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Dodge fangs up Viper for 2008


With 90 more horses and an all-new, 8.4-litre version of the V10 engine, the 2008 Chrysler Viper SRT-10 is being hand-built at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit.

Workers, called “craftspersons” by Chrysler, hand-build the 450kW (600 horsepower) SRT-10 Viper.

Using 26 work stations on a 214-metre long assembly line, 48 hand-picked workers assemble each vehicle.

Each car remains stationary for up to 49 minutes in each work area as the craftspersons make any necessary adjustments.

Chrysler says that process eliminates traditional repair stations with all procedures verified by craftsperson team members.

An alignment machine sets caster and camber at normal ride height, at jounce and at rebound (upward and downward travel of the suspension).

Typical factory alignments set caster and camber in the normal ride height position only.
“Our assembly process is just as exceptional as the car,” says Conner Avenue Assembly Plant manager, Melissa Holobach.  “The process of building these vehicles by hand has allowed us the freedom to produce race-inspired performance without the constraints of mass production.

“Our workforce is committed to producing the best vehicles possible and it shows in their commitment to detail.”

The 8.4-litre V10 engine is built next to the vehicle on a 24-station circular line by nine craftspersons. The nine workers assemble and certify each engine before they are installed in the chassis.

Each Dodge Viper is tested in place on the assembly line using special rollers. At this stage the vehicle is a rolling chassis without its body panels.

During this roll test, it’s driven through all six speeds of the transmission, up to 140kmh to verify vehicle function.

“Compared to our other manufacturing facilities, this is a very labour-intensive plant,” says manufacturing boss, Frank Ewasyshyn. “But to build the Dodge Viper any other way wouldn’t be right. This small craft shop allows us to produce a true American legend.”

Dodge is selling the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10 as a Roadster and a Coupe.

Dodge says the new car has “more horsepower, benchmark braking, world-class ride and handling, a race-inspired interior and bold exterior styling”.

The 8.4-litre aluminium V10 engine develops 760Nm of torque, and will catapult the SRT-10 to 100kmh in around four seconds.

For 2008 the Viper gets five new exterior colours, four new interior colour combinations and a new wheel design.

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