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. Dodge's extraordinary claims of a top speed of 420 mph (680 km/h) were derided by experts in land speed records, and the Tomahawk never demonstrated a speed above 100 mph (160 km/h).

The Art Deco 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 vehicle has two front wheels and two rear wheels, making it a kind of motorised quadricycle rather than a typical motorcycle. The pairs of wheels move independently, allowing it to countersteer and lean in turns like a motorcycle.[3]

Hand-built examples 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]

Top speed[edit]

Dodge initially announced the top speed of the Tomahawk was estimated at 420 mph (680 km/h), but later revised this downward to 300 mph (480 km/h), and spokesmen did not answer questions on how this estimate was calculated.[3] Wolfgang Bernhard, Chrysler Group chief operating officer at the time, said in 2003 that no one had ridden the Tomahawk faster than 100 mph (160 km/h).[5]

Joe Teresi, of Easyriders magazine and owner of the world record setting motorcycle ridden by Dave Campos, said the top speed estimate must have been based only on horsepower and final drive ratio, and ignored the "critical factors" of frontal area, drag coefficient, and rolling resistance.[3] Dodge declined offers to put the top speed claim to a test, and no one is known to have attempted to ride the Tomahawk to its maximum speed.[1][3][6] Dodge spokesman David Elshoff said that "someday" the Tomahawk would be run at the Bonneville Speedway speed trials, but no such attempt was ever made.[3] Campos was as skeptical as Teresi, saying he doubted the Tomahawk could exceed 200 mph (320 km/h) because at high speeds, the rider would be "lifted right off the bike" without a streamliner fairing, and the four wheel steering would be a problem as well.[3] Nonetheless, Campos wished Dodge luck, adding, "Let nothing but fear stand in your way."[3] Phil Patton of the New York Times wrote, "In theory, the Tomahawk can blast from a standing start to 60 miles an hour in two and a half seconds and reach 300 miles an hour. In practice, since Evel Knievel retired, it's hard to imagine anyone willing to prove it."[7]

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 o p q "Dodge's 4-Wheel Tomahawk", Popular Science (Bonnier Corporation) 262 (4), April 2003, ISSN 0161-7370 
  4. ^ "Chrysler's cruise missile", Design News, October 20, 2003 
  5. ^ Mateja, Jim; Popely, Rick (January 7, 2003), "Dodge Tomahawk a cruise missile; 4-wheel cycle uses Viper engine", Chicago Tribune, retrieved 2011-12-10 
  6. ^ Runk, David; Associated Press (7 January 2003), "Automakers unveil their dreams; Dodge Tomahawk among concept cars aimed at more adventurous consumers", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, retrieved 2011-12-10 
  7. ^ Patton, Phil (January 12, 2003), "Cultural Studies; A Proud and Primal Roar", New York Times, retrieved 2011-12-10 

External links[edit]