Venom Kills: 1994 Dodge Concept Muscle Car on a Neon Chassis?
Gorgeous Dodge Venom Concept with 260 horsepower could have been a great competitor to the Ford Mustang.
The Dodge Venom Concept made its world debut at the 1994 Chicago Auto Show and to many Mopar lovers, this car represented two important ideas. First, Chrysler was capable of making a rear-wheel-drive muscle car on the Neon chassis. And second, they were serious enough about the possibility that they created a wicked concept car to show to the world.
Sadly, the Venom didn’t advance past the concept phase. However, the car spent two decades on display at the defunct Walter P. Chrysler Museum. Motor 1 recently did a article on this concept, so we decided to share our own first hand experience with the Venom at a special media event we attended in 2014 where we got to check out the 1994 Dodge muscle car concept in person. The pictures here show the car as it appeared in 2014, while the video above is stock Dodge footage from the King Rose Archives YouTube channel.
Details on the Venom
While you would never guess this by looking at it, the 1994 Dodge Venom Concept was built on the chassis of the Dodge Neon. The chassis was modified a great deal, extending the wheelbase and moving the drive wheels to the rear. The Neon’s four-cylinder engine was replaced with a 3.5-liter V6 that offered 245 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, with the power being sent the rear wheels by means of a six-speed manual transmission. This configuration made for a fairly quick coupe, dashing from a stop to 60 miles per hour in just 5.2 seconds.
This concept utilized a front and rear double A-arm suspension setup, four-wheel disc brakes and 245-millimeter tires at all four corners, with 19-inch wheels up front and 20-inch rollers out back.
The Venom is basically a unique body on a modified, rear-drive Neon chassis with a modified Intrepid engine, and to Dodge lovers in the mid-90s, it was proof that the company was thinking about introducing a modern muscle car.
Sadly, the Venom didn’t come to production and Mopar fans wouldn’t get a proper modern muscle car until the Challenger arrived for the 2008 model year, but this bright yellow concept is a great piece of Mopar history and what could have been.
Photos for DodgeForum: Patrick Rall