The Dodge Shadow was a 3-door and 5-door hatchback that was produced by Chrysler Corporation from 1987 to 1994. The 3-door model replaced the Dodge Charger while the 5-door variant replaced the Dodge Omni. In 1987, Chrysler acquired American Motors from French automaker Renault, making the Shadow the official replacement of Renault model cars in the United States. Here’s a quick look at the Dodge Shadow and its changes and transformations through the years.
1986: Development and production
The first Dodge Shadow rolled out of the assembly line in August 1986. It was manufactured as a 1987 model and it had a design based on Chrysler’s P-body platform—a variant of the K-car platform. A closer look at the Shadow reveals that it is a combination of two Dodge vehicles—the Dodge Daytona’s suspension and the Dodge Lancer’s body. Shadow cars were made unique by their hidden hatchback design. From the outside, the vehicle will appear to have a trunk; however, it’s actually a hatchback. This gave the Shadow large room for cargo, which added to the convenience that it provided its owners. Aside from those features, the Shadow was also economical and pocket-friendly. In fact, it was considered as one of the lowest-priced cars in the market that had a side airbag for the vehicle’s driver side. Upon initial release, it was powered by wither a 2.2 L K I4 or 2.2 L Turbo I I4 engine.
In a few years, the Dodge Shadow received several upgrades. For instance, its sealed-beam, headlights were changed in favor of more aerodynamic composite units. When it comes to the transmission of the vehicle, the car’s manual transmission was modified to make shifting to reverse easy.
1991: Convertible variant
The Dodge Shadow was released alongside the Plymouth Sundance. These two vehicles were almost identical to each other—the Sundance was also available as a 3-door and 5-ddor hatchback—but they still had some slight differences. In 1991, a 2-door convertible was added to Chrysler’s the Shadow lineup. The following year in 1992, the Shadow also received a new engine upgrade in the form of the Mitsubishi-built 3.0 L V6 that replaced turbocharged engines.
1994: Safety features
In 1993, the Shadow was made available with a low-pressure Bendix-4 ABS. And the following year, Chrsyler was forced to comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard’s strict safety guidelines. Because of this, Dodge furnished in 1994 Shadow models with motorized passenger’s side seat belts as passive restraint. However, this new motorized side seat belt did not comply with Canadian standards, making them unavailable to that particular region. In 1994, production and sales of the Dodge Shadow was dropped, leaving the company to replace it with the Dodge Neon.