Viper Variations

While there is a concerted effort among automakers to reduce variety and thereby complexity, it seems as though the folks in the FCA Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, where the Dodge Viper is hand built, didn’t get the memo.

That is, Dodge recently announced that not only is it bringing back the Dodge Viper ACR (American Club Racer) for 2016—which is powered by a hand-built, 8.4 liter V10 that produces 645 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, and this is a naturally aspirated engine—but it is introducing matte-finish interior paint.

According to the reckoning of the folks at Dodge, the Viper is now available in more than 50-million unique build configuration.

This includes more than 16,000 unique paint color options and more than 48,000 unique stripe combinations.

Dodge calls this its “1 of 1” customization for the 2016 Vipers.

The customization possible is as extreme as this hand-built supercar.

As regards the paint, there is a matte finish version of 11 production colors including Adrenaline Red, Billet Silver Metallic, Black Venom, Bright White, Ceramic Blue, Competition Blue, GTS-R Blue, Gunmetal Pearl, Stryker Orange, Stryker Purple and Yorange.

And then there are the stripes.

There are GTS stripes that run the length of the coupe from the front to the rear fascia. There are SRT stripes that start on the clamshell hood, go over the roof, and finish on the rear hatch. There is the ACR center band and driver’s side stripe.

Stripes—available in Black Venom, Billet Silver, Bright White, Gunmetal Pearl and Adrenaline Red or from the custom “1 of 1” color palette—are applied to the car in the paint booth before the main body color is applied.

When the paint is cured, there is a final clear coat applied.

Overall, it takes 145 to 160 man-hours to prep and hand paint the Viper body panels. The addition of a stripe alone adds 18 hours to the process.

Once the clear coat is cured, then there is hand-sanding of the surfaces with 1,000-grit paper. The consequent surface is mirror-like.

Last year, Dodge delivered 760 Vipers.

With the high levels of customiza-tion—realize that there is a multitude of other packages that can be ordered for the car—the likelihood that one would see one’s car coming and going is statistically unlikely. To put it mildly.