Concept cars always capture the imaginations of car enthusiasts. Such cars are meant to be a vision of the future, as they either show off new technologies or a new direction for the brand’s look. A concept car’s design is driven purely by the designer’s vision. There are no safety or emissions standards that need to be met. Such cars don’t need to be practical, as they’ll never be used in real life. And since there are only going to be only a couple examples of these cars ever made, these one-offs can have incredible powertrains and interiors on top of the jaw-dropping styling. Everyone wants to tear around in one of these unique automotive experiments.
The Chrysler Corporation was once known as being highly innovative, as many of its production cars were far ahead of their time. While the company has gone through some hardships over the years, the brand still produces groundbreaking designs to this day, with cars like the Dodge Challenger Demon and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Given that the company puts so many intriguing vehicles into production, it’s no surprise that the Mopar brands have built plenty of amazing concept vehicles over the years. While many of these concepts were once visions of the future, some were merely insane experiments. Here are 20 Mopar concepts that should've seen production.
20 Dodge M80
Dodge has only produced a few small trucks throughout its history. Many of these pickups, however, were quite boring. The Dakota was the most recent example, and it wasn’t any more interesting than any other cheap, small pickup on the market. However, in 2002, Dodge built its first genuinely intriguing mid-sized pickup.
The M80 was visually based on Dodge pickups of old.
Its yellow paint paired well with the black plastic body cladding, making it a tough-looking truck. The round design of the wheel arches, headlights, and mirrors complete the M80’s old-school exterior. Inside, the truck is about as simple as it can get while still returning a premium feel with its metal finishes and body-colored trim. Despite its archaic looks, it isn’t powered by some unnecessarily inefficient engine but rather a suitable V6 paired to a manual transmission.
19 Dodge Super8 Hemi
These days, Dodge brand’s reputation, good or bad, is largely based on the long-running Charger sedan. With its powerful V8 motors and rear-wheel-drive layout, it’s a capable muscle car and family hauler. This car was the result of the 2001 Dodge Super8 Hemi Concept. Where the Charger was meant to look modern with elements of classic muscle cars, the Super8 takes its styling cues from the 1950s, as it features rear-sweeping A-pillars and an old-fashioned luxurious interior that has front and rear bench seats. Its translucent steering wheel, push-button transmission, and wraparound windshield are all hallmarks of classic luxury Mopars. Powering this retro machine was the then-new 5.7-liter Hemi V8, hooked up to a four-speed transmission with discrete paddle shifters to give it modern performance. While its overall design was different from the production Charger, you can still see elements that were carried into production.
18 Dodge Ram T-Rex
A few years ago, Mercedes and AMG made a huge splash in the motoring world with its G-Wagen 6X6 pickup. This gigantic six-wheel-drive truck was a huge hit and was seen as the first of its kind. However, Mercedes wasn’t the first to make a six-wheel-drive version of one of their production vehicles.
In the late ‘90s, Dodge created the T-Rex, a six-wheeled Dodge Ram that was designed to be as capable as possible.
It had air suspension on the two rear axles, which would raise the truck when it was put into the ‘Max Off Road’ setting. When driving around normally, the T-Rex spins all four of its rear wheels, but it can be put into various six-wheel drive modes for extra grip. And of course, this huge truck is powered by an equally large 8.0-liter V10.
17 Chrysler Atlantic
After the ‘80s and the ‘90s, Chrysler no longer wanted to fill its lineup with cheap cars and instead planned to build luxury cars again with vehicles like the Atlantic. The Atlantic’s name very much gives away Chrysler’s inspiration. Clearly, this retro-styled Mopar wasn’t based on an old Chrysler design, and it instead mimicked the Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic. While the concept doesn’t look identical to the classic car, the Chrysler does retain a lot of the exotic French car’s original lines. There’s even a raised bodyline on the center of the roof that flows through the rear glass and down to the trunk, much like the original Bugatti. Despite the classic looks, the Chrysler Atlantic has an unfortunate clashing contemporary interior. However, the motor does very much match the styling, as it’s a custom-built straight-eight motor.
16 Dodge Demon
No, this isn’t the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger; nor is it the sport version of the Dodge Dart from the ‘70s. Despite the antagonistic name fitting the production cars well, the mid-2000s Demon concept was a far cry from these two steroid-infused muscle cars. Instead, this Demon was meant to be a corner-carving Miata competitor. Its styling was more than a little reminiscent of the bigger, more powerful Viper.
It was appropriately powered by a small four-cylinder motor that drove the rear wheels through a manual transmission.
Supposedly, the Demon was really meant to become a part of the Dodge lineup, but the financial crisis brought a stop to that. It’s a real shame, as Dodge expected to sell the car at around $15,000—a steal, given that the Miata started at $20,000 at this time.
15 Jeep Mighty FC
The Jeep company has had a long and varied history that's resulted in many of its older models being forgotten over the years. While we all remember the Willys CJ Jeeps that eventually became the Wrangler, many have forgotten vehicles like the Forward Control, also called "FC." This cab-over-engine Jeep pickup was and still is, a unique design. For the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari, the company built a modern Wrangler-based FC, dubbed the "Mighty FC." While it shares almost all of its underpinnings and powertrain components with the Wrangler, you’d never know it from a cursory glance. Its rounded design and great fit and finish make it look production ready. The Mighty FC even has a removable roof and doors, unlike the original model. It’s a shame this model never came to the Jeep lineup.
14 Chrysler Phaeton
While Chrysler is now known for cars such as the 300 and the 200, the brand once built real luxury cars, with examples like the 1940s Town & Country convertible. In an attempt to return the brand back to its former splendor, Chrysler built the Phaeton concept. This sleek, 1940s-styled car managed to hide its rear doors and hardtop convertible roof surprisingly well. Unlike many retro concepts, the Phaeton looks more like a modernized classic car due to its shape and minimal bumpers while offering a modern-day interior. That is, it has modern-day amenities and materials, but it has old-fashioned luxury touches, such as a divider between the driver and the passengers. Of course, a luxurious car like the Phaeton needed something equally special to power it. A custom-built 5.4-liter V12 moves this large car, and it supposedly rides on a Viper-derived suspension.
13 Plymouth Howler
The Plymouth Prowler is possibly the most insane car from the ‘90s, at least from a styling perspective. Its hotrod looks, complete with wheels that stick out from the bodywork, weren’t exactly backed up under the hood.
While it was still decently quick for the ‘90s, many wanted something bigger than the 3.5-liter V6 that motivated it.
Plymouth’s answer to this was the Howler pickup concept. It replaced the laughably tiny trunk with a roomier but still small truck bed. This made the Howler considerably more practical. However, what really made the Howler stand out from the Prowler was the 4.7-liter Jeep V8 that sat beneath the hood. While ironically producing less power than the Prowler’s V6, it made far more torque and was mated a five-speed manual transmission instead of the lazy four-speed auto in the Prowler.
12 Dodge Shakedown
Dodge is currently building its brand heavily off its past, using the Charger and the Challenger’s classic muscle to draw attention. This is especially obvious when it comes to the modern Challenger, as its looks are heavily derived from the 1971 Challenger. The Shakedown concept takes this retro styling to the next level. Starting with an original ’71 Challenger, Dodge took many performance and cosmetic pieces from the brand-new car and applied them to the old body. Amazingly, the modern parts fit extremely well on the Shakedown. Of course, this car needs to be powered by an appropriate motor. Beneath the shaker hood scoop lies a modern 485-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that sends power through a six-speed manual transmission. Tying this car together are its Viper ACR-style stripes over its ‘Bitchin’ Black’ paint job.
11 Ram Rebel TRX
Ever since the Ford Raptor took the pickup world by storm, Ram tried to play catchup by building the Rebel. However, the Rebel was designed to look like it competed with the Raptor instead of actually matching the Raptor’s capabilities. To address this shortcoming, the Ram Rebel TRX concept was created. This time, it had a far more capable off-road suspension attached to beadlock rims and chunky tires to provide as much grip as possible. And the TRX needs that extra grip, given the monster that lives under the hood.
Unlike the standard Rebel, which can be powered by a measly 5.7-liter Hemi V8 at most, the TRX has a detuned 6.2-liter Hellcat V8, producing 575 horsepower.
Besides the new hardware, the TRX has wider fenders, aggressive bumpers, and a roll bar to further build on the Rebel’s good looks.
10 Chrysler Firepower
On top of the elegant concepts of the early 2000s, Chrysler also tried to produce a few premium sports cars to make the brand feel more exotic. While the Firepower wouldn’t have been as formidable as the Viper, it would’ve still been a sports car to reckoned with. Speaking of the Viper, the Firepower’s shape may be familiar to Mopar fans. It was essentially a fancier body on top of a Dodge Viper. However, due to its more luxurious Chrysler status, the Firepower was driven by the 6.1-liter Hemi V8 and an automatic five-speed transmission out of the 300 SRT8, rather than the 8.3-liter V10 and the manual box from the Viper. And to match that powertrain, the interior was completely redone, as the Viper’s basic, performance-oriented interior just wouldn’t do. This tame snake, however, never saw its way into the Chrysler lineup.
9 Jeep Chief
Before the Cherokee name was put on the epic XJ platform, it was a two-door option for the Wagoneer that used to compete with the K5 Blazer and the Bronco. While this larger, two-door Cherokee is often overshadowed by its successor, it’s still a very capable and stylish off-roader. Clearly, Jeep was thinking the same thing when building their Easter Jeeps in 2015, as they created the excellent Chief concept. Based almost entirely on the Jeep Wrangler platform, this concept looks almost identical to the original Cherokee. The Chief has a well-crafted interior that’s well above the standards of the first Cherokees. The most incredible part of this car’s design is how it hides its rear doors. There’s no way you’ll know that this Jeep is a four-door until the rear doors are open.
8 Dodge Venom
The Dodge Demon concept wasn’t the first time that Dodge attempted to make a small, cheap sports car. The Venom was built in the mid-'90s and looks like it was designed to resemble a life-sized Hot Wheels car. Combining Viper styling with Chrysler’s corporate cab-forward design gave the Venom that distinct ‘90s concept look. This pairs well with the pale-yellow paint job and black hood, showing how track-ready this car is.
The Venom was shockingly based on the Dodge Neon, which is basically the opposite of a fun track-day car in its standard form.
However, unlike the Neon, the Venom was rear-wheel drive. Powered by a 260 horsepower 3.5-liter V6, the Venom could rip to 60 in just over five seconds—an impressive number for the decade it came from.
7 Jeep Crew Chief 715
Besides the original Cherokee, there was another car closely related to the Wagoneer. While many people today are begging Jeep for a pickup, the company has actually built many trucks over the years, such as the Gladiator. During another Easter off-road excursion, Jeep unveiled the Crew Chief 715, a Wrangler-based concept designed to look like a military-grade Gladiator, complete with a soft-top roof and a large bed. While the doors and the bumpers reveal the truck’s Wrangler underpinnings, it’s still a staggering pickup to look at. Its tough Gladiator nose pairs well with the Wrangler’s larger fender flares. Being a custom Jeep, it's lifted to the sky, showing off its twin live axles. Completing the look is its narrow, military-style wheels and tires. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t body kits to make production Wranglers look just like this concept.
6 Dodge Razor
It seems that Dodge has been wanting to build a small, fun, cheap sports car for a long time now. Between the ‘90s Venom and the late-2000s Demon concept, Dodge built yet another diminutive performance car called the "Razor." Powered by a small, turbocharged four-cylinder, likely the same one to be used in the Neon SRT-4, the Razor could race to 60 MPH in around six seconds. With a featherweight mass of only 2,500 pounds, the Razor was almost guaranteed to be a solid-handling machine. Unlike the later Demon, the Razor had a fixed roof, making it a hardtop alternative to the Miata. Its styling was entirely unique, neither resembling the foreign competition nor any Mopars of the past. With Fiat owning Chrysler, the closest we’ll get to a small Mopar sports car is the Fiat 124.
5 Chrysler Chronos
The 2005 Chrysler 300 was a transformative car for the brand. Prior to this generation of the 300, the model had become a front-wheel-drive, V6-powered car that couldn’t really live up to its business hotrod ancestors. The precursor to the modern 300 was the Chronos concept, a long and low four-door sedan that had the proportions of a chopped 1930s luxury car. Its huge, round egg-crate grille and low fog lights clearly inspired the production 300, even if it had lost its proportions.
Where the production 300C could be powered by a 5.7-liter Hemi V8, the Chronos’s long hood fits a custom-built 6.0-liter V10 that sent 350 horsepower through an automatic gearbox.
While the interior was said to be cramped, it was made from a combination of wood, leather, and metal, making it a true luxury car.
4 Dodge Sidewinder
Plymouth created the idea of building a brand new hotrod for the street with the Prowler. Chevrolet decided to present their own take on this idea with the SSR, a two-door convertible pickup that was powered by a powerful V8. It’s sometimes claimed that the SSR was a ripoff of sorts of the Prowler, but surprisingly, it resembles a different Mopar even more.
The Dodge Sidewinder was a two-door, convertible pickup.
It’s blocky styling strongly resembled the muscle trucks that Dodge would later sell to the public, sans removable roof. A V8 apparently wasn’t enough to power the Sidewinder, as it instead had a Viper V10 under the hood, which tuned it to churn out 640 horsepower. This lightweight pickup was claimed to accelerate to 60 in only 3.9 seconds.
3 Dodge Copperhead
Despite being a small, two-seater convertible, the Copperhead doesn’t quite fall into the same category as the Demon or Razor concepts. Instead, this particular car was meant to compete with cars like of the Mercedes SLK and the BMW Z3.
Under the hood is a 2.7-liter V6 that produces 220 horsepower, and it’s attached to a five-speed gearbox.
This car’s burnt-orange exterior is shaped much like a tiny Viper, given its long hood and cab that sits at the back of the car. However, many of the car’s details greatly differ from the Viper, with its wide headlights sitting close together and a thin crosshair grille. On the interior, the Copperhead keeps the color theme going with body-colored panels. Adding to the cool-factor is a gated shifter for the manual transmission.
2 Chrysler ME Four-Twelve
If there’s one brand that wouldn’t be expected to make a supercar, it would be Chrysler. Sure, the Dodge brand has the epic V10-powered Viper, but that’s a brand that’s advertised with performance. The mid-level luxury Chrysler company is more expected to build premium-ish sedans. Perhaps that’s why the ME Four-Twelve never made it into production. That name stands for "Mid-Engine," "Four turbochargers," and "12 cylinders." Yes, this was a proper supercar powered by an AMG V12 that produced 850 horsepower as a result of its many turbochargers. Its zero-to-100 MPH time was 6.2 seconds. And those numbers aren’t just corporate guesses to impress people, as a fully functioning version of this car was built. It even seemingly had a shot at production, as it was made around the same time Ford built its own supercar, the GT. Sadly, the ME Four-Twelve never came to be.
1 Dodge Tomahawk
If there’s one thing you wouldn’t expect from a car brand, it would be a motorcycle. Dodge doesn’t have a history with bikes, so their first attempt at making one was surprisingly over the top. The Tomahawk looks like it’s straight out of a sci-fi movie with its bizarre axles, swooping seat, and unpainted bodywork. Then, there’s the fact that this bike has two more tires than a normal motorcycle. Then, there’s the engine. Most motorcycles have one or two cylinders—six at most. The Tomahawk was powered by the 8.3-liter V10 that was made for the Viper. What’s even more amazing than that engine or the design is that this motorcycle was more than a showpiece. After being a concept, Dodge actually sold nine of these insane motorcycles; however, they were sold as rolling sculptures and aren't road legal.