Ever played or seen Pokémon? The cool monster that suddenly turn into something more unique and even more awesome! Now, imagine that in terms of motor engine road raging monster. It might seem a bit strange at first, but this was certainly the case for Dodge Tomahawk.
In 2003, it was among the first non-street vehicles that had been built and the reason behind it being non-street was pretty simple, it was way too powerful! The unique design immediately turned so many heads, that even the Chrysler Group COO, and CEO gave their immediate approval with just a single glance at the blueprints. The motorbike had a 10 cylinder automobile engine and instead of two, there were 4 wheels. The main reason for the four close-coupled wheels was to make the vehicle proportional. The engine used, was the 8.3 liter V10 SRT10, which had an impressive horsepower of 500. The total design of the bike gained popularity for one reason, its striking resemblance to futuristic bikes often seen in movies, exactly like the ones shown in “Tron Legacy”.
The media thought it as the coolest and most unique concept vehicle, but the biggest doubt expressed about it was, whether it was “rideable” or not, and if it was what could its top speed be? In many interviews after its creation, Dodge announced estimations of speeds around 300-480 mph! However, the main reason behind this huge estimation was the fact that the bike had reached 60 mph in just 2 and a half seconds, so in calculations it was shown that. The senior designer Walters however suggested that anything near 400 mph was a bit far-fetched, but 250mph might be easily reached. Jeff Karr stated in a Motorcyclist magazine that, he agreed with Walters statement of 250 mph being conceivable. As per rough calculations, it was shown that bikes with lesser amount of drag for example, Suzuki Hayabusa and Kawasaki ZX-12R requires about 460hp to reach the 300 mph mark , and Tomahawk, which has twice the drag of these bikes , would need at least 700 hp to even consider reaching 300 mph, as drag is proportional to speed square. The bike design did not allow much security from rough winds and without a safe riding position, approaching speeds like 200 or 250 mph, would be quite dangerous because of the instability of the bike and the absence of security measures to stop aerodynamic lift from tossing the driver off the bike and into the road.
As a result of such confusions, the bike was not released in the market and up until this date, only 9 of these road raging monsters have been sold, each of which had a starting price of at least $500,000! Thus, came the end of the fame of tomahawk and it disappeared from the memories of people, just as quickly as it had first got into them. It had however, left a mark in history as one of the biggest “What IF’s” regarding its release on to the road.