Dodge Shadow

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Dodge Shadow
1989-1994 Dodge Shadow 3-door
Automotive industryChrysler Corporation
Also calledPlymouth Sundance
Chrysler ES Coupé (Europe)
Chrysler Shadow (Mexico)
AssemblySterling Heights, Michigan, USA
Toluca, Mexico
PredecessorDodge Charger
Dodge Omni
SuccessorDodge Neon
Car classificationCompact car
Car body style2-door Convertible
3-door Hatchback
5-door Hatchback
Automobile layoutFF layout
Automobile platformChrysler P platform
Internal combustion engine2.2 L K Straight-4
2.2 L Turbo I Straight-4
2.2 L Turbo IV Straight-4
2.5 L K Straight-4
2.5 L Turbo Straight-4
3.0 L Mitsubishi Motors Mitsubishi 6G7x engine V6
Transmission (mechanics)5-speed Manual transmission
3-speed A413 Automatic transmission
4-speed A604 Automatic transmission
Wheelbase1988-1991: 97.0 in (2464 mm)
1992-94: 97.2 in (2469 mm)
Length1987-89: 171.9 in (4366 mm)
1990-91: 171.7 in (4361 mm)
1992-94: 171.9 in (4366 mm)
Width67.3 in (1709 mm)
Height1987-89: 52.7 in (1339 mm)
1990-91: 52.6 in (1336 mm)
1992-94: 53.1 in (1349 mm)
Curb weight2,608 lb (1,183 kg) (2-door)
2,643 lb (1,199 kg) (4-door)
RelatedPlymouth Duster
Shelby CSX
1987-1988 Dodge Shadow (5-door)
1991 Dodge Shadow convertible

For 1987, Chrysler Corporation introduced two new Compact car, the Dodge Shadow and the Plymouth Sundance (which turned in similar sales figures), intended to replace the Dodge Charger - Dodge Omni and Plymouth Turismo - Plymouth Horizon, respectively.

They were built in Sterling Heights, Michigan and Toluca, Mexico. In Mexico, they were marketed as Chrysler Shadows, although they were rebadged Plymouth Sundances. The first car rolled off the assembly line on August 25, 1986.

Both 2-door and 4-door models were built using a variant of the K-car platform, known as the Chrysler P platform, which was based on a combination of the Dodge Daytona's suspension with a shortened version of the Dodge Lancer's body.

While they looked like regular sedans and Coupe, they were actually Hatchback. Chrysler considered this a special feature and advertising literature referred to it as "hidden hatchback versatility". The relatively large storage capacity of these vehicles was a major selling point for the company.

Carroll Shelby Enterprises modified Shadows into several performance-oriented vehicles such as the Shelby CSX, which was equipped with a turbocharged 2.2 L engine producing 174 hp (130 kW). Because of the car's light weight, it was capable of acceleration equal or greater than that of many contemporary muscle and sports cars of the time. A version without the intercooler, rated at 150 hp (112 kW), was sold to Thrifty as the Shelby CSX.

A Convertible version of the Shadow debuted in 1991, the same year Chrysler introduced stripped-down, budget-priced "America" models of the coupe and sedan models. At the time, the Shadow and Sundance were the lowest-priced cars on the market with a standard driver's side Airbag, which had been made standard on all US-market domestic Chrysler cars in 1990. While the Shadow and Sundance were popular until they were discontinued, like the Ford Escort (North America) and the Chevrolet Cavalier, they failed to make a profit. The Shadow received cosmetic updates for 1989: the inset sealed-beam Headlamp were discarded in favor of aerodynamic composite units. A new body-color grille and new Automotive lighting were among other minor changes. A motorized passenger's side seat belt was added to US-market Shadows in 1994, to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208's requirement for passive restraints. These motorized belts do not comply with Canada's safety standards; Canadian-market Sundances continued to use a manual passenger seatbelt, and 1994 Shadows cannot legally be imported across the US-Canada border in either direction.

Production ended on March 9, 1994. The Shadow and Sundance were replaced by the Dodge/Plymouth Neon.



The Shadow and Sundance offered a variety of four cylinder engines, all either of 2.2 or 2.5 L, some turbocharged. Naturally aspirated versions were, except in Mexico, fuel injected. The engines were tuned for torque rather than horsepower, resulting in numbers that appear to be reversed from the Honda Civic - for example, 93 hp (69 kW) and 122 lb·ft (165 N·m) of torque from the base 2.2 L engine. A Mitsubishi Motors-built 3.0 L V6 was added later, which led to the demise of the turbo option. All were available with a five-speed Manual transmission. A 3 speed Automatic transmission based upon the Chrysler Torqueflite was optional on the Straight-4 equipped cars and a 4 speed automatic 41TE was optional on the V6 powered cars. In 1990 the manual transmission was modified to make shifting into reverse easier; a number of other incremental improvements were also made.

Shadows and Sundances came with the following engines, although not all engines were available each year:

  • 2.2 L I4 - 93 hp (69 kW) and 122 lb·ft (165 N·m) of torque
  • 2.5 L I4 - 100 hp (70 kW) and 140 lb·ft (190 N·m) of torque
  • 2.2 L turbocharged Straight-4 - 146 hp (109 kW) and 170 lb·ft (230 N·m) of torque
  • 2.2 L turbocharged I4 - 170 hp (127 kW) and 175 lb·ft (237 N·m) of torque (Shelby T2)(87 CSX)
  • 2.2 L turbocharged I4 - 174 hp (130 kW) and 210 lb·ft (285 N·m) of torque (CSX-VNT)
  • 2.5 L turbocharged I4 - 150 hp (112 kW) and 190 lb·ft (258 N·m) of torque
  • 2.5 L turbocharged I4 - 151 hp (113 kW) and 210 lb·ft (285 N·m) of torque (High Torque ECU 91 only)
  • 3.0 L V6 - 142 hp (106 kW) and 171 lb·ft (232 N·m) of torque

(Source - &


Features varied with years, but some features included power windows, power mirrors, power door locks, cruise control, tilt wheel, variable intermittent delay wipers (over the standard two speed LO/HI only wipers), overhead console with map lights and compass/temperature display, upgraded "highline" instrument cluster with tachometer, "light package" that added lighting in the trunk, glove box, under-hood mounted light and rear door dome light switches (4 door models), remote trunk release, rear defroster, Fog lights, mag wheels, convertible top, infinity sound system and power driver side seat. There was also on the turbo charger equipped cars a vacuum/boost gauge and message center that monitored four vehicle functions, door ajar, washer fluid level, etc. Four wheel disc brakes with rear disc's instead of the standard drum brake was optional depending upon trim level.

In 1993 a low pressure Bendix-4 Anti-lock braking system was available.

Starting in 1990, driver side airbags were standard, giving the Shadow a remarkable crash test rating for a car its size at the time: 4 star driver, 5 star passenger according to 1993 tests.

Trim levels

  • Sedan/Coupe:
    • base - 1987-1990; 1993-1994
    • ES - 1988-1994
    • America - 1991-1992
    • Highline - 1991-1992
  • Convertible:
    • Highline - 1991-1993
    • ES - 1991-1993

See also

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