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FrontRunners: Tomahawk Chopper

Fluto Shinzawa

To listen to some automakers speak, you would think that they are developing human clones rather than building cars: Bentley executives sing about how the forthcoming Bentley Continental GT features the genes of the R-Type Continental, and Maserati officials crow that racing is in the company’s DNA. If you consider the Dodge Tomahawk (www.dodge.com) concept motorcycle in a similar vein, undoubtedly you will detect the presence of both an X and a Y chromosome. The minimalist machine, which has been clocked at 100 mph and can conceivably reach 400 mph, is little more than a gleaming, growling, 505-hp V-10 Viper engine attached to four wheels. No plush leather seats, no saddlebags, and not a soft line in sight.

While the Tomahawk is currently just a one-off concept vehicle, Chrysler is considering building several hundred Tomahawks for purchase, fulfilling the testosterone-fueled dreams of customers willing to pay $250,000. Despite its ultramacho aura, the Tomahawk has provoked some decidedly sentimental reactions. “We showed it to a couple of guys,” Chrysler COO Wolfgang Bernhard told Automotive News, “and they fell to their knees and started to cry. I have never seen anything like it.”

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