The Dodge Rebel - once-upon-a-time Neon replacement car
The Dodge Rebel was to be the replacement for the Dodge Neon. The name had Mopar roots and fit with the “big and bold” image Dodge was seeking. The Rebel was to be shown for the first time in March 2005, but it was dropped in favor of a cost-saving “nothing but SUVs” plan. Instead of the Rebel — which probably would have sold better, given that Corolla sales were ten times Matrix sales, the Dodge Caliber was joined by the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.
Here are other predictions we posted, some right and some wrong.
- According to an Austrian paper, at least three variants were planned. First was a sport-wagon, á la Dodge Avenger concept, then a sedan (Dodge Rebel), then a roadster. Drawings by Mark Stehrenberger suggested a Dodge Razor-style front end on both the roadster and sport-wagon, while the sedan would be more Charger-like. Rumor had it that the sport-wagon, at least, might be called the Dodge Caliber. They turned out to be wrong, except about the name of the sport-wagon.
- The Dodge Rebel was being designed by Chrysler and Mitsubishi engineers. While both were working together on a common platform, the final cars would be different in character. In North America and Europe, the Chrysler version was to be used, even when sold under the Mitsubishi name. In Asia, the Middle East, and South America, the Mitsubishi version was to be used, even when sold under the Dodge name. The Dodge and Mitsuibshi versions would have had unique interiors and exteriors and different suspension tuning when sold in the same market. The Mitsubishi version was eventually sold as the Mitsubishi Lancer.
- The EVO was to have a Dodge version, with extensive Chrysler involvement in engineering in the two door version. The four door was primarily worked on by Mitsubishi engineers, though members of the Neon ACR team helped them, thanks to their strong rally and SCCA success. (The Neon traces its pedigree back to the Shelby Dodges, partly through John Fernandez). Mitsubishi has been a strong rally car and their engineers are no slouches.
- An SUV version was to be built and sold as the Compass (we were right about this). PT styling will probably be transferred to this platform around calendar year 2006 for lower costs and better performance - and a V6 (we were wrong here).
Some Dodge Rebel-related links:
- A review of the Mitsubishi Lancer, whose basic platform was to be used in the Dodge Rebel.
- The new engine
- The Dodge Caliber
- The Plymouth-Chrysler-Dodge Neon, with its racing successes, performance, repairs, etc., etc.