SEMA 2007 Preview: Dodge Dakota MX Warrior Concept
Source: Chrysler Communications, Mike Ellis Posted: 10-28-07 03:30 PT
© 2007 PickupTruck.com

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How’s this for cool? Scott Waraniak is a 19-year old who splits his time racing motocross bikes and studying design in Detroit, and next week he’ll be showing off a Dodge pickup truck at SEMA that he helped customize.

A sophomore at the College of Creative Studies, Waraniak designed the graphics splattered on the side of the Dodge Dakota MX Warrior, which look as if they’re splashed from a colorful off-road puddle. The orange graphics pick up the orange in Waraniak’s #936 KTM motorbike secured in the bed.

So how did Waraniak become involved with customizing the Dodge Dakota MX Warrior?

“They wanted to give the truck authenticity to it and have an actual story behind it,” he said. “These are all actually my sponsors on the truck, they’re all companies that I’ve been associated with, and it’s my actual race bike for 2008 in the back. We tried to go for a really authentic look to it, and make it feel rugged and off-road.”

Waraniak and Mark Surel, Product Designer with Chrysler's Product Design Office, modified the all-new 2008 Dodge Dakota TRX by lifting it four inches, fitting it with 20-inch chrome wheels from Mopar, wrapped in 31-inch ties. The Chrysler metal shop contributed custom steel bumpers with an integrated Warn wrench mounted on the front. The taillamps and bed extender were provided by Mopar. In the interior, they replaced the front seats with seats from the Dodge Viper, added a Grant Products steering wheel, and added a Troy Lee Designs emblem (another Waraniak sponsor) on the center console. The Surf Blue paint with dark neutral metallic accents is courtesy of the Chrysler paint shop.

“This is something the consumer really could do in their garage,” Surel said. “Just to take it to the next level, we got hooked up with Scott to bring in this motocross theme to kind of get a story going and make it a little more authentic.”

Surel said the SEMA premiere for the Dodge Dakota MX Warrior is timed perfectly to coincide with the rollout of the all-new 2008 Dodge Dakota, which he co-designed.

“When we redid the Dakota for 2008, we wanted to get away from the baby Ram image. That was what we had for awhile, and that was fine. But actually there was some research out there, people were getting the trucks confused, believe it or not. We wanted to try to push this thing away from Ram as much as we could. We wanted to get this to, like everybody, to a more youthful market.”

No doubt the Dodge Dakota MX Warrior will turn a few young heads.

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