Doing research for these sort of 90’s or 2000’s era articles brings you back to a time and place that–I lived though–but is still strange to me. I almost can’t put it into words. Sometimes I think about it, looking back.
“I didn’t wear baggy cargo shorts! My Dad didn’t wear ties like that!”
“Dodge didn’t make a car as a collaboration with Razor Scooters!”
However, it all happened.
The Dodge Razor seems like an attempt to get kids to like Dodge more. Many features of this car seem like something older executives at Chrysler imagined kids liked. As a result, it’s a little… strange?
First of all, it doesn’t have a stereo. You’ll say, “Oh, but it’s a concept car. They usually don’t have stereos.” That is correct, however the designers at Dodge cited this not as a symptom of the vehicle’s conceptual nature, but as a feature.
They insisted the car didn’t have a stereo on account of it’s ‘purity’, saying the Razor “offers the necessities for driving, nothing more. No power windows or mirrors, no radio or leather power seats, no frills whatsoever.”
Another, more “Hello, fellow kids.” reason for not having a stereo is because Dodge assumed younger people would not find the stock system adequate, and would want to install their own anyway.
They still didn’t have it as an option, though.
As I mentioned before, this car was a sort of collaboration with the Razor Scooter company (this is, of course, because kids like scooters–everybody knows that.) As a result, there is indeed a Razor scooter in this car. It can be seen at the 2:40 mark in this video. Note the color-matched wheels. Very thoughtful.
Some sources indicate there are actually two Razor scooters in this car, in addition to the one mounted where rear seats should be. I wonder why they mounted it back there like some sort of cultural artifact. It looks like a scepter or something–like it should be behind museum glass.
These scooters apparently weren’t just there to lure kids into dropping the estimated $14,500 dollar base price on the car, however. The vehicle had no spare tire, meaning that if you got stranded on the side of the road, you could simply scoot down the shoulder of the interstate to safety. I wonder why that didn’t catch on?
One of my fellow writers here at Hooniverse also pointed out that this was like a really shitty version of the Honda City hatchback, the one that came with the Motocompo scooter in the back.
All four of the cheap concept roadsters Chrysler made ran and drove (don’t worry, I’ll cover the other three) Not like, puttering around on an auto show floor, either. Full-fledged driving.
The Razor was on its own platform, but it shared a lot of parts with other cars. It was rear-wheel-drive, the engine was a 2.4 liter turbocharged unit (also used in the SRT-4 Neon), and it sent power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. Output was rated at 250 horsepower, and due to a curb weight of only 2500 pounds, sixty was met in under six seconds.
The wheelbase was 98 inches (four inches longer than the somewhat similarly-styled Crossfire) and the suspension was fully independent, struts in the front and multi-link out back.
Chrysler engineers were the only people who ever knew what this all added up to, as the car was never driven by the press. The story doesn’t end here, though.
Allegedly, there were rumors of the concept being made into a production vehicle in 2005. It was to be called the Scooter (what?) and would be sold with engine trims similar to that of the Pontiac Solstice. I was initially tempted to say I was glad this never happened, but I actually wouldn’t mind if they made this car. I’m from the future–I know Chrysler would go bankrupt in 2009. Why not just do it?
Another lightweight roadster would come after this car, thankfully. The press would drive this one as well. That one will be covered next.
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