1991 Dodge Stealth RT Turbo
In early ninties, both the Chrysler and Mitsubishi product line was for the most part unexciting. The Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eagle Talon were not holding up the Nissan 300ZX and Acura NSX. In 1990 it was announced that a new duo of sports cars were being launched by Chrysler and Mitsulbishi.
Named Stealth by Chrysler, the car used a familiar four-wheel drive setup which came with its modifed Mitsubshi Galant plaform. It also shares the suspension and wheelbase of the Galant, which is also the same as setup the Elipse/Talon. Aside from the chassis, much of the Stealth is entirely new. It's styling is the most evident difference, which is anything but subtle.
The Stealth came in three distinct models. Driven only by the front wheels, were the Stealth ES and Stealth RT. They served as entry level sports cars. Its the twin-turbo, all-wheel-drive RT Turbo which distinguished the Stealth as a supercar.
As launched in 1991, the Stealth was a very exciting. It was packed with features that were only offered on Supercars of the era. What made the Sealth appealing was its price. At $33 000, is was priced in the sports car segment, with direct competition from the Toyota Supra, Chevrolet Corvette, Mazda RX-7 and Nissan 300ZX.
Highlighting the Stealth, is a turbocharged engine which powers all four wheels. The 60-degree V6 has 4-valves per cylinder, dual over-head cams and a variable induction system. Twin intercooled TD04 turbchargers force air into each bank of cylinders.
The engine is placed transverssly in the engine bay, hinting at the car's front-wheel drive derivatives. It distributes power to all four wheels though a Getrag-designed transmission which works with viscous-coupling system. Under normal state, the vicous coupling distributes the 55 percent of the power to the rear-wheels. The system can alter to the distribution of toque to the front or rear wheels as needed.
At the time of manufacture, Chrysler and Mitsubishi crowded the Stealth with gadgetry. They capitalized on new technology to propel both sales and performance.
Of all the devices in the RT, the most unique is a active mufler system. The system, in sport mode increases the flow to the muffler. In 1990, Sports Car International, noticed no difference in perfomance between the sport and touring modes of the exhaust.
Complementing the the active exhaust are numerous systems. To steer the Sealth, it uses a four wheel steering system. At the time of manufacture, four wheel steering was just entering the market. During cornering the rear wheels aid handling by moving the rear wheels up to 1.5 degrees. Other advanced systems include: active damping, ABS and an active temperature control for the interior.
Despite the abundant technoloy, the Steath thankfully uses analogue gauges for both the speedomter and tachometer.
From its inception, the Stealth played a major role in increasing Dodges name as a performance brand. It propelled the brand further than the Talon, leading up the Dodge Viper. The technology in the Stealth, mainly derived from Mitsubishi, is questionably overabundant. While four wheel steering and an active exhaust system sound good, these technologies were very new in 1990. They are questionable for long-term durability, especially considering there are of more than a few active systems involved.
Undeniably, the Stealth offerred great performance and technology from a $30 000 USD price tag. It is in this area where the Stealth won the most buyers. Very few cars in the early ninties provided the owner with so much value.