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Body style: Coupé (two-door)
Segment: Compact

Only the name resembled the former glorious muscle car when Dodge introduced the 1981 Charger on the market.

Dodge introduced the 1982 Charger in the summer of '81, and it was the first with a front-engine and front-wheel-drive system. Unlike its predecessors, which offered big V-8s under the hood, this one was just a four-banger aiming at the European sport-compact coupes such as the Renault 17 or the Volkswagen Scirocco. But the big carmaker was in deep financial troubles, and it needed a car to sell in high volumes, and the former gas-guzzlers just couldn't do that, especially with another oil crisis in the public memory.

It looked was a hatchback designed on the newer standards with a wedged-shape bodywork. At the front, it featured rectangular headlights in individual clusters and a narrow grille between them, between the hood and the bumper. A wrapped-around plastic bumper that respected the 5-mph rule was added to the car, and its apron was aerodynamically studied to increase the downforce onto the front wheels. But building a hatchback was not one of the American's carmaker specialties, and that was obvious on the C-pillar, which was very thick.

Inside, Dodge installed bucket seats with high bolstered areas to keep their occupants in place. Unfortunately, the car's platform didn't do a job as well as the seats. The carmaker installed a folding rear bench in the back, thus increasing the otherwise limited trunk room.

Under the hood, the Charger started with a 2.2-liter engine which couldn't provide 100 hp. Its performances were barely in the same league with a Volkswagen Golf GTI. Its five-speed manual was geared for quick acceleration but with longer, higher gears for fuel-efficiency. Thus, the 1981 Charger proved to be a sporty-looking commuter vehicle, but not a sports car.

DODGE Charger 1981 - 1987 27 Photos
DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)DODGE Charger (1981 - 1987)
DODGE Charger 1981 - 1987
  8 gasoline engines
  • 1.6L 4MT (62 HP)
  • 1.6L 5MT (62 HP)
  • 1.7L 4MT (63 HP)
  • 2.2L 3AT (94 HP)
  • 2.2L 4MT (94 HP)
  • 2.2L 5MT (107 HP)
  • 2.2L 5MT (94 HP)
  • 2.2L Turbo 5MT (146 HP)
brochures (download)
DODGE Charger Brochure (US)

DODGE Charger 1.6L 4MT (62 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.6L 4MT (62 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1592 cm3
Power
46.2 KW @ 4800 RPM
62.9 HP @ 4800 RPM
62 BHP @ 4800 RPM
Torque
86 lb-ft @ 3200 RPM
117 Nm @ 3200 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-speed manual
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/75 R 13
DIMENSIONS
Length
173.7 in (4412 mm)
Width
66.7 in (1694 mm)
Height
50.8 in (1290 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.1/55.6 in (1,425/1,412 mm)
Wheelbase
96.6 in (2454 mm)
Cargo Volume
10.7 cuFT (303 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.39
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2209 lbs (1002 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
34.1 mpg US (6.9 L/100Km)
Highway
51.1 mpg US (4.6 L/100Km)
Combined
40 mpg US (5.9 L/100Km)

DODGE Charger 1.6L 5MT (62 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.6L 5MT (62 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1592 cm3
Power
46.2 KW @ 4800 RPM
62.9 HP @ 4800 RPM
62 BHP @ 4800 RPM
Torque
86 lb-ft @ 3200 RPM
117 Nm @ 3200 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-speed manual
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/75 R 13
DIMENSIONS
Length
173.7 in (4412 mm)
Width
66.7 in (1694 mm)
Height
50.8 in (1290 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.1/55.6 in (1,425/1,412 mm)
Wheelbase
96.6 in (2454 mm)
Cargo Volume
10.7 cuFT (303 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.39
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2209 lbs (1002 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
33.1 mpg US (7.1 L/100Km)
Highway
52.3 mpg US (4.5 L/100Km)
Combined
39 mpg US (6 L/100Km)

DODGE Charger 1.7L 4MT (63 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  1.7L 4MT (63 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1716 cm3
Power
47 KW @ 4800 RPM
63.9 HP @ 4800 RPM
63 BHP @ 4800 RPM
Torque
83 lb-ft @ 2400 RPM
113 Nm @ 2400 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-speed manual
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/75 R 13
DIMENSIONS
Length
173.7 in (4412 mm)
Width
66.7 in (1694 mm)
Height
50.8 in (1290 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.1/55.6 in (1,425/1,412 mm)
Wheelbase
96.6 in (2454 mm)
Cargo Volume
10.7 cuFT (303 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.39
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2209 lbs (1002 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
32 mpg US (7.4 L/100Km)
Highway
50 mpg US (4.7 L/100Km)
Combined
38 mpg US (6.2 L/100Km)

DODGE Charger 2.2L 3AT (94 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  2.2L 3AT (94 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
2213 cm3
Power
70.1 KW @ 5200 RPM
95.3 HP @ 5200 RPM
94 BHP @ 5200 RPM
Torque
111 lb-ft @ 2400 RPM
151 Nm @ 2400 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
3-speed automatic
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/75 R 13
DIMENSIONS
Length
173.7 in (4412 mm)
Width
66.7 in (1694 mm)
Height
50.8 in (1290 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.1/55.6 in (1,425/1,412 mm)
Wheelbase
96.6 in (2454 mm)
Cargo Volume
10.7 cuFT (303 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.39
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2264 lbs (1027 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
27 mpg US (8.7 L/100Km)
Highway
35 mpg US (6.7 L/100Km)
Combined
30 mpg US (7.8 L/100Km)

DODGE Charger 2.2L 4MT (94 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  2.2L 4MT (94 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
2213 cm3
Power
70.1 KW @ 5200 RPM
95.3 HP @ 5200 RPM
94 BHP @ 5200 RPM
Torque
111 lb-ft @ 2400 RPM
151 Nm @ 2400 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
4-speed manual
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/75 R 13
DIMENSIONS
Length
173.7 in (4412 mm)
Width
66.7 in (1694 mm)
Height
50.8 in (1290 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.1/55.6 in (1,425/1,412 mm)
Wheelbase
96.6 in (2454 mm)
Cargo Volume
10.7 cuFT (303 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.39
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2264 lbs (1027 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
28 mpg US (8.4 L/100Km)
Highway
46 mpg US (5.1 L/100Km)
Combined
34 mpg US (6.9 L/100Km)

DODGE Charger 2.2L 5MT (107 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  2.2L 5MT (107 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
2213 cm3
Power
79.8 KW @ 5600 RPM
108.5 HP @ 5600 RPM
107 BHP @ 5600 RPM
Torque
127 lb-ft @ 3600 RPM
172 Nm @ 3600 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-speed manual
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
195/50 R 15
DIMENSIONS
Length
173.7 in (4412 mm)
Width
66.7 in (1694 mm)
Height
50.8 in (1290 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.1/55.6 in (1,425/1,412 mm)
Wheelbase
96.6 in (2454 mm)
Cargo Volume
10.7 cuFT (303 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.39
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2436 lbs (1105 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
Combined
25 mpg US (9.4 L/100Km)

DODGE Charger 2.2L 5MT (94 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  2.2L 5MT (94 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
2213 cm3
Power
70.1 KW @ 5200 RPM
95.3 HP @ 5200 RPM
94 BHP @ 5200 RPM
Torque
111 lb-ft @ 2400 RPM
151 Nm @ 2400 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-speed manual
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/75 R 13
DIMENSIONS
Length
173.7 in (4412 mm)
Width
66.7 in (1694 mm)
Height
50.8 in (1290 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.1/55.6 in (1,425/1,412 mm)
Wheelbase
96.6 in (2454 mm)
Cargo Volume
10.7 cuFT (303 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.39
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2264 lbs (1027 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
28 mpg US (8.4 L/100Km)
Highway
46 mpg US (5.1 L/100Km)
Combined
34 mpg US (6.9 L/100Km)

DODGE Charger 2.2L Turbo 5MT (146 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  2.2L Turbo 5MT (146 HP)
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
2213 cm3
Power
108.9 KW @ 5200 RPM
148 HP @ 5200 RPM
146 BHP @ 5200 RPM
Torque
168 lb-ft @ 3200 RPM
228 Nm @ 3200 RPM
Fuel System
Turbocharged Multipoint Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Front Wheel Drive
Gearbox
5-speed manual
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
195/50 R 15
DIMENSIONS
Length
173.7 in (4412 mm)
Width
66.7 in (1694 mm)
Height
50.8 in (1290 mm)
Front/rear Track
56.1/55.6 in (1,425/1,412 mm)
Wheelbase
96.6 in (2454 mm)
Cargo Volume
10.7 cuFT (303 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.39
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2441 lbs (1107 kg)
FUEL ECONOMY (NEDC)
City
20 mpg US (11.8 L/100Km)
Highway
27 mpg US (8.7 L/100Km)
Combined
22 mpg US (10.7 L/100Km)
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