Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dodge Tomahawk

The Tomahawk was a non-street legal concept vehicle introduced by Dodge at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. It had futuristic and unusual design, featuring the 500 horsepower (370 kW) 8.3-litre (510 cu in) V10 SRT10 engine from the Dodge Viper. The vehicle has two front wheels and two rear wheels, making it a kind of motorized quadricycle rather than a typical motorcycle. The pairs of wheels move independently, allowing it to countersteer and lean in turns like a motorcycle.

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.Dodge emphasized that the bikes were "rolling sculptures" not intended to be ridden.

Top speed

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

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. 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. 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. Campos was as skeptical as Teresi, saying he doubted the Tomahawk could exceed 200 miles per hour (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. Nonetheless, Campos wished Dodge luck, adding, "Let nothing but fear stand in your way." 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 Knievelretired, it's hard to imagine anyone willing to prove it."

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