Plans to put the Dodge Slingshot roadster concept into production have been shelved by parent group DaimlerChrysler, according to company insiders. It had been hoped that the Smart Roadster-based two-door convertible, which made its public debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January, would provide a quick, cost-effective answer to GM’s forthcoming Pontiac Solstice two-seater, due in 2005. ‘The decision not to put the car into production was reached because we simply weren’t able to get a satisfactory business case together,’ a company spokesman told us. The runaway success of the Smart brand may also have played a part in the Slingshot’s demise, as the firm’s German bosses are unlikely to give the green light to any project that might steal sales from its fastest-growing subsidiary. ‘It was a great design exercise,’ stressed the spokesman. ‘Not least because it hints that Dodge – known for its large, powerful, heavy cars – will be coming up with much more Euro-focused products.’
The brand launches into Europe late this year with the SRT-10 (right), or Viper as it was formally known, which will be joined by a range of passenger cars over the next four years.