The Stratus coupe changed the 1995-2000 Avenger in Dodge’s lineup. The two had been very comparable in idea and each had been constructed on the Mitsubishi Motors plant in Normal, Illinois. Stratus two-doors had been usual from a front-drive platform sourced from the then-fresh Mitsubishi Eclipse sports activities hatchback and Galant sedan. The Dodge’s wheelbase was 103.7 inches, with general size 190.9 inches. Curb weight was roughly 3200 kilos. Dodge’s home-grown Stratus four-door sedan shared little with the coupe past its common look and title, and was utterly completely different mechanically.
The commonplace engine within the R/T was Mitsubishi’s 3.0-liter overhead-cam 24-valve V6, good for 200 horsepower and 205 pound-feet of torque. It got here commonplace with a five-speed guide transmission—apparently, the stick wasn’t provided within the corporate-cousin Chrysler Sebring coupe. The elective computerized transaxle was a four-speed with overdrive, and it got here with “AutoStick” management that allowed the motive force to manually choose gears in a separate gate. Note that AutoStick turned an elective further for R/T automatics beginning in 2002. Though not our focus right here, “base” Stratus coupes had been referred to as SE—later SXT—and ran a Mitsubishi 2.4-liter 4 mated to a guide or computerized transmission.
That introductory Stratus R/T priced from $20,805, a considerable $2995 greater than the bottom SE. Four-wheel disc brakes had been commonplace on R/T (SE had rear drums), however antilock management was a $565 possibility. If antilock braking was added with the automated transmission, the value rose to $740 however the purchaser additionally obtained traction management. Other R/T options included 17-inch aluminum wheels, rear spoiler, air con, keyless entry, and an Infinity sound system. Leather inside trim may very well be had at further value. Base value reached $22,980 by the 2005 mannequin 12 months.
The solely modifications of notice for Stratus coupes got here in 2003, once they obtained modestly revised exterior styling. Interior updates included a brand new dashboard and redesigned door panels, whereas entrance facet airbags joined the choices record.
Consumer Guide preferred Stratus R/T’s V6 engine and dealing with, however famous the low-profile tires and sporty suspension tuning conspired to ship an unsettled trip on most roads. Perhaps the largest gripe was the again seat, usually an afterthought in sporty coupes. Passenger area in again was tight for 2, and a low cushion and a seat again that was reclined too far again left virtually anybody uncomfortable.
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• The Mitsubishi V6 was effectively revered in its day, and up to date drive studies say good issues about each the five-speed guide gearbox and the AutoStick-equipped computerized.
• Let’s be sincere: Stratus coupes had been cleanly styled however visually forgettable.
Sporty coupes are utterly out of style on this SUV-obsessed period, however we predict they continue to be a high-quality technique to make a method assertion. Maybe that’s very true for those who’re on a good finances. A Stratus R/T won’t ever have the cachet of even a rental-spec Challenger V6, however keep in mind we’re speaking low-cost wheels right here. At at this time’s costs the identical cash it could take to maintain a Hellcat filled with fuel and operating contemporary rear tires would possibly put a pleasant Stratus R/T in your driveway.
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