QOTD: Stunning Nineties Sports Car Design From America?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

We’ve had four different Questions of the Day focused on design over the past few months. Starting with good and bad Nineties design in general, we soon proceeded to the good and bad aspects of Nineties truck design.

Commenter theflyersfan feels we should have a discussion about Nineties sports car styling in particular. So here we are, setting off on a voyage for Nineties sports car bliss. America’s up first.

We’ll use the same three rules as we have in past for stylish submissions:

  1. All selections must be model years 1990 to 1999.
  2. Picks must be from an American manufacturer, even if sourced from an import (eg. Geo Storm).
  3. Any body style is eligible as long as it’s sporty.

My pick today is one that slides in under rule two above. Have a look at this extra sporty coupe.

It’s the Dodge Stealth, which was the downmarket cousin of the Mitsubishi 3000GT, née GTO in other markets. Introduced for model year 1991, the Stealth was mechanically identical to its Mitsubishi cousin, as was Chrysler SOP at the time. All Stealth and GTO examples hailed from Japan, the automaker’s answer to sports cars like the Mazda RX-7, Toyota Supra, and Nissan 300ZX. Unfortunately, Mitsubishi’s sports car response was rather poor when viewed against the competition. Built on the Diamante sedan platform, front-drive, transverse underpinnings were hidden well by a stylish body. The 3.0-liter engine was available in three Stealthy guises depending on trim. The base front-drive model had 164 horsepower (just buy a Sebring). An R/T Turbo model upped the ante to 222 hp, but big power numbers came from an R/T Turbo AWD model that offered an even 300 horses.

The Stealth did without the complicated active aero of the GTO, but did offer an electronic suspension and four-wheel steering. The original design was reworked for 1994, offering updated styling paired with a new six-speed manual transmission. All models were hefty pigs, but the R/T Turbo AWD was particularly portly at 3,796 pounds. Though the GTO lived on through 2000 (and was continually cost-cut), the Stealth was cancelled after the ’97 model year due to poor sales. Not the most obvious sports style choice, but it’s aged well and has a nice heckblende.

What’s your pick for an excellently aged American sports car from the Nineties?

[Images: General Motors, Chrysler]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • James Hendricks The depreciation on the Turbo S is going to be epic!
  • VoGhost Key phrase: "The EV market has grown." Yup, EV sales are up yet again, contrary to what nearly every article on the topic has been claiming. It's almost as if the press gets 30% of ad revenues from oil companies and legacy ICE OEMs.
  • Leonard Ostrander Daniel J, you are making the assertion. It's up to you to produce the evidence.
  • VoGhost I remember all those years when the brilliant TTAC commenters told me over and over how easy it was for legacy automakers to switch to making EVs, and that Tesla was due to be crushed by them in just a few months.
  • D "smaller vehicles" - sorry, that's way too much common sense! Americans won't go along because clever marketing convinced us our egos need big@ss trucks, which give auto manufacturers the profit margin they want, and everybody feels vulnerable now unless they too have a huge vehicle. Lower speed limits could help, but no politician wants to push that losing policy. We'll just go on building more lanes and driving faster and faster behind our vehicle's tinted privacy glass. Visions of Slim Pickens riding a big black jacked up truck out of a B-52.
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