Is This the Next Dodge Viper GTS-R?

With Peugeot and Dodge both under the Stellantis umbrella, a unique synergy could land Dodge with an incredible hypercar developed by Peugeot. Already competing in F1 and other forms of racing, it also plays in the World Endurance Championship arena with its Hybrid4 500KW four-wheel-drive LeMans runner. Now rumors are turning into reality as Stellantis eyes Dodge to brand the Peugeot electric race car in America. Does this mean we’re looking at the next Viper GTS-R?

Because Peugeot isn’t coming to the US everything it develops could be something else here

Concept Peugeot Dodge Viper GTS-R
Conceptual Peugeot Dodge Viper GTS-R | MB/Stellantis

Peugeot is not entering the US. So every vehicle and development has potential for hitting our shores as a branded Chrysler, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, and more. Stellantis Motosports VP Jean-Marc Finot let slip to Racer they’re looking at doing a Dodge version of the Peugeot 9X8s. 

“While we only heard this confirmed a week ago it certainly has led to some very open discussion. Not only about whether Peugeot might add races in the United States, but also about whether the ‘spine’ of this car might have opportunities with other brands in the Stellantis Group. There are no conclusions, but there are now open discussions,” Finot told Racer.

Dodge has not campaigned a top-tier endurance racer since the Viper GTS-R

Peugeot Dodge Viper GTS-R conceptual
Peugeot 9X8s endurance racer | Stellantis

This would be Dodge’s first foray into top-tier endurance racing since the Viper GTS-R. Developed for the LMH-class, the power comes from a 680 hp twin-turbo 2.6-liter V6 in concert with a 200 kWh electric motor. They’re tied by a sequential seven-speed four-wheel-drive transmission system. 

“The architecture of the Peugeot Hybrid4 500KW powertrain is the result of a highly detailed brief shaped by the new FIA WEC regulations,” Peugeot Sports director Francois Courdrain told Drive. “We initially considered a single turbo, but that would have prevented us from achieving our engine’s center of gravity target. A twin-turbo V6 block offers the best trade-off between technology, weight, packaging of the engine’s ancillaries, reliability, and performance.”

That combined 940 hp lays power to the pavement without wings. Instead, the underbody air is utilized for more downforce. The driver also can adjust the engine braking and hydraulic brakes for optimum brake splitting. 

What is LMH-class endurance racing?

Peugeot 9X8s endurance racer
Peugeot 9X8s endurance racer | Stellantis

For the LMH-class racing, electricity can’t be used below 75 mph. At full power, only 408 hp is allowed. When the combined motor-generator kicks in so does the four-wheel-drive. When the batteries run out of juice the car reverts to a rear-wheel-drive. Kinetic energy recovery is the only permissible means of charging. 

There are more rules and exceptions but those are the main guardrails surrounding the series. Cars will utilize sensors sprinkled around the car for the FIA to monitor and power levels. So Big Brother has its eye on whether your entry breaks out of the rules or not. 

Development of the 9X8s is ongoing

Peugeot 9X8s endurance racer interior
Peugeot 9X8s endurance racer interior | Stellantis

Peugeot’s track testing of the 9X8s will begin later this year. In the meantime, bench testing and simulator training are working toward track testing. Anything from a bare-bones chassis to a complete car could be given to Dodge. 

Obviously, if the latter, then slapping Dodge and/or Viper stickers on it would be the extent of the development. Using Dodge-developed engines or drivetrains would be a possibility should it want to have more ownership. Nobody is saying at the moment.

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