These Y2K-Era Chrysler Corporation Concept Vehicles Would Still Kill it Today
Concept vehicles are supposed to be ahead of their time. But sometimes, they are so far ahead that we just aren’t ready for them yet. The Chrysler Corporation rolled out a string of concept cars, all around the year 2000, that never made it to production. But in hindsight, they might have been onto something. We think these concepts could kill it in today’s market.
2005 Jeep Hurricane
Every year Jeep debuts a whole convoy of eye-catching prototypes at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. And 2005’s Jeep Hurricane actually looks a bit more like a stock Wrangler than most concepts. But its drivetrain is far from stock. This carbon fiber monster has two 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engines, one to drive each axle. Even cooler, both sets of wheels steer. So long before the Hummer EV was doing its “crab-walk” or the Rivian R1T was doing its “tank turn” the Jeep Hurricane was doing it all. Maybe its time for this super-Jeep to make a comeback. It would be the perfect supertruck to show off Jeep’s new “Hurricane” I6 engine.
2004 Chrysler ME Four-Twelve
A decade before the Hellcat, Chrysler dropped a mid-engine supercar (ME, get it?). So why the Four-Twelve? Because its Mercedes-sourced engine was a V12 with four turbochargers. This Chrysler came from the mad scientists behind the Viper, so we believe it’s claimed 2.9-second 0-60, and 1/4-mile and 10.6-second 1/4-mile. While naming it with a string of numbers sounds a bit too BMW (perhaps resurrect Conquest or Scorpion), the vehicle has promise. If Stellantis develops an electric Maserati hypercar, we hope its U.S. variant is half as cool as the Chrysler ME Four-Twelve.
1999 Dodge Charger R/T
Today, Stellantis is dropping concepts left and right. Last year’s all-electric Dodge Charger Daytona R/T coupe made headlines. But it was far from the first of its kind. The 1999 Charger R/T concept car was a fully functional concept car and a modern take on many design elements of the beloved second-generation Charger. It is great that Dodge leaned into retro designs with its subsequent production Chargers and Challengers. But this 1999 Charger proves it could have leaned further. Hopefully, the flexibility offered by an electric skateboard chassis will allow Dodge to revisit eye-catching nostalgic concepts like this. The electric Porsche Taycan is a good example of how well this approach can work.
1999 Dodge Ram Power Wagon
Just look at it. What a glorious, retro Ram! This concept draws a half-ton of influence from the original Power Wagon, which brought factory-installed 4WD to the masses just after WWII. We’ll be honest, such a huge portion of full-size truck sales are to fleet vehicle owners, that retro nostalgic designs might not work. But as Ram considers moving into mid-size and even compact trucks, it’s worth revisiting this swoon-worthy concept.
2001 Dodge Super 8 Hemi
Two paths diverged in the woods, and Dodge took the one more traveled: When the brotherhood of muscle brought back the big four-door with its 2006 Dodge Charger, it obviously leaned into the 1960s nostalgia it explored with that 1999 Dodge Charger R/T concept. But there was another way. The 2001 Dodge Super8 Hemi was a nostalgia-soaked concept vehicle that went back even further. This fabulous art-deco Dodge featured a design reminiscent of the led sleds of the 1940s. Its interior is just as glorious. Now that Dodge is crossing to crossovers with the Dodge Hornet, a retro slope-back design like this Super 8 might really tug on the heartstrings of modern Dodge buyers.
Next, read why Stellantis should consider a resurrected Plymouth EV company or about the forgotten concept that was Dodge’s first eMuscle car.