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Ferrari Chairman Left Speechless By New Viper

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On: Wed, May 9, 2012 at 11:06AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari Chairman Left Speechless By New Viper

As we learned from Chrysler's recent Viper heritage video, Chrysler received an emotional response when it introduced the Viper concept back in 1989. In the video, former Chrysler chief Lee Iacocca says that one of the first people to inquire about Viper purchase was the president of the German Ferrari club, a fact that really highlights the level of performance and aesthetics Chrysler had successfully attained.

The new 2013 Viper has an equally compelling (though likely more manufactured) story relating to Ferrari. Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo was left speechless when he first got a close-up look at the new SRT Viper.

While we don't doubt that Montezemolo was impressed with the new Viper (who wasn't?), part of his reaction and the tale thereof were certainly helped along by the fact that both Ferrari and Chrysler/Dodge/SRT are under the same Fiat ownership. In fact, it was Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne that told the tale during a radio interview. So, yeah, there's definitely some PR angling going on there.

But it's pretty effective angling. Having the chairman of Ferrari, the force behind some of the world's most beautiful and timeless car designs, at a loss for words definitely helps define the new Viper as an elite supercar.

Marchionne said on WJR-AM: "I had the chairman of Ferrari down here for the board meeting last week and he had a chance to look at the car, and he was speechless. I mean, for Ferrari to admit that the car is a unique vehicle is a hell of a compliment to the work that's gone on here. So I'm delighted. I mean, so far, knock on wood, we're doing well."

"Speechless" might be a bit of an indulgence, but it's hard to argue that the new Viper makes an immediate impression. It has more than enough DNA to earn its Viper badge unequivocally but enough new blood to remind you that you're dealing with a new, third-generation badge. Chrysler did an excellent job in redesigning its most exotic icon, a challenging task that could have gone wrong any number of ways.

So we'll let Chrysler/Dodge/SRT revel in its Ferrari praise even though we know it's got Fiat marketing spin all over it.


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