Economy, what's that? New Viper to get 8.7-litre V10


Down sizing be damned! Chrysler's gigantically nosed Viper flagship is set to get an 8.7-litre V10 when the new model is launched in autumn 2012.

Based on the current 8.4-litre engine, the new 8.7-litre unit won't be the last word in economy (ok, so its economy isn't exactly stellar at the moment) but expect over 600bhp and 560lb ft of torque on tap for burning all that fuel.

With masses of twist sent to the rear and a rudimentary traction control system going off the last Viper, you'll have to be on your mettle behind the wheel as this is one supercar that will bite hard – and there's no anti-venom either.

One thing you shouldn't expect is for the new Viper to be a 599 rival though with its ride tuned for the American market and truculent truck-derived gearbox. Having said that, everyone does love a proper ripsnorter of an American muscle car, especially with the global trend of smaller more frugal engines punctuating the news at the moment.

According to Viper nuts at the American website Allpar, the new car is well into its testing schedule and is on time for its 2012 launch, with the first cars going on sale in early 2013.

Translated into American the Viper's new 8.7-litre power plant works out at 531 cubic inches – now that is definitely what we'd call big cube – and will be the biggest engine ever to be dropped into a Chrysler production car.

While we like the sound of torque levels that'll cave in your chest cavity, we're not so sure about all the hanging around petrol stations you'll have to do, especially with a litre of the finest octane hovering around the 135p per litre mark.

Will we get it in the UK? Possibly. It depends on Chrysler's decision to officially import it. Chances are though, if the car makes it to the shores of Blighty, it'll be officially branded the SRT-10, as the Viper name is already a trademark in the UK.