Dodge Stealth Origins
This performance machine from the 1990s results from a partnership between Dodge and Mitsubishi. Essentially a variation on the Mitsubishi 3000GT, the Stealth has all the looks of a very serious performance car. How serious the performance depended on the trim package chosen. The Stealth can be anything from a showy, yet underperforming, V-6-powered grocery getter, to a road-hugging, 320-horsepower beast that can run with most of the sports cars of the day.
The higher performance package includes all-wheel drive that really helps the Stealth stick to the road. As with most cars of this ilk, it offers little in the way of fuel economy. The interior proves inconvenient for tall drivers and makes the cockpit of a fighter plane look spacious. In regards to weight, the top-end model tips the scales at about two tons, which is rather stout for a sports car that should be light and nimble. Speaking of nimble, the weight distribution skews heavily towards the front end, further eroding handling quality.About the Dodge Stealth
Stylized to look the part, the Stealth’s curves and general design look aesthetically pleasing and announce the intention to perform. Early models feature a wedge shape that looks rather tough. The available trim packages include Base, ES, R/T, and R/T Twin Turbo. The Base model features a 164-horsepower V-6 while, the ES and R/T packages add an overhead twin cam that increases output to 222 horsepower. The R/T Twin Turbo packs a 300-horsepower twin turbo charged engine that boasts 320 horsepower in later models. The 3.0-liter V-6 is a transverse style motor.
All packages come with a four-speed automatic transmission. A five-speed manual transmission comes as an option on all models and provides the only transmission option for the R/T Twin Turbo package. Later R/T Twin Turbo models have a sixth gear added to the transmission. The Base, ES, and R/T have front drive, while the R/T turbo has always engaged four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. The four-wheel steering turns the rear wheels slightly at speeds over 30 mph to help tighten the turning radius.
The Stealth incorporates features of the Mitsubishi Eclipse/Eagle Talon coupes and shares the same wheelbase. For the sake of a strong appearance and added handling, the Stealth’s body measures 10 inches longer overall and six inches wider. All but the Base package includes fog lights. The ES upgrades to 16-inch alloy wheels. The R/T has 17-inch alloy wheels, a body kit, spoiler, and anti-lock brakes. The R/T Twin Turbo offers 18-inch alloy wheels and the aforementioned power and handling packages.
The interior of the Stealth marks one of its few cons. The front is cramped and can be uncomfortable on long rides. The back seat can fit a pair of Cocker Spaniels and not much else. Fitting humans back there will most likely lead to complaints.
The Base and ES models remain rather basic in terms of interior features. Early models have a driver’s side airbag, and later models have a passenger side airbag. Moving up to the R/T trim adds air-conditioning, power accessories, and an upgraded sound system. In later models the R/T Twin Turbo features leather seats.
Overall, the interior looks sporty and the R/T and R/T Twin Turbo package include all the features of the era. Lack of space and the potential discomfort for drivers and passengers alike really marks the only major shortcoming.
This machine aims to perform and is very much a sports car. This makes the heavy front end and excessive curb weight a bit disappointing. Enthusiasts wanting to buy a used, and low-cost, fun car to drive should skip the Base package. The 222-horsepower ES and R/T packages compare favorably to V-6 Mustangs and Camaros, but the R/T Twin Turbo remains the package worth finding. The 320-hp models offer a lot of driving pleasure so long as the tight interior isn’t a problem.
The R/T Twin Turbo’s four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering do inspire confidence and make winding roads a joy to traverse. Another benefit of having four-wheel drive is that the R/T Twin Turbo becomes one of the few sports cars that can be driven year round in climates with harsh winters.Dodge Stealth Evolution
The Dodge Stealth had a great run in the early 1990s and received regular updates over the years. 1994 marks the first major redesign with projector units added instead of pop-up headlights, and a second airbag installed. The 1994 to 1996 models remain a little more desirable because they offer extra power with the sixth gear added to the gearbox.