Dodge Aries Engine

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The Dodge Aries, built from 1981 to 1995, was part of the Chrysler Corp. K-car product line. The Plymouth Reliant and Chrysler LeBaron also fell within this broad product line while several other products shared design components.

 

The Dodge Aries and other vehicles within the line were an attempt by the automaker to respond to consumer demand for less expensive fuel efficient vehicles during times of rising energy costs. The vehicles utilized a front-wheel drive configuration in a large number of vehicle types including coupes, sedans, hatchbacks, station wagons and convertibles. The vehicles boasted seating for six adults while offering economy providing a mid-sized domestic vehicle option for consumers.

The Dodge Aries and other K-cars was offered with a limited number of engine options. The standard engine was a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine. This engine produced about 82 horsepower and was mounted across the front engine compartment. This was coupled with a four-speed manual transmission or three-speed automatic also cross mounted within the engine compartment and attached to the front wheels for propulsion. The early models of the Dodge Aries used a carburetor fuel system which was upgraded to fuel injection in 1986.

Optional engines included a 2.6-liter Mitsubishi engine which offered better performance which was discontinued in 1986. A similar Chrysler engine was added in that year. That engine was a 2.5-liter fuel injected four cylinder.

The Dodge Aries was marketed in Mexico under the Dodge Dart name plate. The vehicles were as well known as by the K-car label as well as by the actual product labels. The combined K-car product line of the Dodge Aeries and Plymouth Reliant was named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 1981 and the product line sold more than 1 million car worldwide during its eight year existence.

More importantly, the success of the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant allowed Chrysler to regain its status as one of the major auto makers in the United States. The cars were among the first to combine fuel economy with the larger interior cabin afforded by the cross engine front-wheel drive configuration. Although technically a compact vehicle, the cars were considered mid-sized vehicles by the Environmental Protection Agency for fuel economy standards and comparisons.