Dear god

This is the most insane thing I’ve seen in my life.

This, friends, is the Tomahawk — a new concept vehicle by Dodge. It has four wheels, a 500-horsepower V10 engine, and can cruise at a top speed of 420 miles an hour, which is closer to the speed of sound than it is to the average highway limit. It also appears to be engineered directly from the blueprints for the Light Cycles from the movie Tron. As the designer Mark Walters said:

It takes nothing to get the tires to smoke. The guy who built it with me (Kirt Bennett, RM Motorsports) did two huge burnouts in the shop. What was cool, in addition to the dual strips, is that you can see the print of the tires in the track. The tread design is inspired by printed circuit boards. We did all the design on a computer, so we figured it was appropriate.

Given the increasingly paramilitary style of today’s recreational vehicles — such as the Hummer, that rolling brick of death that provides such existential comfort to its boomer pilots — who knows? There may actually be a market for this beast. But then again, it’s so lousy with overkill, you have to wonder. As Dodge senior vice president Trevor Creed recalls:

My first reaction was one of surprise. We showed the vehicle to several people who said, “You have to build more of those. It’s for people who may never ride it, but they are avid collectors, whether it’s historic vehicles or new concepts or advanced concepts. There are people who are going to want to have one of these. And you really ought to plan to build some more.”

So, we currently are doing an investigation. I mentioned that to Dieter and he was in agreement that we should investigate building up to 100 that would go to very special peolpe who either would ride it or have as part of their collections. Jay Leno for example. He’s going to want to put an order in for one right away.

He’s got that jet helicopter engine-powered one. So we’re assuming he’s going to be a customer.

“Jet helicopter engine-powered one”?

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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