|Body Style:||2-Door Coupe, 2-Door Convertible, 4-Door Sedan|
|Transmissions:||5-Speed Manual, 3-Speed Automatic|
|Engines:||2.2L (135 cid) I4 (1983-1988)|
2.2L (135 cid) Turbo I4 (1984-1988)
2.6L (156 cid) I4 (1983-1985)
2.5L (153 cid) I4 (1986-1988)
The Dodge 600 was introduced on a stretched K-car chassis with the Chrysler E-Class as Dodge's new mid-size front wheel drive sedan, slotted in between the Aries and the rear drive Diplomat. The 600 was pitted squarely against other intermediates such as the Chevrolet Celebrity and Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. It sported many exterior features that were prominent on other Dodge models, such as a horizontally slatted grille like the Mirada coupe, and recessed quad headlights like on the smaller 400. The 600 would be offered thru 1988 with minimal changes until it was replaced by the Dynasty.
Here's a quick rundown:
1983-1988[edit | edit source]
The 600 becomes the latest K-car spinoff in 1983 and become's Dodge's new mid-size model. Naturally it felt, sounded and drove like the larger Aries that it really was. Initially three trim levels were offered: a base, SE and a European-inspired ES model. Engine choices were the 94 hp 2.2L I4, with the 101 hp Mitsubishi-built 2.6L I4 as an option. Dashboards and other controls were shared with the lesser Aries. A 5-speed manual was standard on the 2.2, but the 3-speed automatic was optional in the 2.2 and mandatory on the 2.6. The 600 sported an interesting option by way of Electronic Voice Alert, or EVA. The EVA had a synthesized voice that would tell you if a door was "ajar", or your washer fluid was low or to fasten your seatbelt. This could be a useful option or an annoying one, depending on your point of view. The base model was aimed at the value-minded, the SE model sported nicer trim appointments such as velour interior and upgraded sound deadening. The ES had blacked-out trim and with its upgraded suspension and Goodyear Eagle GT tires fancied itself as an alternative to the Pontiac 6000 STE and other European sports sedans, although the 2.2L I4 and 5-speed were certainly no threat to any Audi or BMW, let alone a 6000 STE.
Big news for 1984 was the addition of the turbo 2.2L I4 engine, rated at 142 hp. The ES with this engine gave it a little more credibility among its chief competitors, namely the Pontiac 6000 STE (even Ford got into the pseudo-European sedan act this year with the LTD LX). The smaller 400 was discontinued this year, but the coupe and convertible were now absorbed into the 600 line and now known as 600s. Digital dashboards became optional this year on SE and ES models. Other models and engine choices remained the same. 1985s saw larger revised taillights and the addition of the 600 ES Turbo convertible. The turbo 2.2 engine received a minor power boost to 146 hp. The base and SE models and drivetrain choices once again remained the same. Chrysler dropped the E-Class this year and replaced it with the Plymouth Caravelle (a name previously used on Canadian models), and was available only as a 4-door sedan and, like most Dodge/Plymouths of this era, differed only in grille and other minor trim differentiations.
The 1986 600 received a new eggcrate grille with a crossbar and a Chrysler pentastar in the center. The 2.6L I4 was dropped in favor of a new Chrysler-built 2.5L I4, rated at 100 hp. The ES sedan was dropped this year, but the ES coupe and convertible carried on, as did the base and SE models. All models also received the mandatory Center High Mounted Stop Lamp and restyled dashboards. In 1987, the coupe and convertible were dropped. No noteworthy changes to the sedan, still available as the base and SE. There would be no changes to the 600 in 1988 either, which was cancelled in mid-year along with its Plymouth Caravelle-twin (rumor has it 1988 600s were really leftover rebadged 1987 models). The 600 was replaced by the new Dynasty, which also replaced the Diplomat after 1989.
Main Competitors[edit | edit source]
- Buick Century
- Chevrolet Celebrity
- Ford LTD/Taurus
- Honda Accord
- Mercury Marquis/Sable
- Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
- Pontiac 6000
- Toyota Camry
- Volkswagen Quantum