Mopar Celebrates 80 Years With Debut of Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger

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The vehicle offers a pair of hand-painted, custom, show car trim options. Only 80 models will be available in Pitch Black/Contusion Blue, with another 80 in Pitch Black/Billet Silver, in a nod to 80 years of the Mopar brand.

The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger also includes Mopar performance parts, accessories, an exclusive owner’s kit and a serialized badge.

“Since its birth in 1937, Mopar has evolved from the name of an antifreeze product to a global customer-care brand,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger, our latest limited-edition vehicle, is a testament to this philosophy, showcasing how Mopar assists owners in personalizing all FCA US vehicles.”

The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger joins an exclusive club as the eighth limited-edition, Mopar-modified vehicle delivered straight from the factory. In 2010, the brand produced the first of an ongoing series of limited-edition vehicles, the Mopar ’10 Challenger. Other low-run, factory-produced Mopar rides would follow: the Mopar ’11 Charger, Mopar ’12 300, Mopar ’13 Dart, Mopar ’14 Challenger, Mopar ’15 Dodge Charger R/T and Mopar ’16 Ram Rebel.

Mopar ’17: Exterior
The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger begins turning heads through its exterior and a pair of two-tone custom paint options achieved with an assist from the Mopar Custom Shop. Contusion Blue and Billet Silver hues are pulled from the Dodge brand’s color palette, with the upper portion of the Mopar ’17 hand-painted Pitch Black at the Mopar Custom Shop to achieve the striking two-tone appearance.

The Contusion Blue color conveys a tone-on-tone look, providing a subtle, hiding-in-plain-sight feel at night and a brilliant appearance in daylight. Billet Silver offers a more high-impact, high-contrast exterior color. The inherent bodylines of the Dodge Challenger are used to transition from Pitch Black to Contusion Blue or Billet Silver, providing a seamless segue point.

A special Mopar 392 logo, also hand-painted on at the Mopar Custom Shop, gives an additional custom touch.

The upper exterior is unified with Pitch Black accents. The standard satin black of the Shaker Hood package by Mopar and Shaker Hood scoop surround is painted Pitch Black. The rear decklid spoiler also receives the Pitch Black treatment, and the Mopar Design badge on the spoiler is turned black-on-black.

20 x 9-inch aluminum wheels are embellished with semi-gloss accents and center caps feature the Dodge logo. Standard chrome exhaust tips are replaced with Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat black exhaust tips.

Mopar ’17: Performance
The six-speed manual transmission Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger also makes a powerful performance statement that enhances the base Dodge Challenger R/T 392. The 6.4-liter, 392 HEMI® engine pumps out 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque and is augmented by the Shaker Hood package by Mopar, which provides performance gains with a hint of vintage styling. The scoop is embellished with Shaker badging.

A Mopar cold air intake also delivers a performance boost and is aided by an air catcher duct system via the headlamp. The upgrade, inspired by the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, feeds additional cold air into the vehicle. Mopar Shaker strut tower braces and caps are silver powder-coated and increase rigidity and handling of the Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger. Four-piston Brembo brakes provide stopping power.

Mopar ’17: Interior/Exclusive Content
Heading inside, performance seats are the star, customized with Tungsten Mopar logos embroidered on the seatbacks. Tungsten stitching matching the Mopar logo borders the seats and continues throughout the vehicle, touching the door panels and additional interior areas.

Befitting its limited-edition origins, the Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger is delivered with exclusive content that highlights the vehicle’s prestige and collectability. A special serialized Mopar ’17 80th Anniversary badge is included under the hood, announcing 1-80 of the Contusion Blue version and 1-80 of the Billet Silver option.

Each customer will receive a special Mopar ’17 Owner’s Kit, packaged in a custom Mopar box that includes:

  • Mopar welcome letter
  • “Birth certificate” with vehicle specifications, date of manufacture and proprietary vehicle number
  • Hand-signed Mopar ’17 rendering from the FCA US LLC Product Design Office
  • Special Mopar ’17 booklet
  • Customized acrylic memorabilia showpiece
  • Mopar valve stem caps
  • Mopar-branded items, including a Mopar ’17 keychain and a Mopar 80th anniversary badge

The limited-edition vehicle will be available in both the U.S. and Canada, with a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $55,790, excluding taxes and destination fees. The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger will begin arriving in select dealerships in early second quarter of 2017.

The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger will be displayed at the Chicago Auto Show. For more information, visit http://blog.mopar.com/.

About Dodge and SRT Brands
The Dodge brand is America’s mainstream performance brand. With the purification of the brand and consolidation with SRT, Dodge is focusing on its performance roots with every single model it offers. The Dodge and SRT brands offer a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out within their own segments. Dodge is the mainstream performance brand and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

From muscle cars to minivans, crossovers and full-size SUVs, the Dodge brand’s full lineup of 2017 models deliver best-in-class horsepower, class-exclusive technology, unmatched capability and a slew of cool features, such as LED headlamps, Dodge signature racetrack tail lamps, active exhaust, cold-air induction, 8.4-inch touchscreen Uconnect infotainment centers and 7-inch customizable gauge clusters, to name a few. For the 2017 model year, the Dodge brand lineup features the 25th anniversary Viper, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger, including the new Charger Daytona and Challenger T/A, as well as the 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat, the most powerful and fastest muscle car ever and the Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.

Mopar-First Features
During the brand’s 80 years, Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:

  • Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
  • wiADVISOR: first to incorporate a tablet-based service lane tool
  • Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
  • Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
  • Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format

80 Years of Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was born on August 1, 1937, as the name of a line of antifreeze products. Mopar has since evolved over 80 years to serve as the total service, parts and customer-care brand of all FCA vehicles around the globe.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

For 80 years, Mopar has been the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.

SOURCE FCA US LLC

CHICAGO, Feb. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mopar-celebrates-80-years-with-debut-of-mopar-17-dodge-challenger-300405358.html

‘Star Wars’-Themed Dodge Muscle Cars Hit Streets of L.A.

A pair of Fiat’s Hellcat muscle cars, painted in the black-and-white uniform of the First Order of Stormtrooper and a Kylo Ren-themed Viper ACR, will tour the streets of Los Angeles.

The marketing force behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens is unquestionably with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

A pair of the carmaker’s Hellcat muscle cars, painted in the black-and-white uniform of the First Order of Stormtrooper and a Kylo Ren-themed Viper ACR, will tour the streets of Los Angeles from Dec 11-14 as part of the unrelenting marketing juggernaut behind the seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise.

The cars’ locations can be tracked in real time on Twitter using #TheForceAwakens hashtag

Fiat Chrysler is unsurprisingly encouraging Star Wars fans to post photos of themselves mugging in front of the Hellcats and Viper on their personal social media pages, which FCA will repost to Dodge’s Facebook and Instagram.

Such fan-focused social media crowdsourcing is becoming an increasingly popular — and cost effective — strategy to co-promote movies and products.

The partnership between LucasFilm, producer of the Star Wars franchise, and Fiat Chrysler has already yielded a Stormtrooper-painted Fiat 500e, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on Dec. 18.

Hellcat Charger, Challenger Becoming More Available Around the US

By Patrick Rall 2015-11-13 13:55

2016 hellcat charger

As the 2016 model year units of the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger reach dealerships around the United States, we are seeing more and more Hellcat versions sitting unsold on lots – meaning that if you have been waiting for your chance to own one of the 707hp beasts, some careful shopping will almost certainly net you a new supercharged muscle car.

Throughout most of the 2015 calendar year, it was nearly impossible to get a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat or a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat unless you placed an order well in advance or were willing to pay a massive markup over MSRP. The Hellcat cars were so in demand that the company had to cancel hundreds of orders which they just couldn’t get around to building and while some shopping could turn up an unreserved Hellcat Challenger or Charger, available cars were very few and very far between.
Later in the year, the shortage of the heavy duty 8-speed automatic transmission meant that many of the units being sent to dealers had the 6-speed manual transmission, but finding one with an automatic was literally impossible.

Fortunately, that is changing with the arrival of the 2016 model year Hellcat Challenger and Charger, with cars on dealership showroom floors around the country with both the manual and automatic transmissions. This means that those folks who didn’t preorder a Hellcat Challenger or Charger will have an easier time finding a dealership with an available car on their lot – although buyers can still expect to pay a premium price for the most powerful American production cars of all time.

2016 Hellcat Challenger and Charger Popping Up
I am a long time Mopar fan and I belong to a long list of Mopar fan pages on Facebook. Over the past year, I would occasionally see car salesmen posting about available Hellcat cars, but those cars were almost always equipped with the manual transmission and they were sparsely scattered across the USA.

However, over the past month or so, I have seen a massive influx of available Hellcat Challenger and Chargers being posted on the various Facebook pages. Most notably, I have seen car salesmen posting Hellcat Challengers with the 8-speed automatic transmission which are available for sale, which was nearly impossible to find earlier this year. Also, with the Hellcat Charger rolling out late in 2015 when the Hellcat Challenger had already eaten up the stock of both Hellcat Hemi engines and the heavy duty 8-speed automatic transmission, the Hellcat Charger was nearly impossible to find earlier this year.

This means that for the first time, someone who didn’t want to preorder a 2015 Dodge Challenger or Charger can now hunt around and buy a new Dodge with the supercharged Hellcat engine and the 8-speed automatic transmission. The Hellcat Challenger with the manual transmission continues to be available as well, but the Hellcat cars in the highest demand are now available around the country.

For example, there is currently a 2016 Charger SRT Hellcat in Plum Crazy purple on eBay with a buy it now price of $76,135. The listing includes a photoshopped image of the window sticker with that price displayed, along with a base price of $65,945 and $5,190 worth of options and fees. This should equal $71,135, but the dealership has obviously marked the car up by $5,000 – which is a very average markup for these uber popular muscle cars right now. The location of this vehicle isn’t listed, but in searching the phone number listed in the account, this Plum Crazy Hellcat Charger is in the possession of the AutoServ Dealer Group in Tilton, New Hampshire.

So, if you have been waiting to buy a 2016 Dodge Challenger or Charger with the Hellcat Hemi engine, now is a great time to begin shopping around your local dealerships, as the 707hp muscle cars are more available now than they have ever been in the past.

The Dodge Viper ACR Puts Other So-Called Track Cars to Shame

Meet America’s race car.

Oct 23, 2015 @ 3:56 PM

Editor’s note: We learned today that ​Fiat Chrysler will end production of the Dodge Viper in 2017. America’s racecar will surely be missed. 

“Race car for the street” is a misappropriated phrase, applied to everything from Porsche 911 GT3s to your cousin’s Honda Civic with the stickers and the big wing on the trunk. When you hear of some new machine described as a race car, that’s typically just shorthand for a predictable roster of modifications: more power, stickier tires, maybe a few pounds less weight. Fine, but not a race car. You want to see what one of those looks like, take a gander at the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR.

The name stands for American Club Racer, and the premise is that this is a car you could drive to a track and enter in a race without any major modifications. Although that might not be wise, as I imagine each highway expansion joint would feel like a Ronda Rousey jab to the kidneys. I say imagine because Dodge confined the Viper ACR’s official launch to the car’s more natural element, that contorted ribbon of driving nirvana known as Virginia International Raceway. No expansion joints here. High-speed esses, plunging off-cambers, fifth-gear kinks —it’s got all of that.

This, without any caveats or hyperbole, is America’s race car.

Letting a bunch of journalists loose on a track with ACRs might seem like asking for disaster, but what Dodge knew is that none of us would crash the car because we’d never test its limits. Say you’re in a sustained high-speed corner, pulling a full g. That’s around the limit for most high-performance track cars, like Ferraris and Corvettes. In the ACR, though, at 1.0 g you’re barely past the halfway point. This car will pull 1.5 g’s in sustained cornering. The faster you go, the harder it grips. The average brain cannot comprehend that kind of voodoo.

Aerodynamics is key. Equipped with its Extreme Aero Package, the Viper effectively becomes an upside-down airplane wing, and as the speedometer climbs, the bodywork levers itself ever harder toward the pavement. At the ACR’s top speed, 177 mph, the Viper generates 1,710 pounds of downforce. It’s like having the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line sitting on the roof, crushing the car onto the track. Watch the cars go past on the VIR front straight, hitting the kink at about 140 mph, and they look about 2 inches lower than they did standing still back in the pits. That’s because they are.

Before we take test laps, the Viper team pairs each driver with an instructor, someone to tell us to cool it if we’re retreating too deeply into our Lewis Hamilton delusions. I climb in with a genial fellow named Bernie. The ACR’s air conditioning automatically cuts out at full throttle to save horsepower, so Bernie asks if we want to be sweaty with the windows down or sweaty with the windows up. I opt for down, the better to hear the Viper side-pipe-exhaust drama.

Then we hit VIR’s 4.1-mile Grand West Course. On slow corners that require pure grip, the Kumho Ecsta V720 tires—developed specifically for this car—let out a low howl as they approach the limit. On fast corners the downforce is so great that the front splitter and rear diffuser grind on the pavement, despite Bilstein coil-over springs that are three times as stiff as those on the standard Viper.

I never quite figure out the braking zones—the carbon–ceramic brakes are so monstrously powerful that even late braking often turns out to be too early. If there’s any ill behavior to be found in the ACR, it’s that trail braking, or braking as you turn into a corner, elicits some unsettled tail wagging. Perhaps it’s because you scrub speed too fast—all those linemen instantly jumping off the roof. I’m sure you could learn how to manage that tendency, even use it to your advantage. That’s what a race driver would do. And this, without any caveats or hyperbole, is America’s race car.

Mountain Wheels: Non-hellcat Dodge Charger still offers a solid experience

The test machine Andy drove started at just under $33,000 but had a pretty substantial array of upgrades totaling more than $5,000, including blacked-out grille inserts, deep-dish chrome wheels, LED running lights and high-output headlamps, a body-colored spoiler and chrome exhaust tips; on the inside, the extras included two-tone perforated leather seating with highlight stitching, some intriguing rubbery carbon-fiber-styled plates around the shiftgate and console video screen, the Beats stereo system with 10 speakers and 552 watts and even heated rear seating.

Not unlike the kid who eats all of his Halloween candy promptly on the morning of Nov. 1, I recently decided that a nice 501-mile drive — the upper limit on our press evaluation automobiles — might be a good, one-time trial for the 2015 Dodge Charger SXT Plus, in AWD form.

And from the Front Range, my mapping suggested that I could get all the way to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, located within spitting distance of the Kansas border, and Bent’s Old Fort, another national historic attraction, and get back, all within 500 miles.

Provided you’re willing to second-guess Google Earth or Dodge’s own navigation system and improvise with a scenic, grasshopper-laden jaunt across gravel roads south of Kit Carson to shorten the route, it is indeed possible — and the austere but impactful Sand Creek site is certainly worth the long, long drive.

Austere but impactful might also describe a vehicle that, while more powerful than the most basic Charger build, does indeed pale in comparison to the superhero-strength 707-horsepower Hellcat variation.

The SXT Plus takes the 3.6-liter V6, the simplest of Charger’s many, many choices, and bumps it up to a rounded 300 horsepower, from 292. Combine that with full-time automatic AWD — which mostly defers to RWD format in summertime use — and you actually have a better setup than many of the other V6 Charger cop cars on the road, unless they’ve ordered the 370-HP Hemi V8 version.

Unlike those Hemis, the 3.6 here got me a verified 32 mpg — even with long stretches at 75 mph — though the window sticker says 27 highway. That is indeed pretty decent.

My test machine started at just under $33,000 but had a pretty substantial array of upgrades totaling more than $5,000, including blacked-out grille inserts, deep-dish chrome wheels, LED running lights and high-output headlamps, a body-colored spoiler and chrome exhaust tips; on the inside, the extras included two-tone perforated leather seating with highlight stitching, some intriguing rubbery carbon-fiber-styled plates around the shiftgate and console video screen, the Beats stereo system with 10 speakers and 552 watts and even heated rear seating.

A single 11-hour hump in the cockpit did indeed reveal the pleasant but occasionally industrial Charger to be a competent cruiser, a four-door machine that’s infinitely easier than the platform-sharing Challenger for daily use.

The open road, a great lot of it, also demonstrated the value and utility of the eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, which felt as solid and intelligent as any unit in an import — a vast difference from the hunting and poking many folks are experiencing in the nine-speed auto Chrysler has offered in many of its other smaller vehicles. Should you feel the need to be invasive, you can snick off gear changes with the thumb shifters on the very large wheel or tap the shift lever, without any hesitation on the transmission’s part.

Economies of scale accounted for, 300 horsepower is also not so bad, with safe and steady speeds above highway limits available, in short notice. How the charming but not overly sophisticated chassis would respond to 707 horsepower, I am still waiting to find out. AWD also kept things nicely grounded during my gravel bits, no tail wagging of any kind.

What I did appreciate was Charger’s more elevated glass greenhouse, which — unlike Challenger, Mustang or Camaro — provides easy, safe and ample 360-degree visibility, even in the slightly tapered rear windows.

But some stuff drove me crazy. Pillowy as they are, the seats all feature what felt like a foam-filled pizza box for a mid-back cushion, a lumpy and static block that never really got comfortable, despite good side bolstering. Rear seating feels the same on the lower back, but is tall, deep and squishy on the bottom.

And the ergonomics still never worked for me — even with the seats in normal driving distance from the wheel, I could not comfortably reach and close the doors, resorting to a pathetic grab at the flappy plastic around the bottle holders to slam them shut.

Instrumentation is clear and brilliant but the mid-cluster video display, common to many new Chrysler family products, has seven sub-screens to scroll through to get mileage and digital speedometer displays, and starts to look like the rolling cherries on a video slot machine once you’ve done it for 11 hours in a row.

There’s also a rubbery plainness to the dash, with those large, deep, sink-like spaces and their chrome edges rendering the design firmly underwhelming. But some may really love that kind of thing — and be truly delighted by bits like the pushbutton starter or the Dodge Brothers details in the not-quite-iPhone-sized tray on the center console.

2016 Dodge Viper SRT GT Track Review

By Mathieu St-Pierre

2016 Dodge Viper SRT GT Track Review

A Viper is an elusive thing, and I am taking about the car. The snake is found pretty much the world over. For a car that retails for only $93,000, there should be more on the road. I know what I just wrote reads kind of dumb, but in today’s world a $100,000 BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche or Corvette are nearly commonplace.

In my semi-long-ish career, I’ve only encountered a Viper on two occasions: The first was 10 years ago; the second, just recently. The SRT-10 and I spent a few hours together getting acquainted, and I was left in awe of the car’s absolutely raw nature. This time round, a GT and I went through two rounds of speed dating.

Every summer, FCA puts together a full-line party at their Chelsea MI proving grounds. It was at this gathering that I blasted through a series of cones with one 645-horsepower untamed Snake.

Cones, not really a track
One of the activities was a slalom where various performance FCA cars could be put through their paces. I started off in a Fiat 500 Abarth, moved on to a Charger Hellcat then a Challenger of the same origin, until I finally graduated to the Viper. I thought I was going to be ready, but I wasn’t quite warmed up enough.

Like trying to chew on a giant gobstopper, you know it’s impossible but you also know that it’ll be worth it. I dropped in the Viper, whacked my head on the roof on my way down, and attempted to settle in as best I could. I’d wrongly imagined that the transition from the Challenger to the Viper was going to be seamless or at least close.

I like tight places
The Viper’s cockpit is miniscule, cramped even, but this is after all as near a street-legal racecar as can be. There are many amenities to speak of such as a 12-speaker audio system, Uconnect with 8.4” screen with navigation, and the race-inspired bucket seats are covered in Nappa leather with alcantara inserts. One could say that the interior is semi-luxurious. But all of this is fluff.

Once in the car, I was rushed to adjust my bearings. There is no telescoping wheel, the pedals are power adjustable as are the seat settings, but no matter what I tried to do, I couldn’t get comfy. Perhaps that’s not the point but I’m certain that in better circumstances, I could have at least settled in.

Being the male-monkey that I am, I immediately began searching for the ESC button. It is located on the steering wheel for easy access, so I couldn’t find it in time… The Viper GT has a 5-mode Electronic Stability Control system so I was hoping to take advantage of some flexibility in the available grip.

Not good
My first run was something of a disaster. I stupidly upshifted into 2nd and left it there, which turned out to be pointless and time sapping. The mighty V10 snored and snorted its disapproval. As an FYI, you can near reach 60 mph (!) in 1st gear and 90 in 2nd…

Even so, I found myself navigating the cones with insane speed. I expected (but didn’t expect) the good old hydraulic power steering to be so sharp and respond so quickly. The massive Brembo brakes crushed whatever speed the V10 mustered, even at the end of the entry straight where I managed about 80mph in mere moments.

BTW, the Viper GT will mangle your brain on its way to 60mph as it covers it in 3.3 seconds. In metric numbers, that’s 130 (80mph) and 96km/h. Top speed is over 200mph or 320km/h.

Better
The second run was better as I upshifted into 2nd at first to tap max velocity through the entry straight. I immediately heel-toed into 1st once off the brakes to tackle the autocross. With engine revs near the 5,000-rpm mark, all 600 torques were always in play, making for violent shots forward as the steering wheel unwound. Also, this time, I managed to set the ESP to Track mode. In said mode, the Viper will allow loads of sliding, almost too much for the speed at which I was travelling, as the rear would step out hard if the front wheels were not fully straightened.

I wish I’d had more time with the Viper. The visceral, untamed beast demands respect and attention, and I wanted nothing more than to give it what it deserved. Sadly, Dodge Vipers are a very rare sight on Canadian press car fleets; much like seeing a viper north of the Arctic Circle.

Other fish in the sea
I did come across an unexpected competitor to the Viper: the Mercedes-AMG GT S. Both are as unpolished as any high-end luxurious high-performance car can be without cutting on luxury features. Both are brash and loud. Oddly, I was allowed to keep the $149,900 ($165,000 as tested) GT for an entire week, while the Viper GT ($102,995) is not available.

I suspected that few would cross-shop the AMG and the Viper; they’d more likely swing by a Chevrolet dealer and take a look at the Corvette. At just under $91, the Z06 is right up the Snake’s alley.

I’m game for a second date
My first date with the 2016 Dodge Viper GT was brief, and although my first impressions weren’t as favourable as they could have been, the car’s curves are incentive enough to give the cold-blooded reptile a second chance.