Think of it as a luxed-up Viper with an equally cool name.

Name: Chrysler Firepower

Debuted: 2005 North American International Auto Show

Specs: Dodge Viper chassis, V8 6.1-liter HEMI engine, five-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive, 3,400 lbs weight

Why We Remember It Now:

A more luxurious take on Dodge’s snake, the concept deserves its prime time in our weekly series as it proposed the idea of a Viper-based grand tourer.

With the imminent demise of the Viper, we have decided to revisit an interesting concept that started off with the chassis of Dodge’s venomous snake. Showcased almost 12 years ago at NAIAS in Detroit, the Firepower was Chrysler’s idea of a posh GT with an appealing exterior exhibiting some Aston Martin DB9 influences, although back in the day the body’s design was described as being influenced by the ME Four-Twelve concept introduced a year before.

Wearing a Hydro Silver Pearl paint, the Firepower had a great deal of polished aluminum body accents combined with equally shiny 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels. Flanked by a pair of LED daytime running lights, Chrysler’s cross-hatch grille was also blinged-out as a way to let everyone know it’s a high-end GT fitted with all the bells and whistles.

The lavish interior cabin was a significant departure from the Viper, even though some of the bits and pieces were carried over. Designers decided to go with a two-tone look by giving the concept an Ocean Deep Blue plus Oyster leather upholstery combined with a series of maple accents and numerous polished aluminum touches to continue the body’s flashy appearance.

Other forgotten concepts you might enjoy:

2005 Chrysler Firepower concept
2005 Chrysler Firepower concept

Keen-eyed readers will also notice the digital numbers in the central air ducts, but those were just for show as the temperature settings were not actually displayed there as it’s the case with today’s Audi TT.

Its heart and soul was meaty V8 6.1-liter engine with 425 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque channeled to the rear axle through a five-speed automatic transmission. That was enough HEMI punch to enable the two-seater Firepower reach 60 mph (96 kph) in less than four and a half seconds before maxing out at 175 mph (281 kph). That being said, the car’s performances were never tested and these numbers are just estimations made by Chrysler back then.

It remained strictly as a concept simply because Chrysler “couldn’t find a viable way to do it,” according to former senior vice president of design, Trevor Creed.

2005 Chrysler Firepower concept

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Chrysler Firepower: Grand Tourer Concept Combines Elegance and Performance

Precision and passion are key elements in Chrysler Group vehicles. The Firepower grand tourer concept car, making its debut at the 2005 North American International Auto Show, exudes Chrysler brand attributes of elegance and performance with high customer value.

“As designers, we challenged ourselves,” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Chrysler Group Design. “How could we best encompass such strong Chrysler models as the Crossfire, which began the brand’s move toward a higher level of performance and elegance, while looking to the most extreme expression of engineering and design such as last year’s prototype, the ME Four-Twelve? Firepower uniquely bridges these two worlds.”

Painstakingly crafted, the elegant and powerful Firepower concept is an example of automotive design and engineering within the reach of Chrysler brand customers. The exterior and interior design, flush with fine materials and meticulous details, are matched with performance provided by a 6.1-liter HEMI® V8 and a Dodge Viper-based chassis.

The SRT-developed engine is exclusive to the Chrysler Group’s high-performance products. Firepower uses a rear-wheel drive chassis with suspension and brakes fitting of a thoroughbred performance vehicle. A world-class 5-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick® melds luxury and sport. Chrysler Group estimates 0-60 mph performance at less than 4.5 seconds and estimates a top speed of 175 mph.

Firepower uses massive billet aluminum wheels measuring 19x12 inches in the front and 20x12 inches in the rear. Tires are 275/35R19 in the front and 335/30R20 in the back.

The exterior is covered in Hydro Silver Pearl, with dark carbon fiber and polished aluminum accents. In addition to embodying Chrysler grand tourer spirit in the exterior design, Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling was used to shape the body with aerodynamics in mind. Design for proper engine cooling as well as down force in the rear are achieved through this modeling.

The interior is befitting of the Chrysler brand image of beauty and elegance. The interior color combination consists of Ocean Deep Blue as a primary hue, with Oyster leather and Behr maple accents. Finely trimmed leather-covered sport seats, automatic climate control and a premium audio system provide a tasteful and purposeful interior environment. All touch surfaces – steering wheel, control knobs, and shifter – are finished with fine materials for a luxury feel. The instrument panel was designed to display vital information through precisely-detailed gauges, completing the look and feel of refinement. “The Firepower concept embodies the Chrysler brand philosophy,” said Creed. “It provides luxury, refinement and sophistication blended elegantly with passion and performance.”

Specifications:

  • Weight (estimated): 3,380 lbs. (1,533 kg)

  • Length: 172.6 inches (4,383 mm)

  • Wheelbase: 98.8 inches (2,510 mm)

  • Front Overhang: 34.1 inches (867 mm)

  • Rear Overhang: 39.6 inches (1,006 mm)

  • Width: 73.2 inches (1,859 mm)

  • Height: 47.7 inches (1,211 mm)

  • Track, frt/rr: 61.6/60.6 inches (1,565/1,539 mm)

  • Ground Clearance: 5.1 inches (130 mm)

  • Engine: 6.1L HEMI® V8

  • Transmission: 5-speed automatic with AutoStick

  • Front and Rear Suspension: SLA Dodge Viper Suspension

  • Front Tire Size: 275/35R19

  • Rear Tire Size: 335/30R20

  • Front Wheel Size: 19x12 inches

  • Rear Wheel Size: 20x12 inches