Curbside Capsule: Dodge Stealth – Not What Its Name Implies


When it comes to cars, we expect them to be named to be evocative and suggestive of their missions in life.  More than once in a while, though, a model name misses the mark, and this was certainly true for the Dodge Stealth.  There was little quiet or covert about its loud styling or performance image.  Considering this was banned from being the Indy Pace car in 1991 due to its Mitsubishi origins, the other definition of stealth, describing secretive, dishonest, or cunning behavior or actions, might have been more applicable.


With a 300 horsepower twin-turbo V6, 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steering, 4 wheel discs (15 inch rear, 16 front with four piston calipers), electronically-controlled suspension, and a sub-five second 0-60 time, the R/T model had the bonafides to do lead leaps at the Brickyard, even if its country of origin was not the USA. One wonders how things would work today, now that a “Camry” has invaded NASCAR. Maybe Lido should have gotten permission to make a special run at the Mitsubishi Motors plant in Normal, IL, and swiped the 3000GT’s active aero assists along with it.


This is a decidedly tamer post-1994 base model with its projector light front end. Despite the fact that came with a 161-horsepower 3 liter V6 borrowed from the bread and butter minivans to move 3000 pounds around, it still had all the styling gadgetry of its much more impressive brother, which the stylists probably thought would put you in the mood to imagine yourself at the controls of a F-117 Nighthawk.

interiorImage: allpar

They even provided a “cockpit inspired” dashboard to help you along that road (my shots did not come out, a shame as the interior on this twenty-year-old example is pristine).


But alas, the rear does look a bit ponderous in this base model, despite the full-width taillights. The effect of having the wide  body, suggestive of a supercar like the Honda/Acura NSX, combined with taillights that look like they were pirated from a Dodge Intrepid does not do this car any favors.


The twin-turbo R/T models got a different rear end, but either way, the wide-bodied Stealth was a short-lived car, fading away after 1996, much like the Chrysler-Mitsubishi partnership would ten years later. The car lived on as the Mitsubishi GTO/3000GT until 2001, when it was put to rest. But this Stealth still plies the streets of Memphis, bringing back memories of the Clinton Era when the Pentastar and the Three Diamonds were still entwined in their toxic relationship.


Related reading: 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT SE