|Body Style||3-Door Hatchback|
|Transmission||3-Speed Automatic, FWD|
4-Speed Automatic, FWD
5-Speed Manual, FWD
|Engine||2.2L (135 cid) I4 (1987-1994)|
2.2L (135 cid) "Turbo I" I4 (1987-1991)
2.2L (135 cid) "Turbo IV" I4 (1990-1991)
2.5L (153 cid) I4 (1987-1994)
3.0L (181 cid) V6 (1992-1994)
The Dodge Shadow and its identical twin Plymouth Sundance, known internally at Chrysler as the "P" cars, were introduced in 1987 (the name Sundance was formerly an option package on the Plymouth Satellite coupes in 1973-1974). Originally they were to be replacements for the Omni and Horizon, but those plans changed when Chrysler decided to keep the Omni and Horizon around much longer than planned due to their continued strong sales, so for four model years they were sold side by side. The Shadow and Sundance were built on the K-car chassis, but they were actually a tad shorter than the Aries and Reliant. And unlike those, they were actually hatchbacks, despite their notchback design (much in the same vein as the larger Dodge Lancer). True to form with Dodges and Plymouths in this era, the only differences between a Shadow and a Sundance were a different grille and taillights - otherwise they were identical, and this report covers both models except where noted. Chrysler offered no version of the Shadow or Sundance.
Here's a rundown for both models:
1987-1994[edit | edit source]
The Shadows and Sundances offered perhaps a sporty alternative to an Aries or Reliant. Standard engine was the fuel-injected 93 hp 2.2L (135 cid) I4, with the 146 hp 2.2L I4 Turbo, or "Turbo I" as it was known, as an option. A 100 hp 2.5L (153 cid) I4 was also an option. 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmissions were available on any engine. They are offered as 3- or 5-door hatchbacks, and even base models came with full instrumentation including a tachometer, volt meter, oil pressure and turbo boost gauge (on turbo models). As noted above, all models were hatchbacks with split-folding rear seatbacks. 1988 models differed very little, other than the addition of a removable cup holder mounted in the standard full-length center console. Changes to the 1989 models were very little also other than the usual new-color shuffle.
A driver-side airbag became standard for 1990. The shifter on manual transmission models was modified and eliminated the reverse lockout ring. Rear seats gained shoulder safety belts. A new model, the Carroll Shelby-inspired CSX model debuted (on the Shadow only) which had a 174 hp 2.2L Variable Nozzle Throttle (VNT) intercooled Turbo IV version of the standard 4-cylinder engine. It was available with a 5-speed manual only. Thrifty Rental Car acquired a few non-intercooled 150 hp versions, known as CSX-Ts. Front grilles and new composite headlamps became standard on both the Shadows and Sundances this year also. The big news for the 1991 Shadow was the addition of a convertible model, available in both Highline and ES trim (the Sundance would not be available as a convertible). And now that the Omni and Horizon were finally gone, the Shadow/Sundance were now Chrysler's entry-level cars, and as such the base models adopted the America designation.
In 1992, a Mitsubishi-produced 3.0L (181 cid) V6 became available with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission, which spelled the end of the turbo engines (and unfortunately the Shelby-inspired CSX models). Plymouth resurrected the Duster name for the third (and last) time since 1976 as an option package for the Sundance (the Duster moniker was previously used on option packages for the Turismo and Volare). The Sundance Duster had the 3.0L V6 as standard, special alloy wheels and striping accents as well as special Duster graphics that mimicked the Dusters of old. Base 2.2 and 2.5 engines carried on as before. For 1993, anti-lock brakes became optional, and the America name was dropped for both base models. The Shadow convertible was supposedly dropped for 1994, which was the Shadow/Sundance's last. The only other real change in '94 was the addition of a passenger-side motorized seat belt. The "ShadowDance" twins were replaced in 1995 by the all-new Dodge and Plymouth Neon.
Main Competitors[edit | edit source]
- Buick Skyhawk
- Chevrolet Cavalier
- Ford Escort
- Honda Civic
- Hyundai Excel
- Mazda 323/Protege
- Mercury Tracer
- Nissan Sentra
- Oldsmobile Firenza
- Pontiac Sunbird
- Toyota Corolla
- Volkswagen Golf
See Also[edit | edit source]