2003 Dodge Tomahawk Concept
The folks at Mopar have brought us some pretty interesting vehicles over the years. We have seen the Atlantic by Chrysler, and the most expensive Plymouth on the planet. If those did not impress you, prepare to be amazed. The 2003 Dodge Tomahawk Concept is nothing short of awesome. This one falls under the heading “What were they thinking?”.
What Is It?
First of all, this is not a car….and not a motorcycle. There really isn’t a category for this….vehicle. It is a 4 wheeled vehicle, but it is ridden like a motorcycle. I don’t know what category it would fit, but it is interesting! The vehicle was shown first at the North American International Auto Show in 2003. At that time, there was much debate as to what to call it. It has two wheels in the front, and two in the back, but they are very close together, which almost looks like a two wheeled traditional motorcycle.
The wheel placement allows cornering and countersteer like a motorcycle, so a rider could go around corners with it leaning in, like you often see on motorcycle racing. However, it won’t lean totally in, like a race bike, for one good reason.
Why Four Wheels?
The question most often asked was “why does it need 4 wheels? “. The answer was very simple. The vehicle weighs 1,500 pounds, and needs the wheels for stability. Why would it weigh that much? There is a lot of iron on this bike, and it is truly unique in that regard. The weight is there for a good reason.
You see, everyone knows that a motorcycle style vehicle like this needs a decent power plant. The crew over at Dodge was tired of these weak, 1000cc sport bikes that sound lame. They wanted to do something new. They looked around the parts bin to see what was available, and came up with an idea. They were out in the shop at the time, so there may have been other influences involved at the time, or maybe not……just saying.
I think I know how this came about.. “Uhh, like,, uhhh, I know what we need to do, or something!! We shoud, like, you know, do something that rules!” proclaimed one of the engineers. This vehicle needed a power source, so they found one – in the parts bin, they found a 510 cubic inch, 500 horsepower, Dodge Viper SRT V10 engine coupled with a two speed automatic transmission that would fit perfectly in this frame. Of course it needs 4 wheels to hold that up. Wait, what? Did you just tell me someone tried to build a crotch rocket with a VIPER engine in it? Yes, you read that correctly. This is essentially a space shuttle, not a vehicle. It doesn’t launch from the line, it has liftoff. Think about that for a minute…..500 horsepower, 510 cubic inch V10 Viper engine……wedged into a motorcycle frame. Top speed was estimated to be over 300 miles per hour, but reportedly, for some reason, none of the engineering team was brave enough to test that theory. I can’t imagine why, can you?
Even though the engineering team had a working model of this, which was fully functional, for some odd reason the lawyers didn’t think this was a good idea. Why would they think anyone could possibly get hurt with a 1,500 pound motorcycle that has 500 horsepower and a V10 strapped to it? I have no idea, but for some reason the legal team said no, and the vehicle never made it to production. Another contributing factor to its demise was the lawyers were, for some reason, concerned about making it street legal.
Actually, it does look really cool, so if they put in a regular motorcycle engine, they would probably sell them, as it looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie.
What do you think? Would you be brave enough to take this for a spin, and test the theoretical top speed? Can you see yourself and your sweetheart taking it for a ride on some sunny Sunday afternoon? Comment down below and let me know.