28 November 2007

Dodge Dakota MX Warrior At SEMA 2007

Designed from the outset to appeal to younger buyers who choose to pursue an active lifestyle, the Dodge Dakota MX Warrior is a design exercise suitably based around the theme of motocross racing. The MX Warrior's graphics were designed in conjunction with motocross rider and student in Creative Studies at Detroit, Scott Waraniak, and will be presented at next week's SEMA show.

Motocross is a sport in the extreme sense of the word, run on closed-course dirt tracks and demanding incredibly quick reflexes as well as great degrees of physical conditioning, concentration and practice to manouvere around the various course requirements from ruts and berms to 90-foot jumps and 180-degree tight turns.

The 'design splatter' embodies the sport and is styled by motocross racer #934 Waraniak, who races for KTM North America and Seattle's Jones Soda. The vinyl wrap encompasses a splash of Dodge's own identity, the choice of colours reflecting a youthful attitude: the splatter uses a bold 'O21orange' and 'battleship grey' to complement the MX Warrior's custom 'Surf Blue' paint job.

Enhancements to the car, bar its splash of colour, include the raising of the car's ride height by four inches and the fitting of 20-inch chrome alloys. Fender flares match the car's new vinyl wrap graphics while also serving as its protection. Chrysler's in-house metal shop customised the production of new steel front and rear bumpers to greater protect the car, with an extension to the truck bed and new taillamps also being new additions. A new one-off hood air intake allows greater air flow to the 4.7-litre Magnum V8 engine.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show runs at the Las Vegas Convention Centre from October 30th to November 2nd 2007.

The Dodge Dakota MX Warrior is a design exercise intended for the younger action-sports crowd. This authentic motocross-themed concept is a cooperative effort with Scott Waraniak. Waraniak is a design student at College for Creative Studies in Detroit and AMA District 14 motocross racer #936 who races for KTM North America and Seattle-based Jones Soda.

Motocross is an extreme sport run on closed-course, natural-terrain dirt tracks. Grabbing the holeshot and maneuvering through the ruts, berms, whoops, doubles, 90-foot jumps and 180-degree tight turns demands lightning-fast reflexes, physical conditioning, practice, concentration and speed. Forty racers compete in two 20-minute motos – mixing flying dirt and rocks with intimidation, adrenaline and horsepower. The outdoor motocross season runs from April to September, while the indoor supercross season runs from January through April. The sport continues to grow in popularity particularly with Gen X and Gen Y action-sport athletes in the United States, Europe and Japan.

With his likeness and signature on limited-edition bottles of Jones Soda, Waraniak [a West Bloomfield, Mich.-resident] provided his race-prepped bike for the project. He’ll use the 2008 KTM 450 SX-F in 2008 motocross season competition. He designed the graphics for both the bike and the Dodge Dakota MX Warrior.

The design team let Waraniak loose to design his “splatter” theme. The bold O21orange and battleship gray vinyl wrap is provided by Image Quest Graphics of Wixom, Mich. The Dakota/KTM 450 SX-F graphics integrate the podium performance of Dodge, Mopar and KTM Motorsports with Waraniak’s sponsors and the motocross industry’s leading icons and lifestyle companies:

  • KTM North America of Amherst, Ohio
  • Troy Lee Designs of Corona, Calif.
  • FMF Racing of Rancho Dominguez, Calif.
  • Alpinestars of Torrance, Calif.
  • Spy Optics of Carlsbad, Calif.
  • EVS Sports of Janesville, Wis.
  • Cycra of Hebron, Ohio
  • VP Racing Fuels of Wildomar, Calif.
  • Maxima Racing Oils of Santee, Calif.
  • Lake Cycle of Grand Haven, Mich.
  • JP Speed of Holly, Mich.
  • KTM Hard Equipment of Amherst, Ohio
  • Michelin of Greenville, S.C.
  • Powersport Grafx of North Wilkesboro, N.C.
  • Xlox Systems of Calgary, Alberta
  • SuperSports of Waterford, Mich.
  • Skyjacker of Suspensions, West Monroe, La.
  • Iniziale Designs of Roseville, Mich.
  • KICKER® Audio of Stillwater, Okla.
  • Jones Soda of Seattle, Wash.
To give the Dodge Dakota MX Warrior a proper stance and prove it can venture off-road, the suspension is raised four inches. It’s fitted with 20-in. chrome wheels from Mopar wrapped in 31-in. tires. TRX-4 fender flares cover the meats to keep the “splash” graphics fairly clean. To protect the front and rear, the Chrysler metal shop fabricated custom steel bumpers and an integrated warn winch mounted on the front bumper. There are also custom steel rock rails. The taillamps and bed extender were provided by Mopar. The steering wheel was provided by Grant Products. The Surf Blue paint with dark neutral metallic accents is courtesy of the Chrysler paint shop.

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