The Car Geek: The Dodge Dendro

The Car Geek

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Dodge Dendro

Here's a new concept car called a Dodge but not actually made by the engineers from Dodge. This new concept vehicle is made by a pair of students. Designed by Nicolas Ren Stone of the College for Creative Studies and engineered by Alok Pradhan of the University of Michigan, this new concept cart is named after a snake. And not just an ordinary snake but the fastest and the most venomous of them all. This would surely put to shame the iconic Dodge Viper which has been the favorite of performance enthusiast for years.

According to Mr. Stone, the cars we see today are "built much like humans, with a structure under a layer of cosmetically pleasing skin". He added that: "All of the strength of the vehicle is hidden. While the structure may be strong, the external parts outside the structure are easily susceptible to damage." Thus he set out to "take the automobile and apply evolutionary design principles and the new technologies in steel to explore (and push) the possibilities for the next generation of cars."

He looked for inspiration and found it with Mother Nature. He said that the frame of the concept car is based on snakes. "For the frame design, I combined the strength of exoskeletons with the flexibility of a creature that appears to have no skeleton, the snake. Able to flex its body into almost any position was a perfect compliment to steel technology currently being developed for airplane wings," said Mr. Stone.

He explained his work of art saying: "I designed an exoskeleton frame to enclose the occupants in a triangle shape. This unique shape allowed for the absence of a typical B-pillar, allowing the front grill to serve as an intrinsic part of the structure, rather than as decoration. The bumpers are connected through a long vertical structure that travels the length of the car through the interior. This anchors the structure, while providing stiffness to the rear “tail bone,” which also serves as the trunk."

And as for the choice of giving the car a Dodge name, Stone said: "With this much innovation, strength and character, the car was unmistakably Dodge from the start. Dodge creates the impression of strength on the road, with a style and attitude that is unmistakable. And with their history of venomous serpentine sports cars and concepts, I wanted to offer the next step in the blood line." Surely, some Dodge brake pads will not look out of place in this concept car. And the name of the car? The Dodge Dendro, from "Dendroaspis polylepis".