Dodge Mirada Engine
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The Dodge Mirada only existed for a brief time in the early 1980s and was offered with a relatively limited choice of engines. The first Miradas rolled off the assembly line in 1980 and production wrapped up in 1983. The car was classified as a full-sized luxury vehicle and available only as a two-door coupe. This market segment eroded as fuel costs continued to climb during the decade. It was also hampered by a low advertising and promotion budget because of Chrysler Corp. financial conditions at the time. Many prospective buyers opted for other choices fearing the ultimate bankruptcy of Chrysler.
The standard engine of the Dodge Mirada was a slant six 3.7-liter engine with a single barrel carburetor which generated about 90 horsepower. This engine remained the standard throughout the life of the model.
Optionally, buyers had a choice of two of the V-8 engines offered in many of the Chrysler and Dodge models of the day. The mid-performance choice was the 318 cubic inch, 5.2-liter V-8 with a two-barrel carburetor. This engine developed between 120 and 130 horsepower depending on its configuration. High-performance drivers often opted for the 360 cubic inch, 5.9-liter four-barrel V-8. This engine generated about 185 horsepower.
The Dodge Mirada had a brief and rather unspectacular run at the NASCAR circuit during the early 1980s. Chrysler furnished the Richard Petty and Junior Johnson racing teams with parts and materials necessary to build a NASCAR racecar based on the Mirada design. While most agreed that the cars looked good and performed well, they proved to be slower than similar cars based on Ford or General Motors designs. Later testing showed the body of the Dodge Mirada was not as streamlined as most cars. This limited the potential top speed of the cars to about 185 miles per hour or well under the speeds needed to be successful on the NASCAR circuit. The cars did see some success on short circuit tracks.
As a personal luxury car of the 1980s, the Dodge Mirada does draw the interest of some collectors. One of the collecting jewels of the car world of that era would be the Dodge Mirada equipped with the 5.9-liter V-8 engine. It is estimated that less than 100 cars were built in this configuration making it an exceptionally rare collectible.