At the same time, Dodge is marketed as a performance brand. Most of Dodge's design DNA comes from the Ram pickup (including the Ram's head emblem that now adorns almost every Dodge). But it's the Viper that is Dodge's "halo" vehicle (it's also the only Dodge without a Ram emblem).
With an obscenely powerful 10-cylinder engine, no amenities beyond a radio you can barely hear over the noise, and no safety equipment not required by law, the Viper has all the subtlety of a teen splatter flick. This car is all about speed and absolutely nothing else.
It's not unusual for a mass-market brand to have a performance car at its core. Chevrolet is already using the Camaro that way (the Corvette is sold in Chevrolet dealerships, but is its own brand.) Ford had the GT and now has the Shelby GT500.
But Dodge has fully embraced Viperness. Every Dodge has a body designed to imply power and speed. They have names like Caliber and Nitro. The cute, happy Neon is roadkill.
Times have changed, though. There is a growing class of customer that wants a fuel-efficient car that looks like a fuel-efficient car. Dodge's initial response was to mock them with a Charger ad that said it was a hybrid car: "It burns gasoline and rubber."
Now Dodge is stuck with the difficult task of having to embrace those customers it once deliberately tried to alienate.