Published: November 25, 2009
Dodge revived Challenger name in 1978 by… using the early version of Mitsubishi Galant Lambda. This rear wheel drive 4-cylinder coupe was [totally] not a good replacement for the 1st generation muscle cars with the same nameplate, but it was quite good to compete with Honda Prelude, Nissan 200SX or Toyota Celica. Plymouth had to carry the same shame with nearly identical Plymouth Sapporo model.
MacPherson strut suspension was mounted into unibody structure with solid axle and coil springs. The standard powertrain was 2 liter SOCH [77 HP] with optional 2.6 liter engine that provided 105 HP – this engine became standard in 1980 model. Due to vibration, Mitsubishi engineered balance shafts – this technology was new in market and Challenger was actually the first to introduce this to American market. 5-speed manual was standard, 3-speed automatic – optional. And lots of, really lots of electrical equipment.
1981 came with new restyled roofline. Luckily, in 1983 this ugly-looking disgracefully unpowerful muscleless car was off the stage – the best thing for Dodge to do since 1978.
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