DETROIT -- The redesigned 2013 SRT Viper will be sold at about one in five Chrysler Group dealerships, says Ralph Gilles, head of the high-performance SRT brand.
To qualify for the sports car, dealerships will have to train staff, buy special tools and improve their facilities.
"We're going to open it up to any dealer who can put the money forward and the training, but it's going to be pretty difficult to hit all of those things," Gilles said during a broadcast interview with journalists in Detroit this month. "You've got to have the training, the facilities, and some history of selling Vipers and SRTs in general."
Gilles said the additional requirements that Chrysler will impose "will boil it down to where 15 or 20 percent of our dealers will carry the car."
The redesigned Viper was revealed in April at the New York auto show with a 640-hp, 8.4-liter V-10 that generates 600 pounds-feet of torque.
The revised engine has 40 more hp than the one in the previous Viper, which was branded as a Dodge and discontinued in 2010.
Pricing for the 2013 Viper hasn't been announced. The previous hardtop was priced just under $100,000. It is expected to go on sale this fall.
"We can't legally stop someone who's sold a Viper in the past from selling it, but we can make it a little difficult because we know that there's going to be a new breed of customer coming," Gilles said. "So we want to make sure they have a great experience."
David Kelleher, chairman of the Chrysler National Dealer Council and a dealer in suburban Philadelphia, said the car's limited production run would not allow for each of the automaker's 2,400 dealerships to have one.
Chrysler has not said how many Vipers it intends to build each year. The Viper's best year was 2003, when Dodge sold 2,103 Vipers in the United States.
Kelleher added: "For the dealers that it makes sense with," Chrysler is "going to be very transparent and lay out how much it's going to cost for the whole program and what their allocation is going to be."