By on August 27, 2021

When it launched in 1994, the original Dodge Neon was a different kind of car – and not just because it looked fun and friendly while the outgoing Shadow it replaced was trying very hard to look sporty by the end.

It was different because of its ads, which were simple and non-threatening. The car was kept simple inside, too. A 2.0-liter engine was standard (available in 132 horsepower with a SOHC head or 150 hp with DOHC), and could be had with a 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission. You could get power front windows, but rear windows were crank-only. What’s more, the cars were genuinely fun to drive in almost any trim level, leading our very own Matthew Guy to label it as one of the best, unheralded performance cars of its day.

Which, I mean, that’s great and all. But what if Chrysler had made a different call with the Neon powertrain? What if we could go back in time again, Sam Beckett-style, and fill the space under the Neon’s hood with the 175 hp turbocharged engine from the Dodge Omni GLH-S, would that car have ended up as an “unheralded” performance car, or one of the all-time classic sport compacts?

Let’s talk it through.

(Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • el scotto: @deanst Sir, we also sent oil back to our polite neighbors to the north.
  • el scotto: @DenverMike Sir, perhaps GM or Ford might -gasp- give away a few fleet vehicles. Have companies run them...
  • el scotto: Yes, we were the world’s largest oil producing country in 2020. That’s a fact. However Russia...
  • EBFlex: “Besides, the truck will not allow the user to drain the battery. Even this truck is smarter than you...
  • EBFlex: “You seem to think everybody is brainless. You have some personal skin in the IC engine game?”...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber