Dodge Shadow

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(Redirected from Plymouth Sundance)
Dodge Shadow
ManufacturerChrysler Corporation
Also called
  • Chrysler ES
  • Chrysler Shadow
  • Plymouth Sundance
ProductionAugust 1986 – March 1994
Model years1987–1994
Body and chassis
Body style
LayoutTransverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
PlatformChrysler P platform
RelatedShelby CSX
  • 3-speed A413 automatic
  • 4-speed A604 automatic
  • 5-speed manual
  • 97.0 in (2,464 mm) (1987-1992)
  • 97.2 in (2,469 mm) (1993-1994)
  • 171.9 in (4,366 mm) (1987-1989)
  • 171.7 in (4,361 mm) (1990-1992)
  • 171.9 in (4,366 mm) (1993-1994)
Width67.3 in (1,709 mm)
  • 52.7 in (1,339 mm) (1987–1989)
  • 52.6 in (1,336 mm) (1990)
  • 52.7 in (1,339 mm) (1991–1993)
  • 53.1 in (1,349 mm) (1994)
Curb weight
  • 2,608 lb (1,183 kg) (3-door)
  • 2,643 lb (1,199 kg) (5-door)
SuccessorDodge / Plymouth Neon

The Dodge Shadow and Plymouth Sundance are economical 3-door and 5-door hatchbacks that were introduced for the 1987 model year by the Chrysler Corporation. For 1991, a 2-door convertible variant was added to the Shadow lineup; this bodystyle was not offered by Plymouth. The Sundance/Shadow replaced the Omni/Horizon models of their respective marque.

The first vehicle rolled out of Sterling Heights Assembly on August 25, 1986. In late 1988, production of the Mexican market version called the Chrysler Shadow began at Toluca Car Assembly. The Shadow/Sundance was also sold in Europe from 1988 to 1991 as the Chrysler ES. Production ended on March 9, 1994, with the Shadow/Sundance being replaced by the Dodge / Plymouth Neon.


The Shadow/Sundance employed a variant of the K-car platform, the P-body, which was based on a combination of the Dodge Daytona's suspension (alongside some of its interior styling cues) with a shortened version of the Dodge Lancer's body. It had originally been intended as a direct replacement for the earlier Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon, but with the economy segment becoming more crowded after the recent introductions of Hyundai (and Yugo) to the US market, Chrysler chose to make the car a bit more substantial.[1] The P platform, being a cut down version of the regular K platform, was also a bit heavier than the competition.[1] The lineup also had more equipment across the board than expected for the class, at least until the 1991 introduction of the stripped-down America model.

While they appeared to have a trunk, it was actually a hatchback. Chrysler considered this a special feature and advertising literature referred to it as "hidden hatchback versatility"; the relatively large storage capacity of these vehicles was a major selling point for the company. The Peugeot 309 which had been developed to replace the European Chrysler Horizon used a similar layout. While mechanically identical, the Sundance and Shadow were differentiated by their front grill, which featured brand consistent designs, Dodge using a crosshair design and Plymouth an "egg crate" design. They also had different tail lamps. In its final year, the Shadow featured the new Dodge ram's head emblem on the hood, replacing the corporate pentastar.

In the original lineup, the three-door only Shadow ES was the sportiest model, only available with the turbocharged engine and with wider rims and tires than other models.[2]


Upon launch, the Shadow/Sundance was offered with a variety of four-cylinder engines, all with displacements of either 2.2 or 2.5 L, some were turbocharged. Naturally aspirated versions were fuel injected, except those sold in Mexico which were carbureted. The engines were tuned for torque rather than horsepower, resulting in horsepower and torque numbers that appear to be reversed from competitors such as the Honda Civic. A Mitsubishi-built 3.0 L V6 engine was added later, replacing the turbocharged engines. All engines were available with a 5-speed manual transmission, while a 3-speed automatic was optional on the four cylinder equipped cars and a 4-speed automatic transmission was optional on the V6-powered cars.

1987–94 Shadow/Sundance engines
Years Engine Power Torque Notes
1987–94 2.2 L K I4 97 hp (72 kW)
93 hp (69 kW)
122 lb⋅ft (165 N⋅m) early
1987–88 2.2 L Turbo I I4 146 hp (109 kW) 170 lb⋅ft (230 N⋅m)
1988–94 2.5 L K I4 100 hp (75 kW) 135 lb⋅ft (183 N⋅m)
1989–92 2.5 L Turbo I I4 150 hp (112 kW) 190 lb⋅ft (258 N⋅m) Shadow
1989–91 Sundance
1990 2.2 L Turbo IV I4 175 hp (130 kW) 205 lb⋅ft (278 N⋅m) Shadow
1992–94 3.0 L 6G72 V6 141 hp (105 kW) 171 lb⋅ft (232 N⋅m)


A motorized passenger-side seat belt was added to US-market Shadows/Sundances in 1994, to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208's requirement for passive restraints. These motorized seat belts did not comply with Canada's safety standards; Canadian-market Shadows/Sundances continued to use a manual passenger seatbelt, and 1994 Shadows/Sundances could not legally be imported across the US-Canada border in either direction until they reached the requisite age.[3][4]

At the time, the Shadow/Sundance was the lowest-priced car on the market with a standard driver-side airbag, which had been made standard on all US-market domestic Chrysler Corporation cars in 1990, giving them a remarkable crash test rating for a car its size at the time.

1991-1993 Shadow/Sundance NHTSA scores[5][6][7][8][9][10]
Year Frontal Driver Frontal Passenger


Dodge Shadow Production Figures[11]
3-door 5-door Convertible Yearly Total
1987 38,497 37,559 - 76,056
1988 36,452 55,857 - 92,309
1989 31,508 46,183 - 77,691
1990 27,232 44,390 - 71,622
1991 28,756 33,839 20,043 82,638
1992 38,882 37,402 3,185 79,469
1993 50,218 45,883 6,313 102,414
1994 41,000 47,929 - 88,929
Total 292,545 349,042 29,541 671,128

Year to year changes[edit]

1991 Dodge Shadow convertible
  • 1989 - The Shadow/Sundance received a facelift, with the sealed-beam headlamps discarded in favor of more aerodynamic composite units. All-new grilles and tail lights were among the changes as well.
  • 1990 - A driver's side airbag was now standard on all models and the manual transmission was modified to make shifting into reverse easier by moving from the "left of first" position to the " below fifth gear" position.
  • 1991 - A convertible version of the Shadow debuted, the same year the hatchback "base" submodel was split into the entry-level "America" or S (S was used on Canadian market versions) version and mid-level Highline submodels.
  • 1992 - A Mitsubishi-built 3.0 L V6 was added to the lineup, replacing the turbocharged engines.
  • 1993 - A low pressure Bendix-4 ABS was available.


1989 Plymouth Sundance RS
1992 Plymouth Sundance America (rear)

Features varied over the years, but some features included: power windows, power adjustable mirrors, power door locks, power adjustable driver seat, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, variable intermittent delay windshield wipers, overhead console with map lights and compass/temperature display, upgraded "highline" instrument cluster with tachometer, "light package" that added lighting in the trunk, glove box, under-hood mounted light and rear door dome light switches (4 door models), remote trunk release, rear window defroster, Fog lights, mag wheels, Four wheel disc brakes, Infinity sound system, a cassette player, a sunroof, anti-lock brake systems and on turbocharger equipped cars, there was also a vacuum/boost gauge and a message center that monitored four vehicle functions, door ajar, washer fluid level, etc..

Trim levels[edit]


  • Base 1987-1990, 1993-1994
  • America/S 1991-1992
  • Highline 1991-1992
  • ES 1987-1994 (Shadow)
  • RS 1988-1991 (Sundance)
  • Duster 1992-1994 (Sundance)


  • ES 1991-1993
  • Highline 1991-1993

Plymouth Sundance[edit]

1987–1988 Plymouth Sundance 3-door

For the Sundance's first year, it was available in a single base model. For 1988, a higher-end RS model was available.[12] The RS model, which stood for Rally Sport, came with standard features that included two-tone paint, fog lights, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It was also available with a turbocharged 2.5 L inline-four engine, and other amenities like an Infinity sound system, tinted window glass, and dual power mirrors. For 1991, the base model split into two distinct models: entry-level America and mid-level Highline, in addition to the high-end RS. The stripped-down America had previously been offered for the Plymouth Horizon's final year in 1990.

For 1992, the RS model was dropped, in favor of the revival of the Duster name for a performance version of the Sundance. The Duster featured a 3.0 L V6, special alloy wheels, "Duster" graphics, a body-colored grille & trim, as well as other equipment. Although the Sundance was criticized by some[who?] as being a poor choice to bear the "Duster" name, the car offered very good performance and decent handling at a low cost (only about $2,000 more than a base Sundance), which was said to be part of the reason why Chrysler used the "Duster" name, as those were the qualities the original car offered.

For the 1993 model year, the America model was replaced by a better-equipped base model. The Highline would also be dropped for 1993.

Production Figures:

Plymouth Sundance Production Figures[13]
3-door 5-door Yearly Total
1987 35,719 39,960 75,679
1988 34,827 53,521 88,348
1989 34,211 51,350 85,561
1990 21,702 39,328 61,030
1991 25,161 32,136 57,297
1992 27,936 37,618 65,554
1993 37,312 36,993 74,305
Total 216,868 290,906 507,774

European market[edit]

Between April 1988 and 1991, Chrysler offered the Dodge Shadow in numerous European markets as the Chrysler ES. The ES was based on the Dodge Shadow ES and was relatively the same vehicle, only without the "Shadow" badge. Offered only as a three-door hatchback, the standard engine was the fuel-injected 2.2-liter version, with an optional turbocharger. For 1989, the 2.2 engine was replaced by the larger 2.5-liter unit. Engines were linked to a standard five-speed manual transmission, with a three-speed automatic available as an extra-cost option. As European sales figures turned out to be very poor,[citation needed] sales of the Chrysler ES ended in mid-1991, meaning that Chrysler abandoned the segment in Europe until the 1995 introduction of the Chrysler Neon.

Shelby CSX[edit]

Shelby CSX-T

Carroll Shelby Enterprises modified Shadows into several performance-oriented vehicles such as the Shelby CSX, which was equipped with a turbocharged 2.2 L engine producing 174 hp (130 kW). Because of the car's light weight and powerful engine , it was capable of acceleration equal or greater than that of many contemporary muscle and sports cars. A version without the intercooler, rated at 150 hp (112 kW), was sold to Thrifty as the CSX-T.


  1. ^ a b Assenza, Tony (November 1986). "Plymouth Sundance Turbo: Another successful dip into the parts bins". Car and Driver. Vol. 32, no. 5. CBS Magazines. p. 83.
  2. ^ Assenza, p. 84
  3. ^ "How to import". Registrar of Imported Vehicles. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Federal Motor Vehicle Standards and Regulations - Standard No. 208". U.S. Department of Transportation. March 1999. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  5. ^ "1991 Dodge Shadow 4-DR. | Safercar - NHTSA". Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  6. ^ "1992 Dodge Shadow 4-DR. | Safercar - NHTSA". Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  7. ^ "1993 Dodge Shadow 4-DR. | Safercar - NHTSA". Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  8. ^ "1991 Plymouth Sundance 4-DR. | Safercar - NHTSA". Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  9. ^ "1992 Plymouth Sundance 4-DR. | Safercar - NHTSA". Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  10. ^ "1993 Plymouth Sundance 4-DR. | Safercar - NHTSA". Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  11. ^ Flammang, James M. (1999). Standard catalog of American cars, 1976-1999. Ron Kowalke (3rd ed.). Iola, WI: Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-755-0. OCLC 43301709.
  12. ^ "Cars for 1988". Ebony. Vol. XLIII, no. 1. Johnson Publishing Company. 1 November 1987. p. 171 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ Flammang, James M. (1999). Standard catalog of American cars, 1976-1999. Ron Kowalke (3rd ed.). Iola, WI: Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-755-0. OCLC 43301709.

External links[edit]