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The Dodge Stratus R/T of Mexico (1998)

  The information on this page was kindly provided by Roberto Garcia Ando. Updated 4/15/2002.

Reviews of the Dodge Stratus R/T

Hector J. Vega wrote:

This is a summary of the reports published by "Automovil" and "Motor y Volante" magazines and newspaper "El Norte" in Mexico. The test was performed at 2,220 m above sea level. Far better performance is expected at lower altitudes.

Power: 215HP @ 5600
Torque: 224lb/ft @ 3200
Transmission: 4 spd auto(autostick)
Gear Ratios: 2.84/1.57/1.00/0.69
Final drive ratio: 3.91:1
Max. Speed: 217 km/h (135mph) electronically limited

0 - 100 Km/h (0 - 62mph) : 8.13 sec. (average from the 3 tests)
1/4 Mile: 15.89

Comments include: "Turbo lag is present in the low RPM range" (Automovil). "Engine's response is explosive once the turbo spools up to the point that traction control is almost needed" (el norte) "It is nice to feel that the platform of the Stratus R/T is refined and torque steer is null" (El Norte). "Suspension is tuned for comfort. It is too soft and affects behaviour on curves and the good isolation makes the driver feel less connected to the road" (El Norte)

Dodge Stratus R/T sales

(From "Mr. Source" while they were still in production): The car is selling very well south the border, with no problems at all. Chrysler used to sell those beasts to the Mexican Highway patrols, to the secret service in Mexico, etc. etc. Dealers down there asked Chrysler to stop selling them to the goverment, because of image. Chrysler sells them now to the consumer, and they sell them as soon they stock them, they even have there a Sebring Turbo Sedan, and they keep selling them.

Complaints so far are the same as with the non turbos... and no problems because of the Turbo. Warranties are low compared to previous years, but there is still a long road to go before we can say we have no problems.

Some 5 speed turbos were tested not long ago, but it was hard to drive them, at least at the green light.

The 1998 Dodge Stratus R/T Specifications

The Stratus R/T was created by Chrysler Mexico's research and development team, and was sold only in Mexico. Using an intercooled turbocharger-equipped, DOHC version of the standard 2.4 liter cloud car engine, this little family car had 168 hp @ 5200 rpm, and 216 lb-ft of torque at an incredibly low 2,200 rpm. This version of the 2.4 had a stronger crankshaft for the higher load as well as new engine heads and a higher-capacity radiator. It was, unfortunately, only available with an automatic.

We have information from Motor Y Volante (number 162) which shows that after 2,000 km of use the 0-100 km figure is 8.9 seconds, and the true top speed is 254 km/h at 2,400 m above sea level - a high altitude. The same magazine reported braking of 80 km - 0 in 28 meters and .82 g curve handling.

The new price for the 1998 model was 195,053 pesos (At 8.10 per dollar that is about $24,078 USD). The price changed often. Federal highway police tended to use the base Stratus with a turbocharger.

The Cirrus LXi (sedan, coupe and convertible) used the 6 cyl. 2.5L Mitsu. engine, the 4 cyl. 2.4L. turbo engine was optional (12,000 pesos more expensive); The Cirrus LXi sedan was 192,134 pesos for the 6 cyl. and 204,285 pesos for the 4 cyl. turbo. These models were heavier and have a softer suspension than the Stratus R/T. (This was all reported by Roberto Garcia Ando [robertog@data.net.mx]).

Turbocharger Intercooled, .9 bar
Fuel Electronic sequential multipoint fuel injection
Power 168 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Torque 216 lb/ft @ 2,220 rpm
Bore and stroke 87.5 mm and 101 mm
Compression 8.0:1
Transmission 4-speed electronic automatic with Autostick
Suspension Sport tuned with stiffer springs
Brakes High performance all wheel disc brakes (80-0 km/h in 36 m.)
Top Speed About 250 km/h (no longer electronically limited)
Aerodynamics .34 cd
Weight 1,429 kg
Gas Mileage 11.7 km/L
Acceleration: 0 to 100 km/h 10.5 seconds
Braking: 80-0 km/h 36 meters
Gear ratios 1-2.84 - 2-1.57 - 3-1.00 - 4-0.691
Final - 3.91
Tires P205/60HR15

Mario (gts1@usa.net) added:

    The RT has been the top of the line Stratus here in Mexico since 1996. There are reports that 1996 RTs have cooling problems. Also vacuum lines tend to burn because of engine heat on this first year models. Autostick transmissions were used since 1997.

    0-100km/h (0-62mph) acceleration varies from 8.5 to 10s at 2000m above sea level (about 7500ft of altitude). I've seen them do the quarter mile in 16.5s, about 15.6s at sea level. Top speed is 254km/h, that's 157.48mph! as reported by "Motor y Volante". It was named car of the year in 1997 by this same magazine.

Raymundo MagaƱa added:

I have some recent information about this model, and I would very much appreciate your using this information to update the site.

Since the year 2004, the old 215 HP engine (just like in the SRT-4, somewhat underrated) was upgraded to 225 HP and 230 lb*ft. The main differences between the 215 HP and 225 HP models are basically the same existing between the 215 HP 2003 SRT-4 and the 230 HP 2004+ SRT-4s (new ECU configuration, larger fuel injectors). Some other subtle differences can be noticed when drag-racing both the 215 HP and the 225 HP models. When at full throttle and with the gearstick in the "Drive" position, the 215 HP will inevitably upshift at 5,500 RPM while the 225 HP model will go all the way to 6,000. Both models get to 6,250 RPM before the upshift when the gearstick is in the Autostick position.

For some reason, the 215 HP models have proven slightly faster than the 225 HP cars in the 1/4 mile with constant 14.7s and occasional 14.6 seconds marks at 1200 ft over the sea level. The 225 HP cars get constant 14.8s at the same altitude.

Both models are very sensitive to air temperature changes. 1/4 mile times can rise up to the mid 15s during the summer when we have over 100°F and 80% air humidity. This situation is not so noticeable in other Chrysler/Dodge turbocharged engines like the 2.2 DOHC or the 2.5 SOHC, as well as turbocharged engines from other manufacturers like the well-known Volkswagen/Audi/SEAT 1.8T family.

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