1983 Dodge Charger Overview

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1983 Dodge Charger Overview

From 1979 to 1982, the Dodge Omni offered a Charger package. The Omni Charger, as it was called, featured a 2.2-liter, 4-cylinder engine rated at 85-horsepower and included hood and side scoops for ornamentation only.

In 1983, the Dodge Charger returned as its own car, but very different from the classic Charger of old. Now a 3-door hatchback, it was built on an Omni platform with a Peugeot engine. It came as a standard 1.7-liter, 63-horsepower, or the 2.2-liter in either 3-speed auto tran or 4 and 5-speed manual. Midway through 1983, a 1.6-liter, 62-horsepower replaced the 1.7-liter, for some reason. The 2.2 sported a rear spoiler and side skirting.

Also midway through the year came the Dodge Shelby Charger, designed by Carroll Shelby of Shelby Cobra fame. A redesigned nose, suspension, and stronger brakes and more responsive steering hinted at the Charger's racing heritage, enhanced by the 15-inch aluminum wheels and silver and blue two-tone coloring inside and out. A higher compression ratio meant a boost in horsepower to 107. Perhaps not the dragster we all knew and loved but certainly an aesthetic improvement over the base model.

Experts generally liked the new Charger, particularly its smooth engine feel, though criticism focused on the awkward and sluggish gear shifting and the lack of horsepower.

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