With its high value yet low cost, Dodge Intrepid was able to gather consumers into subscribing to the idea of the “intrepid”, a word which means “fearless”. Truly, the Intrepid had delivered its promised unique styling with its cab-forward structure and a touch of practicality in terms of the vehicle’s worth. Even if there were some minor drawbacks with the Intrepid, such as a dull design and finish, it still managed to be the best-selling car in its division for many of its years in the market.
First generation: 1993 – 1997
Available in two trim levels, base and ES, the first generation Intrepid came powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine, which offered 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. A more powerful 3.5-liter V6, which produced 214 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque was available as an option. In addition, the first gen was equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission, which gave power to the front wheels.
In 1995, ES models came with ABS as standard, while traction control was offered as an option. Some changes in the 1996 model year included reduced noise, vibration, and harshness. While in 1997, the Intrepid received a new audio system, a more spacious interior, a more refined transmission, and an optional 3.5-liter V6 engine.
Second generation: 1998 – 2004
Intrepids for the 1998 model year experienced a redesign with new all-aluminum engines, replacing the first gen’s previous power options. These were the DOHC 2.7-liter, 200 hp V6 for base models, and the SOHC 3.2-liter, 225 hp V6 for the ES model. By 2000, a new top-of-the-line R/T model had joined the lineup, equipped with a redesigned version of the 3.5-liter V6 engine. This model offered its users with 242 hp for the base and 234 hp for the ES.
The 2001 Intrepid debuted at the NASCAR circuit, signifying Dodge’s return to NASCAR competition after an 18-year hiatus. A 2 hp power increase gave the R/T a new 244 hp in 2002, while running on 89-octane fuel. Another model, the Intrepid SXT, was added to Intrepid’s trim levels. It came as the Intrepid SE’s base model and was powered by a 3.5 H.O. engine taken from the R/T. The new trim came with sportier features like a sunroof and spoiler.
Aside from having few updates, the body styles from the second gen Intrepid were also used for commercial and government purposes. Some of these vehicles included police interceptors, fire chief cars, and taxis like the earlier Chevy Caprice or Ford Crown Victoria.