A marketing alliance with Razor, the people who gave us the minimalist silver scooter, has seen Chrysler produce the minimalist sportster. Though still a concept, it would be expected to land in Oz under $40,000.
Squint a bit and it will remind you of an Austin Healy Sprite, were it not for the in-yer-face Jaffa colour. But those first impressions are right, and there's more than a hint of the old minimalist sports car in the Razor.
The rest of it is naturally enough, pretty modern, with performance and specs to match: 100 clicks in less than six seconds and a top speed greater than 225 km/h, a six-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel drive and a turbo-charged, intercooled, 2400cc engine.
Dodge Razor Concept is a minimalist sports car
Unveiled at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Dodge Razor concept car embodies the purest of sports coupe design and was planned from the outset to cut to what is vital for enhanced driving pleasure.
The Dodge Razor concept car is a joint effort between two, normally separate Chrysler Group design studios in Michigan and California - one did the interior, while the other did the exterior.
Dodge Razor's exterior was developed by Akino Tsuchiya and Kevin Verduyn, while its interior was executed by Chris Schuttera and John Sodano. They were inspired by classic European sports cars of the 1960s, which brought a modern minimalist design philosophy to the project. Searching for a name that reflected the car's energy and attitude, the Chrysler Group approached Razor USA to form a licensing partnership with the trendsetting and youthful Razor brand.
"Dodge Razor has a simple shape with every line offering an abundance of emotion and purpose," said Tsuchiya. "Razor's dramatic proportions scream 'I'm bold, I'm powerful, I'm Dodge'. The in-your-face 'Orange Slice' body color reflects the same attitude." Adds Verduyn: "Working off an all-new platform, we could create extreme proportions. The long hood, high sills, wide body, narrow greenhouse and low center of gravity all indicate secure, protective performance."
To keep the Dodge Razor affordable should it ever reach production, many 'off-the-shelf' corporate suspension and underbody components were used. While the six-speed manual transmission was developed in Stuttgart, Germany, the engine is an upgraded version of Chrysler Group's 2.4-liter inline DOHC four-cylinder, now with a turbocharger and intercooler. The engine develops 187 kW (250 bhp) and 312 Nm (230 lb-ft.). Aimed at young driving enthusiasts, the Razor concept was designed with a targeted sticker price of US $14,500.
Reflecting the design attitude of the popular Razor kick scooter, the design of the Dodge Razor suggests forward motion even when the concept is parked on an auto show turntable.
"We are proud to join forces with the Chrysler Group on a car that complements Razor's lineup of youthful, high-tech products," said Carlton Calvin, president of Razor USA LLC. "The Razor philosophy is about revolutionizing classic products with beautiful design and technological innovation and we are thrilled to see a similar philosophy reflected in the Dodge Razor."
True to minimalist form, Dodge Razor's only ornamentations are the chrome bumpers, the racing-style billet-aluminum gas cap, the classic door handles and mirrors and the jewel-like lamp design. The same holds true for the interior. It offers the necessities for driving, nothing more. No power windows or mirrors, no radio or leather power seats, no frills whatsoever. Dodge Razor offers its two occupants lightweight, competition-style seats, four-point racing harnesses, storage behind their seats and the pure joy of driving.
The Dodge Razor's instrument cluster has an integrated tachometer/speedometer with analog reading of the revs and a digital read-out of the speed. This compact unit is flanked by easy-to-read gauges for temperature/oil pressure and fuel/battery. The interior is finished in body color and extruded aluminum. "We feel passionate about keeping it simple and honest," said Sodano. "Razor has a focused driver's interior, enhancing the experience of raw power as only a sports car can."
Packaged with the most necessary performance tools and functions, including two orange Razor scooters, and providing customers the opportunity to make its interior entirely their own, Dodge Razor offers driving excitement to go.
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