Chrysler Firepower concept car (2005): SRT8 power in a Viper derived body

Based on the Viper but with V8 power and an automatic transmission, the Firepower made potent cornering available to those with more appreciation of creature comforts.

Chrysler Firepower concept car

Bob Sheaves wrote: “Firepower (coded ZD) was a front engine, steel bodied sports coupe built on the Viper (code ZC) frame, using the SRT 6.1 liter V8 engine, LX (large-sedan) transmission, Viper driveline installation, Viper axle and suspension, suspension, new and lower-cost brakes, softer suspension tuning, and Viper fuel systems and emissions accessories. The goal was to sell 45,000 Firepowers were year, for $65,000 each. They went as far as building full bodies at Magna Decoma before the money was shut off.”

The automatic transmission and less-powerful-but-still-potent Hemi made the car easier to drive for those who are not professional racers, and brought the price down. A tinted glass roof extended to the rear liftgate, for a feeling of greater space inside. The chrome plate, which looks blank in most Chrysler photos, contains the word “Firepower.”

The lighter weight brought speeds near that of the 2004 base-model automatic Corvette (0-60 in 4.5 seconds, top speed 174 mph). The short-long arm Viper suspension was kept for superior traction.

Retro-Chrysler interior in the Viper-powered Chrysler Firepower concept car

The designers included Brandon Faurote, Brian Nielander, and Greg Howell. Brian was the primary source of the ME-412's appearance.

Had it been made, the Chrysler Firepower may well have helped to amortize investments into the Viper’s chassis and keep Conner Avenue open past 2017.

Chrysler Firepower concept

Chrysler Firepower specifications:

  • Weight: 3,380 lbs.
  • Length: 172.6” (4,383 mm)
  • Wheelbase: 98.8” (2,510 mm)
  • Overhang: 34.1” (867 mm) front, 39.6” (1,006 mm) rear
  • Width: 73.2” (1,859 mm)
  • Height: 47.7” (1,211 mm)
  • Track 61.6” front, 60.6” rear
  • Ground Clearance: 5.1” (130 mm)
  • Tire Size: 275/35R19 front, 335/30R20 rear

See our main concept cars page.

venomConcept cars are often made so a car’s feel can be evaluated, problems can be foreseen, and reactions of the public can be judged. Some concepts test specific ideas, colors, controls, or materials — either subtle or out of proportion, to hide what’s being tested. Some are created to help designers think “out of the box.” The Challenger, Prowler, PT Cruiser, and Viper were all tested as production-based concepts dressed up to hide the production intent.

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