From now on, every Dodge Viper you see, except for the basic SRT model, will be one of a kind. Each new snake will be designed, colored and upholstered by each individual customer.
You want Knicks blue and orange with Sidewinder wheels and the TA spoiler? Sorry, Bill from Brooklyn already has that. How about you take the 10-spokes?
Consider this a response to the major marketing missteps Dodge made when it first introduced the latest Viper: It didn’t really tout that fact that each car is handmade in Detroit, with all carbon fiber hand-laid — that the 645-hp V10 is built by humans, one screw at a time. Now that’s changing.
Viper unveiled a documentary/sales-y video on Thursday showing the painstaking process of building one of America’s great supercars. Check it out at driveSRT.com.
“We want people to see the value under the skin,” said Tim Kuniskis, president and CEO of Dodge and SRT. “We want customers to know why it costs what it costs.”
The problem Dodge had (and, we’d say, still has) is that the Viper is hard to place in this market. It’s a little too brutish to be a full-on supercar, yet it’s a little too expensive to be a muscle car (though people cross-shopped it like it was one) — and down on horsepower compared to some forced-induction offerings.
Coughing up $94,995 will get buyers into the new GTC model — as in GT Custom. Each customer will get their very own Viper concierge who will bring them through every step of the building and customizing process. They’ll end up with their own serial plaque to install on the dash or hide in a drawer.
GTC buyers get a choice of 8,000 colors, 24,000 hand-painted stripes, 10 wheel options, 16 interior trims, six aero packages and another handful of standalone options. Each one produced will literally be 1 of 1. Like we said, if you like those Knicks colors, you’ll have to choose a different interior from Bill in Brooklyn.
Your personal concierge will help you pick your options and keep you in constant contact with your car. Dodge showed us examples of emails with pictures with subject likes like, “Your Viper engine is complete” or “Chassis work has begun!” (Of course, Dodge would like you to share your build socially — it’s free advertising.)
You can pick up your 1 of 1 at the dealership like any other schmuck, or you can get delivered to your doorstep it on a “hot truck,” right after it leaves the plant. Alternately, you can pick your car up at that plant. Hot truck delivery costs extra; otherwise, destination and delivery its $2,000.
Soon Dodge will have its new configurator up and running at driveSRT.com. That one you can just play with — you don’t have to buy the Viper you configure online.
Dealers will start taking orders for the 1 of 1s in February. Production at the Conner Assembly Plant will start in the second quarter of 2015.