The history of Dodge Viper goes way back to 1988 when a casual discussion between Robert A. Lutz, Chrysler President, and Tom Gale, the chief of design, too place. Lutz had the idea of trying to bring out a newer version of the Cobra.
Lutz wanted to bring out a sports car that was equipped with a modern engine, a new type of transmission, a great suspension designed that was supported by a computer and high quality tires. Although this new sports car would have all the benefits of modern technology, it was not going to be a car with high end gadgets or other high tech fittings. The car was meant to have a rear wheel drive with a lot of power.
The pair then thought of using the design that Chrysler’s Pacifica design studio was mulling on. The studio was trying to figure out how to get a V8 engine into a convertible sports car. Then in 1985, Chrysler hit on a design that they thought was good and named it Izod.
However, it was Francois Castaing, who proved pivotal in the making of the Viper. Castaing was head of the Jeep and Truck Engineering Division in Chrysler. He was working on how put a V10 engine into a vehicle and then sell it to the consumers. It is then Lutz, Gale and Castaing hit on the idea of making a 1990s version of the Cobra.
So, Lutz along with Carroll Shelby sat down and conceptualized a car and that is how the Viper as we know it today was born.