By Drew Johnson
Monday, Aug 10th, 2009 @ 3:58 pm
 
Following Chrysler's emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June, rumors ran rampant that Fiat would wind down the iconic sports car brand. However, the Viper line now looks to be safe, and could even be in line for a Ferrari-derived powerplant.

According to Car and Driver, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is currently mulling a plan that would see the Viper powered by a V10 derivative of Ferrari's next-generation V8. The move would not only help Fiat to cut costs, but could help re-launch the Viper as Chrysler halo vehicle.

Per the initial plans, the new engine family would be based around a 90 degree, modular V8. The Ferrari version would use a flat-plane crank layout, with Maserati adopting a more conventional cross-plane crank. Staying true to its American roots, the Viper version would gain two-cylinders and employ a pushrod setup.

No word on when the Fiat-powered Viper powerplant might bow, but the new range of powerplants is likely still several years off.