Chrysler does U-turn: Dodge Viper stays

Iconic monster sports car brand Viper is no longer for sale, automaker says.

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By Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer

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NEW YORK ( -- Chrysler Group LLC has reversed course and decided not to sell off its V-10 powered Dodge Viper sports car business. The car will remain in production after this year, the automaker announced Friday.

The Viper will be produced "though 2010 and beyond," a Chrysler spokesman said.

Chrysler had announced last summer that it would sell the Viper business and would not produce anymore Viper cars after this year. Ultimately, Chrysler later said, the carmaker did not receive any bids that met its requirements.

The Viper brand and the plant that makes the car were taken over by the "new" Chrysler, now called the Chrysler Group, that recently emerged from bankruptcy.

The Viper is a high-priced, limited production performance car. It is powered by a massive 8.4-liter, 600 horsepower V-10 engine and has a price tag that starts at about $90,000.

The car was originally introduced in the 1992 model year, and only about 25,000 have been sold since then.

But the car became an important marketing centerpiece for Chrysler's Dodge brand.

"We're extremely proud that the ultimate American-built sports car with its world-class performance will live on as the iconic image leader for the Dodge brand," said Mike Accavitti, president and chief executive of Chrysler's Dodge brand in a prepared statement.

The Chrysler Group is owned by a combination of the Italian automaker Fiat, the U.S. government, the United Auto Workers union's retiree trust and the Canadian and Ontario governments. To top of page

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