31 May 2004

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.

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