New Review 2022 Dodge Stealth
From the August 1991 affair of Car and Driver.
Jonathan Winters and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf may be the arrangement of look-alikes you’ll acquisition in Spy magazine’s “Separated at Birth?” section, but we’d like to present a added conspicuously agnate duo.
Consider: the Nissan 300ZX Turbo is powered by a twin-turbocharged and intercooled, 24-valve 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 300 horsepower. The Mitsubishi-engineered Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo is powered by a twin-turbocharged and intercooled, 24-valve 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 300 horsepower. The ZX Turbo comes with anti-lock brakes and four-wheel steering. The Stealth comes with anti-lock brakes and four-wheel steering. The Z sports a two-mode abeyance that is controlled by a about-face in the cockpit. The Stealth does too. The Z flaunts arresting bodywork and a handsome, adequate interior—complete with driver-side air bag. Ditto for the Stealth. The Z can top 150 mph with ease. The Stealth? Take a agrarian guess.
When two cars with such commensurable abilities accept into the aforementioned bazaar niche, the alarm accordingly strikes “High Noon.” Which is why we absitively to accompany these near-twins calm for a little tea party, a C/D-chaperoned showdown.
Though not alike two years old, the 300ZX Turbo is already the accustomed top gun in the sports-coupe class. Since its addition in backward 1989, it’s becoming a atom on two beeline Ten Best Cars lists and has alike baffled the boss Chevrolet Corvette in a C/D altercation (February 1990). But the new-for-1991 Stealth R/T Turbo (like its automated twin, the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4) brings to the bound a amazing arrangement of hardware—there’s alike a variable-note bankrupt arrangement on board. (Incidentally, admitting the Dodge and the Mitsubishi are about the aforementioned car, we autonomous to accommodate the Dodge in this analysis because, well, everybody seems to account the name “Stealth” nowadays).
Our evaluations began with a two-day alley drive. We angled up four editors and already afresh journeyed south from our Ann Arbor address to the ablaze country highways and catchy switchbacks of axial Ohio. Below Bowling Green, we barreled forth arid aback anchorage through Bascom and Brokensword and Bucyrus and Butler, breaking alone for a blow and burgers in Bellville. But by and by, as bed beckoned, this compensation of Bs became boring. And so we went to Mansfield. Lucky visitors to this comatose city abreast Mid-Ohio racetrack are hereby brash to banquet at the age-old Oak Park Tavern, nestled in the dupe aloof bottomward the alley a piece. Happily ensconced in the Oak Park’s dimly lit dining room, we anniversary ordered a solid “tuck-in” of beer, bread, soup, salad, steak, assortment browns, vegetable, pie, and coffee. That’s one of the rewards of demography a alley cruise in the Midwest: you get to eat like a consecutive killer.
Our alley drives complete, we alternate arctic to the Chrysler proving area in Chelsea, Michigan, for a abounding array of instrumented tests. Rounding out our analyses were a alternation of hot laps about the Chrysler PG’s admirable new roadcourse—a fast and arduous analysis ambit commissioned by Chrysler’s foot-to-the-floor president, Robert Lutz.
Not surprisingly, the final scoring was close. But, as usually happens with duels, the champ was clear. You’ll agenda that, this actuality Car and Driver, we’re absolutely activity to acknowledge which car that is.
Similar as they are, these two ninja coupes aren’t clones. The bigger difference: the 300ZX Turbo is a rear-driver while the Stealth R/T Turbo sports a full-time four-wheel-drive arrangement employing a planetary-gear centermost cogwheel in-unit with a adhesive coupling. The basal torque breach is 45/55 front/rear, but aback one end begins to lose absorption the arrangement can accord ability as bare to the added axle.
There’s a notable admeasurement aberration amid the two coupes, too. The Z rides on a 96.5-inch wheelbase and measures 169.5 inches from adenoids to tail. It doesn’t attending it, but it’s a ample car, belief 3570 pounds—about 200 pounds added than a Corvette. The Stealth is alike heftier. Army on a 97.2-inch wheelbase, it’s about two inches added and a abounding eleven inches best all-embracing than the Z. And it’s added than 250 pounds heavier—the amount to be paid for accustomed the added breadth and four-wheel drive.
Each car has a adequate and accomplished cockpit, with ample analog gauges and amply contoured panels. The Stealth’s dashboard, however, drew criticisms for its layout; some of the controls are adamantine to reach, some are army out of afterimage abaft the wheel. And barometer beam is either too abounding or not enough: the Stealth’s about-face signals are distractingly ablaze at night, yet its pictograph climate-control affectation is too dim during the day. Added troubling, the Stealth is bordering on headroom. The six-footers on our agents fit central but complained of an advancing headliner. Taller drivers had to recline the bench aloof to get abaft the wheel.
The Z’s cockpit, in contrast, is about flawless. The abstracts are pleasing. The controls are accessible to reach. The seats are chiefly comfortable. The active position is superb. The Z’s allowance isn’t absolutely abundant, but there’s acutely added than in the Stealth. In short, aback it comes to avant-garde sports coupes, the Oscar for Best Cockpit in a Leading Role goes to the 300ZX.
When allotment a weapon for long-distance touring, you could aces either of these cars and appear out a winner. With their adult suspensions and abounding power, these machines can blot up the afar at an amazing amount afterwards breaking a sweat.
Neither car delivers a buttery ride, but in touring approach both action acceptable ascendancy while cushioning alley shocks analytic well. Anniversary car’s action mode, therefore, seems to abide alone to appease “serious” drivers who charge accept a annealed ride to feel that their car is “handling.” On the road, none of our drivers affianced either car’s action approach for long—the consistent adamantine ride did added to jar our basic than to advance administration in any apparent degree.
In cruise, the Stealth suffers a bit from its acutely alpine gearing. At 80 mph in fifth, the agent is barmy forth at aloof 2850 rpm and can’t anon bolt animation if you crowd the throttle. Also, the gearbox itself was a antecedent of some criticism—though ablaze and smooth, the cable-linkage shifter feels apart aback affective from accessory to gear.
Through the ups and downs and twists and turns of arresting rural Ohio, the Z’s variable-speed ability council accepted spectacular—well weighted, accurate, and honest. The Stealth’s council becoming acceptable marks, too, admitting in apathetic corners it acquainted anytime light.
You’ll agenda that the Dodge’s agent belted the Nissan’s in the voting. Abutting as the two powerplants are, the Stealth’s Mitsubishi-built six feels smoother, livelier, and added responsive. Indeed, it produces added torque than the Z’s engine—307 pound-feet against 283—and the torque aiguille occurs lower in the rev range. The Z’s six suffers from a bit added turbo lag and needs to be revved harder for best results, but it’s a barbarian already the addition is up.
Our alley drives gave us affluence of time to admeasurement accessible acknowledgment to the cars’ annoying shapes. To a man, our editors adopt the Z’s clean, aerial form, an advancing architecture bound in Nissan’s California studio. But if the Z is Miss Universe, the Dodge-designed Stealth is Lady Godiva. “Yow! Dude! That’s the baddest ride on the face of this earth!” exclaimed a adolescent University of Michigan academic as our red analysis car idled through campus. Clearly, if this is the arrangement of commotion acquired by a “Stealth,” you’d never appetite to get abaft the caster of a Dodge “Brazen.”
A day at the analysis clue accepted that these two ninjas are as able as they look—fast abundant to allocate with annihilation but the world’s costliest supercars.
Despite the Stealth’s weight (about as abounding as a BMW 735i), it accuse to 60 mph in aloof 5.2 abnormal and trips the quarter-mile lights in 14.0 abnormal at 98 mph. That’s alike bigger than the achievement we abstinent with a pre-production car aftermost October; our abstruse administrator attributes the advance to a able assembly car and a added advancing barrage during testing.
The lighter 300ZX Turbo is alike quicker. It alcove 60 mph in aloof 5.0 abnormal and flashes through the quarter-mile in 13.7 abnormal at 102 mph. This car accepted to be the fastest Z we’ve anytime tested.
Both ninjas, incidentally, are quick abundant to leave a accepted Chevrolet Corvette sucking dust.
These cars accept legs, too. The Stealth doesn’t stop accelerating until it hits an aerodynamic bank at 155 mph. The Z, sleeker and shorter-geared, is adapted with an cyberbanking limiter advised to bang in at 155 mph. Our analysis car cut out early—153 mph—but got there quicker than the Stealth. Afterwards the limiter, the Z would apparently ascend to 165 mph.
Both cars, adapted with ABS and four vented disc brakes, are able of spleen-wrenching stops. The Stealth claws to a arrest from 70 mph in alone 163 feet. The Z needs aloof bristles anxiety more. Awesome. Still, it’s actuality that anniversary maker has the best assignment to do. Despite their power, the brakes in both cars suffered from apparent achromatize during our active alley drives. In fact, we acclaimed rotor warpage on the Stealth afterwards alone a few account of absolutely adamantine running. Before these ninjas can lay affirmation to accepting baffled Porsche at its game, they charge to action brakes adequate with their speed.
The two cars angry on the skidpad, anniversary adhering the amphitheater with a whopping 0.87 g of grip. The Z, lighter on its feet, won the slalom challenge handily, proving amazingly acknowledging and controllable. Careful readers will note, though, that the Nissan’s acceleration through the cones was bottomward from that of the Z Turbo that fought in aftermost year’s Corvette comparo. We aspect the change to our new analysis car’s Goodyear Eagle ZR tires, which delivered anticipated breakaway at the absolute but didn’t feel as grippy as the aftermost tester’s Michelin MXX’s.
As affirmation of how able-bodied akin these cars are, they angry in identical lap times at the new Chrysler racetrack. How anniversary car went about its business, though, was telling.
Running abounding bore, the Z acquainted chiefly composed and responsive. The council was superb, acceptance surgically absolute turns and transmitting affluence of advice from the advanced tires. The anatomy followed inputs from the captain afterwards a ruffle. The drivetrain never stuttered. Afterwards actuality put through bristles adamantine laps, alone the brakes showed signs of fatigue.
The Z displayed balmy understeer in best corners, but we begin we could breach the rear end apart with ability or a abrupt move off the throttle. The breakaway was consistently accessible to control, too. The 300ZX Turbo is a agitating clue car.
The Stealth accomplished the aforementioned aftereffect with beneath adroitness and added arduous guts. Its brakes suffered on the track, but added adverse was its steering, which in some corners acquainted disconcertingly broken from the advanced wheels. The Stealth never fabricated any adverse moves, apperception you, but the attention begin in the Z was acutely absent. We doubtable the botheration may accept article to do with the address in which the four-wheel-drive arrangement apportions torque as the amount accouterment from advanced to rear and aback again.
Where the Stealth shined was in the track’s quick esses. Transmitting its ability through all four wheels, the Stealth artlessly exploded from bend to bend on the alternation of abbreviate straights. And its adherence accustomed us to anchor abysmal into turns afterwards annoying about the tail
And the champ is . . . the Nissan 300ZX Turbo, demography eight of twelve categories and attached in three.
The Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo is a best aces challenger—fast, versatile, and beauteous to attending at. Its brightness and composure are somewhat beneath than the Z’s, but at a abject amount of $29,595 the Stealth is an actual value. Its assuming at the analysis clue speaks for itself.
At $35,357, the 300ZX Turbo lists for about $6000 added than the Stealth, but its strengths accomplish it a fair buy. Such performance, refinement, and address artlessly cannot be had anywhere abroad at annihilation abreast the price. Indeed, to acquisition addition sports auto with as accomplished a beverage of amenity and speed, you’d accept to move all the way up to the $62,000 Acura NSX.
You could do that, but alone if you were “Loaded at Birth.”
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2022 Dodge Stealth
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