Dodge Tomahawk

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Dodge Tomahawk
Dodge Tomahawk.jpg
Manufacturer Dodge
Parent company Chrysler
Production 9 units total, 2003–2006[1][2]
Class Concept vehicle
Engine 8.3 L (506.5 cu in) 20-valve 90° V-10[3]
Power 500 hp (370 kW) @ 5600 rpm [3] (45 kW:L power:displacement ratio)
Torque 525 lb·ft (712 N·m)[3]
Transmission 2-speed manual[3]
Suspension Front: Horizontal double fork[3]
Brakes Front: 16 piston discs, Rear: 8 piston disc[3]
Tires Front (2): 20"x4", Rear (2): 20"x5"
Wheelbase 76 in (1,900 mm)[3]
Dimensions L: 102 in (2,600 mm)[3]
W: 27.7 in (700 mm)
H: 36.9 in (940 mm)
Seat height 29 in (740 mm)
Weight 1,500 lb (680 kg)[3] (wet)
Fuel capacity 3.35 US gal (12.7 l; 2.79 imp gal)

The Dodge Tomahawk was a non–street legal concept vehicle introduced by Dodge at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

The Art Deco-inspired design was the work of Chrysler staff designer Mark Walters and featured the 500 hp (370 kW) 8.3-litre (510 cu in) V10 SRT10 engine from the Dodge Viper.[4]

Hand-built replicas of the Tomahawk were offered for sale through the Neiman Marcus catalog at a price of US$ 555,000, and up to nine of them might have sold.[1][2] Dodge emphasized that the bikes were "rolling sculptures" not intended to be ridden.[1][3]

Design and fabrication[edit]

The Art Deco-inspired design was the work of Chrysler staff designer Mark Walters and featured the 500 hp (370 kW) 8.3-litre (510 cu in) V10 SRT10 engine from the Dodge Viper.[4] The concept originated with two DaimlerChrysler employees and motorcycling fans, clay modeler Bob Schroeder and vehicle build specialist Dave Chyz, who wanted to place a Viper engine into a motorcycle chassis. They eventually took the idea to Freeman Thomas, DaimlerChrysler VP of advanced design, who in turn approached Walters. Thomas introduced his own concept, for a bike inspired by the four-wheeler in the film, Tron. Walters developed the idea, and it was eventually presented to Chrysler Group Chief Operating Officer, Wolfgang Bernhard, and CEO, Dieter Zetsche.[4]

Mechanical design and fabrication were outsourced, with the project headed by Kirt Bennett of RM Corporation, a custom automotive building and restoration shop in Michigan.[5]

Most of the Tomahawk's components were custom-milled from blocks of aluminum.[3] Under the seat are two alloy pieces that began as 750 lb (340 kg) billets, are machined down to 25 lb (11 kg) each, and polished to a mirror finish.[6] Details like hand levers and the twistgrip use needle and ball bearings.[6]

Performance claims[edit]

As introduced in 2003, the one-of-a-kind Tomahawk was operational, but never fully road-tested, with acceleration and top speed unconfirmed; Dodge described the vehicle as "automotive sculpture," intended for display only.[1] A request from one publication to test the Tomahawk's performance was refused, and Dodge declined the same publication the opportunity to interview the company's test riders, or for information regarding their riding impressions.[3]


Early design sketches had front suspension that resembled the Elf-Honda racing motorcycle's hub-center steering, from which RM designed a new, patented front- and rear-swingarm suspension.[6] Independent suspension on all four wheels is designed to allow the rider to countersteer and lean into turns like a motorcycle, at up to 45 degrees with all four wheels in contact with the ground.[3] A low center of gravity, accomplished by situating the engine as low to ground as possible, provides greater control at low speeds, and a low saddle allows riders to place both feet on the ground when stopped, for greater stability.[4] A rear suspension lock lets the vehicle stand on its own, unsupported.[3]

Top speed[edit]

Dodge initially estimated the top speed of the Tomahawk as almost 400 mph (640 km/h), stating that the top speed was over 300 mph (480 km/h). Senior designer Walters, who was in charge of the Tomahawk project, said he did not believe published speeds of 400 mph were possible, noting that the bike was geared for acceleration, and if geared for speed, 250 mph (400 km/h) would be within reach.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Lienert, Dan (14 October 2003), "Vehicle of the Week; Dodge's New Axe", Forbes 
  2. ^ a b Chronicle Staff Report (November 18, 2006), "San Francisco Auto Show -- a bit more than the usual fare", San Francisco Chronicle 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Dodge's 4-Wheel Tomahawk", Popular Science (Bonnier Corporation), vol. 262 no. 4, April 2003, ISSN 0161-7370 
  4. ^ a b c d e Design News Staff (20 Oct 2003). "Chrysler's cruise missile". Design News. Retrieved 5 January 2016.  (WebCite archive)
  5. ^ Phillips, John (April 2003), "Dodge Tomahawk; Ten cylinders, 500 horses, four wheels. Think of it as a Viper that got caught in a trash compactor", Cycle World, pp. 70–74 
  6. ^ a b c Karr, Jeff (April 2003), "Traumahawk: with its Tomahawk concept bike, Dodge jumps into the motorcycle business (maybe) with four wheels, 500 horsepower and 1500 pounds. Get your affairs in order", Motorcyclist, pp. 34– 

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