Dodge Colt Engine
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The Dodge Colt product line of sub-compact cars offered great fuel economy from about 1970 to 1994. The Chrysler Corp. offered the vehicles under the Plymouth Champ, Eagle Summit and Plymouth Colt name plates as well as the Dodge Colt logo. The vehicles were actually imported from Mitsubishi Motors of Japan and were based on its Galant and Lancer product lines.
Initially released in late 1970, the first Dodge Colts were released as part of the 1971 model year. The first generation of the vehicle utilized a standard 1.6-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine. There were no optional engines available. Buyers could choose from the two-door coupe, four-door sedan or five-door station wagon but all were powered by the 100-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Changes in the emission standards in 1972 required a redesign of the engine lowering its output to about 85 horsepower.
A product redesign for the 1974 model year gave the buyer a choice in engines. The base, 1.6-liter engine at about 85 horsepower remained standard but the option of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gave buyers the option of upgrading to about 96 horsepower. Both engines could be coupled with a four-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. The vehicles were designed for fuel economy rather than performance and were competitive with vehicles such as the Ford Pinto and AMC Gremlin in an era when fuel economy was king.
The 1978 redesign of the Dodge Colt line continued the emphasis on fuel economy by reducing the vehicle size. The new product was marketed as the Dodge Colt Mileage Maker and returned the product line to a single engine choice. The Colt now featured a redesigned 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine in coups and sedans. This engine produced about 83 horsepower and was designed to utilize a balance drive shaft to reduce engine noise and vibration. Station wagon versions of the Dodge Colt did offer a 2.6-liter four-cylinder engine boasting about 105 horsepower.
Fuel economy continued to be the emphasis of the Dodge Colt with the 1984 redesign of the vehicle. Marketers now extended the name of the line to the Dodge Colt Vista and offered the vehicle in front- and four-wheel drive configurations. The base engine, a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, operated at about 70 horsepower while a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine provided higher performance. The 1989 and 1994 redesigns of the Dodge Colt continued to use the same basic engines.