Think of it as a luxed-up Viper with an equally cool name.
Name: Chrysler Firepower
Debuted: 2005 North American International Auto Show
Specs: Dodge Viper chassis, V8 6.1-litre HEMI engine, five-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive, 3,400 lbs (1,542 kilograms) weight
Why We Remember It Now:
A more luxurious take on Dodge’s snake, the concept deserves its prime time in our weekly series as it proposed the idea of a Viper-based grand tourer.
With the imminent demise of the Viper, we have decided to revisit an interesting concept that started off with the chassis of Dodge’s venomous snake. Showcased almost 12 years ago at NAIAS in Detroit, the Firepower was Chrysler’s idea of a posh GT with an appealing exterior exhibiting some Aston Martin DB9 influences, although back in the day the body’s design was described as being influenced by the ME Four-Twelve concept introduced a year before.
Wearing a Hydro Silver Pearl paint, the Firepower had a great deal of polished aluminum body accents combined with equally shiny 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels. Flanked by a pair of LED daytime running lights, Chrysler’s cross-hatch grille was also blinged-out as a way to let everyone know it’s a high-end GT fitted with all the bells and whistles.
The lavish interior cabin was a significant departure from the Viper, even though some of the bits and pieces were carried over. Designers decided to go with a two-tone look by giving the concept an Ocean Deep Blue plus Oyster leather upholstery combined with a series of maple accents and numerous polished aluminum touches to continue the body’s flashy appearance.
Keen-eyed readers will also notice the digital numbers in the central air ducts, but those were just for show as the temperature settings were not actually displayed there as it’s the case with today’s Audi TT.
Its heart and soul was meaty V8 6.1-litre engine with 425 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, channeled to the rear axle through a five-speed automatic transmission. That was enough HEMI punch to enable the two-seater Firepower reach 60 miles per hour (96 kilometres per hour) in less than four-and-a-half seconds before maxing out at 175 mph (281 km/h). That being said, the car’s performance prowess was never tested and these numbers are just estimations made by Chrysler back then.
It remained strictly as a concept simply because Chrysler “couldn’t find a viable way to do it,” according to former senior vice president of design, Trevor Creed.