Back in 2003, Dodge gave the world a concept motorcycle that was powered by the 500bhp 8.3L V10 found in a Viper. They called it the Tomahawk. And even from the perspective of someone who doesn't particularly like bikes, I must confess, it was a breathtaking thing to behold.
In 2015 however, SRT resurrected the Tomahawk name and gave it to an ultimate-megacar they'd designed for the virtual world of Gran Turismo 6. SRT gave gamers 3 versions of the Tomahawk, all pitched at varying levels of speed, to suit everyone's driving talent.
These cars however turned out to be so terrifyingly extreme, that the physics engine for GT6 needed a major overhaul in order to allow the cars to function in the manner that SRT had intended. That aforementioned "manner" is one that the human brain can't really keep up with – even in the digital world.
The slowest of the three Tomahawks was the S, which stood for "Street". This was powered by a combination of 7L NA V10, and a pneumatically-operated hybrid system, totaling 1046bhp. Put through all four wheels in a car that weighs just 2030lbs (921kg) results in performance that – if were available to exploit in reality – would turn a person's brain to a compressed pile of mush at the back of their skull.
Gran Turismo 6 doesn't allow for any instrumented tests to measure 0-60mph, and the like. But from my own muddled testing with a good ole' fashioned stopwatch, the performance figures I gathered for it were: 0-60mph in 2.4 seconds; 0-100mph in 4.1 seconds; 0-125mph in 4.9 seconds; 0-200mph in 10.1 seconds; 0-250mph in 15.9 seconds; and 0-300mph in 30.8 seconds. Yes, it goes to over 300mph. And if you remember correctly, this is the "slowest" version.
The next version up the hierarchy – the GTS-R – uses the same drivetrain of 7L NA V10, and pneumatic-hybridity, only it develops 1506bhp. Oh, and as the GTS-R is much more race-focused, it's also a lot lighter, weighing in at a ridiculous 1466lbs (663kg). The performance this car is capable of takes that pile of mush the S turned your brain into, and scrambles it like an egg. My tests managed to achieve 0-60mph in 1.4 seconds; 0-100mph in 2.5 seconds; 0-200mph in 5.8 seconds; 0-250mph in 8.7 seconds; and 0-300mph in 13.9 seconds. But remember, this is still not the fastest version.
The fastest version is called the "X" - which conveniently, stands for "experimental". And how fast is the X? Well, according to the complex mathematics that SRT used to develop it, the X signifies the very limit of automotive performance itself. In other words: it's as fast as a car can possibly be. And how fast is that? Well, utilising the same drivetrain as the other two versions, the X produces near as makes no difference...2700bhp! And if that wasn't enough, it also weighs a mere 1651lbs (749kg). Which for the benefit of even more astonishment, equates to roughly 3600bhp-per-tonne!!
There are no expletives in any language anywhere that can get even remotely close to describing how fast the Tomahawk X looks from a gamer's perspective. It accelerates so quickly, it makes instantaneous teleportation seem slow and pointless. It doesn't so much fire itself down the road as drag the entire world towards it with absolutely terrifying vim. It takes the scrambled remnants of brain at the back of a person's skull, and combusts it like a piston combusts fuel. In the tests that I conducted, the X got from 0-60mph in 1.1 seconds; 0-100mph in 1.9 seconds; 0-200mph in 4.3 seconds; 0-250mph in 5.7 seconds; 0-300mph in 7.9 seconds; and 0-400mph in 21.1 seconds. Yes, that's correct – the fastest version goes to over 400mph!!
If the GTS-R and the X existed in reality, in order for a person to experience their potential, they would require a specially tailored G-Suit – not to mention a death-wish. The suit's purpose would be to prevent a person's body from breaking when experiencing the violent cornering, acceleration, and braking forces. Due to the fact the Tomahawk X has more active flaps than the Las Vegas Strip, it produces 6x its weight in downforce and active yaw. That results in cornering forces peeking somewhere north of 10G – around twice what an F1 Driver has to contend with, and more than what a Euro Fighter Typhoon is capable of inflicting onto its victim of a pilot.
At the moment however, all versions of the Tomahawk are just simply a series of numbers. Those numbers however aren't the feigned performance statistics pulled straight out of the depths of some fantasist's arsehole – they are mathematical equations that were painstakingly executed by SRT. Surely, that implies that the cars are actually physically possible? And with that, we must ask the question: will any of them – or anything like them – ever see the light of day in reality?
The most plausible of the ineffably implausible bunch is the S version. SRT approached most of the fundamentals like they were designing a real car. They even came up with a space-aged valvetrain design that would help the 7L Naturally Aspirated V10 produce the 2273bhp it does in the Tomahawk X (excluding hybrid power), and reach its near-15,000rpm rev-limiter. The project was all about getting a low centre of gravity, and giving the car the ability to manipulate the power of the air. A Flat-10 engine was initially experimented with, but they found it didn't give them the optimum packaging for their low centre of gravity desires. Eventually, a 144-degree angle on the cylinder banks was found to be the best solution.
The centre of gravity turned out to be below the centre of the wheels, which is exactly where SRT wanted it. In the S and GTS-R, the V10 itself revved to nearly 10,000rpm. The suspension system had something called Active Camber Control which adapted to each corner independently via pneumatics. The tyres themselves were said to be over 300mm up front, and over 400mm at the rear. As wonderful and compelling as that all sounds however, there was one little problem with those enormously wide tyres: SRT stated they were made out of a compound that doesn't yet exist – but might one day. And this is where things take a turn into the land of make-believe.
Is there anyone out there that thinks the extremely low curb-weights for any of the cars are achievable with today's materials? SRT don't – hence they looked into their idealistic crystal ball and said that one day a material might exist that might allow cars to be as light as they made the Tomahawk. And when do they predict these sci-fi materials will be ready to be used in an automotive application? The year 2035.
Who knows, maybe one day the SRT Tomahawk S will be possible. After all, nobody knows what technology will be capable of providing in the future – and the reason for that is because the future, profoundly speaking, doesn't actually exist. It's a fictional place that we conform to our own ideal to give us hope of a brighter tomorrow – and that same "fictional" place is where all the versions of the SRT Tomahawk belong. Right now, at this very minute, it's about as buildable as a working Millennium Falcon. And let's not forget that by the time SRT say the car will be possible, the internal combustion engine will have just 5 years to live. In my view, technology will have to evolve at a rate it never has before to make these cars possible before governments the world over elect to kill internal combustion for good. And I'm sorry, but I can't see anything like them ever coming to fruition.
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Written by: Angelo Uccello
Tribe: Speed Machines
Facebook: Speed Machines - DriveTribe
Photo Credits: Gran Turismo