Mike Stevens | Feb 15, 2012

Sneaky Pete had his day, and now Fangs has been benched too: the Chrysler Group's new SRT Viper (formerly of the Dodge family) will debut this year with an even more sinister snake on its bonnet.

Dubbed "Stryker," the new Viper's mascot merges elements of the car's former badges to create a tough new image for the company's flagship muscle car.

Penned by young Chrysler designer Vince Galante, a mere 20-something, the new identity is the product of the car's status as a modern legend, combined with its creator's childhood animated heroes.

If you're a child of the 80s - and we suspect more than a few buyers of the new Viper will be - think Transformers, GI Joe and the Thundercats.

“I never looked at images of the Thundercats while I was doing the new logo, but after the fact, I realize that the new design has some elements of those graphics, but more intentionally has some lines that reflect the new Viper,” Galante said.

SRT design boss Mark Trostle said the team knew it had spotted a winning image the moment Galante dropped his sketchbook on the meeting table.

"We said, ‘That’s it.’ We knew Vince had created a new icon. The new Stryker badge is the most refined, sinister looking and beautiful badge yet, just like the shape of the car."

The new logo is clearly an evolution of the Viper's past motifs, and the car itself is expected to follow a similar path.

Exactly how it will be styled is not known, but a recent teaser image suggests we'll see a familiar look when the new snake debuts at April's New York Auto Show.

Will we see the new Viper in Australia? Local fans have long gone without a factory-backed snake, with only private importers bringing in handfuls of right-hook and specially-registered left-hand-drive versions.

Now, as Chrysler moves to embrace the global market with ground-up development of its new models including left- and right-hand-drive, we've never been a better chance for an Australian-delivered Viper.

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