Roadster concept to preview entrant into the sports car market
Julian Rendell
26 January 2007

American motor industry insiders have today confirmed that Dodge is working on a rear-wheel-driven two-seater sports car to rival Mazda's MX-5. Only this week Autocar reported rumours that the company was keen on the idea of a compact two-seater; we've now learned that the car has already been shown to select motor industy media in the US, and is a dead cert for the Geneva motor show in March.

According to Autocar's sources, the new Dodge is "a carbon copy of the Mazda MX-5," and does indeed draw a few cues from the Dodge Razor concept of 2002. It will perfectly fit Dodge’s position as a performance brand in both the US and Europe, and will be a competitor for both the Mazda MX-5 and GM's award-winning Pontiac Solstice.

“The small sports car market is an ideal fit for Dodge," Chrysler Group design chief Trevor Creed told Autocar. "It’s a market relatively untapped by the big players, and I would think there are opportunities there - just watch this space.”

Chrysler CEO Tom La Sorda also thinks a small Dodge sports car is a good idea, although he’s concerned about formulating the right business case. “It’s something we should certainly look at,” said La Sorda, “but it has limited volume and there are other new segments where maybe the business case is better.”

Chrysler has had recent bad experience of the sports coupe market with the Crossfire; “It's tough,” said La Sorda. “I think the way for a small sports car to succeed is to set your volumes low, the lifecycles short and to make money. Then, if the volume and the lifecycle goes up, you make a lot more money.”

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out