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Is it a car or a motorcycle?

January 20, 2003
Filed under Features

If current design trends continue, you might really be surprised at what you see in a motorcycle parking spot. It could be a motor-
cycle or something more — like the Dodge Tomahawk that DaimlerChrysler AG showed at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
While the 1500-lb. single-passenger concept vehicle looks like a motorcycle, it has four wheels, packs an 8.3L V-10 powerplant and sounds like a muscle car.
Describing the vehicle as a “pure performance” concept with a zero to 60 time of 2.5 seconds and a top speed somewhere north of 300 mph, Dieter Zetsche, the Chrysler Group’s president and chief executive, said the vehicle may one day be released in limited numbers if warranted by consumer interest.
While a number of companies have managed to blend motorcycle and automobile design into a single product – the Messerschmidt Kabinenroller of the early 1950s and Mike Corbin’s Sparrow and Merlin single passenger cars, among others — DaimlerChrysler’s striking new Tomahawk comes on the heels of a very different Suzuki concept which was shown at NAIAS in 2002 and also blended a motorcycle with a car.
Returning to NAIAS for another showing in 2003, the Suzuki GSX-R/4 mates the GSX1300R Hayabusa’s double overhead cam, 16-valve, fuel-injected 1.3-liter engine with a slick body characterized by exposed spring and damper units. The GSX-R/4 revs up to an 11,000 rpm redline, delivering 174 hp at 9,800 rpm.

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