a lot of records set by another early ’90s icon: the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1.

Graduates of auto mechanic training school know that the Viper SRT-10—which originally began production in 2003—has a slightly larger 8.3-litre V10 capable of producing 500hp. Helping contain all this power are the widest stock rear wheels offered on a U.S. production car, at 19-by-13 inches. Modifications boosted the Viper’s maximum hp up to 510 by 2006. Today’s Viper sport coupes are equipped with a V10 similar to the original that’s capable of producing 650hp.

The 2011 hardtop Viper GTS earned its racing stripes with 450hp.

The 2011 hardtop Viper GTS earned its racing stripes with 450hp.

Other FCA Changes Will Affect Professionals With Car Mechanic Training

All Dodge Vipers are currently hand-built by about 80 employees at FCA’s Conner Avenue plant in Detroit. There are currently no plans announced for the plant once production on the Viper ceases, but auto fans and pros with car mechanic training are hoping that the company has another supercar up its sleeve.

FCA did announce, however, that it will be making changes to the current design of the eight-speed automatic transmission that’s used on almost all of its rear-wheel drive cars. The “Gen 1” to “Gen 2” switch will focus on efficiency. The company did not provide a timeline on the change, but if you’re planning to work at a facility that does maintenance and repair on a large number of FCA cars, you should be hearing more news shortly.

Are you interested in becoming a mechanic?

Visit CATI to learn more about our programs or to speak with an advisor.

 

 
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