Dodge Cars and Trucks For 1999
By Carey Russ
Performance is the name of the game for Dodge, and expanded R/T nomenclature emphasizes this. R/T stands for Road/Track, and was first used on the company's muscle cars back in the late 1960s. Even the Dodge cars without an R/T model in their lineup have sporty style and attitude. This includes the new Grand Caravan ES, the first sports minivan.
Six versions of the world's best-selling minivan are available for 1999, including short-wheelbase Caravan and long-wheelbase Grand Caravan models. All have new front styling, and Sport and ES models have revised rear styling as well. In keeping with Dodge's sporty mission, the "AutoStick" manually-controllable automatic transmission is standard equipment on the Grand Caravan ES. The ES also has 17-inch wheels, the largest in a minivan. An integrated, reclining child seat is available on Caravans and Grand Caravans with second-row bucket seats.
The Caravan has engine choices for every level of minivan performance and available all-wheel-drive for all-weather abilities. Five- and seven-passenger seating configurations are available in both lengths.
Completely redone last year, the full-size Intrepid sedan has interior enhancements for increased comfort, style, and quiet this year. There are revisions to the suspension for a quieter ride and better handling as well.
Two trim levels are offered, both with distinctive, coupe-like styling. The base-model Intrepid has a 200-hp, 2.7-liter V6, while the ES uses a 225-hp, 3.2-liter V6. The Intrepid ES also features the AutoStick transmission for easy manual shifting when desired.
Both the Viper GTS Coupe and RT/10 roadster continue their road-biting ways with larger wheels and tires to get their 450 horsepower to the pavement. The Viper is getting away from its original "bare-bones" raw character with no loss of performance. There are a number of interior upgrades for increased comfort. Power side mirrors are now standard, and a Connolly (r) leather interior package is available.
The Neon had major upgrades last year. The lineup of sedans and coupes has revised equipment levels on different models for 1999. There are three basic trim levels - base, Sport, and R/T. If the R/T, which includes most of the hardware that has made Neons successful in showroom stock racing classes, isn't sporty enough, the "American Club Racing" package is available.
The 1999 Stratus sedan has a revised suspension, tuned for spirited handling. There are improvements to the base-model 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and interior revisions to all models. New wheel covers on the base model, new alloy wheels on the upscale ES level, and new color choices for both highlight the exterior.
The Avenger coupe is offered in three trim levels, with 140-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 163-hp, 2.5-liter V6 engines. There are new color choices for 1999.