Based on a smart, the Sling Shot combines very cool looks with strong gas mileage and acceleration similar to many less efficient cars - that is, up to 45 miles per gallon with 0-60 times of about 10 seconds.
Dodge Sling Shot is designed for open-air driving with a main roof panel and side rails over the passenger area that can be stored in the trunk (Sling Shot has two storage areas), while a canvas roof panel can slide back and out of the way like a roll top desk for open-air driving.
Sling Shot features a rear-mounted, 3-cylinder, gasoline engine that is tuned to deliver 100 bhp with a power to weight ratio of 17.4 lbs/bhp. A five-speed gearbox, rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes complete the driver-oriented characteristics contributing to the Sling Shot's efficient, responsive and fun-to-drive personality.
The concept is surprisingly fast (especially given that it is a concept car!), with great sound from the exhaust. The 1.3 liter engine responds quickly and then the supercharger comes in smoothly, but making its presence very clear.
The Sling Shot has a sequential gearshift like the reborn-and-rekilled Toyota MR2 (you start from the middle, the engine starts itself automatically, you move to the drive region, and push - to get to first, then + to move forward.
It is hard to get into the cramped interior; but it’s sporty once you’re there. There’s no room behind the seats. Dodge marketing people wrote, “the Dodge Sling Shot concept has an interior design influenced by the legacy of Dodge and Chrysler's performance past.”
The ride better than would expect but still quite firm. It handles well, especially for a concept. It's definitely based on smart underneath - it was originally designed as a question of whether to rebody a smart as a Dodge, but that’s been dropped.
In person, the Sling Shot is quite cool looking through the front is rather Porsche, with a classic Charger-style high-mounted gas cap on the side.
Overall, if priced well, this might have been a winner, but pricing would probably have been a problem given the need to upgrade safety to American standards and the added weight that would bring. The death of the Smart car the Slingshot is based on probably spells its final death knell, but it was still an interesting design study. Of particular interest, stylistcally, is the use of different colors in the interior than shades of gray: yellow gauges with bright red areas, and greenish-blue dash covers.
See our main concept cars page.
Concept 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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