1988-1989 Dodge Lancer

88-89 Dodge Lancer

Used Shelby-modified parts, but were not overseen by Carroll Shelby


Base price: $16,530

The 1988-1989 Lancer Shelby was Dodge’s version of the Shelby Lancer. As with the Shelby Lancer, it was based on the sporty Dodge Lancer ES.

It was basically a factory appearance and handling package.Inside, all Lancer Shelbys featured a generous list of standard features including gray leather on the seats and the steering wheel.

Other standard equipment included a six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, air conditioning, full instrumentation, power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, rear defrost, split folding rear seat, cruise control, and tilt steering.

The Pioneer CD system used in the Shelby Lancer was replaced with Chrysler’s top-of-the-line Infinity II system with eight-speakers and graphic equalizer.The exterior was available in red, white or black. The body kit included lower body side skirts, rear deck spoiler, and a new low-profile rear-roof spoiler.

Most of the Shelby identifications were not used. An “Intercooled Turbo” graphics appeared on the side skirts, the Shelby medallion on the rear deck lid was replaced with a black pentastar. As with the Shelby Lancer, all trim was blacked out including the grill and headlight surrounds.

Eggshell wheels were used in 1988 and snowflakes were featured in 1989; both of these wheels were 6.0″ wide rather than 6.5″ as Shelby’s wheels had been. The wheels were painted body color on white cars; otherwise they were polished aluminum.

The standard powerplant was the intercooled Turbo II engine with the five-speed manual transmission that provided 174 hp. There was an optional automatic transmission available with a less powerful 146 hp Turbo I engine.

It ran 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds and the ¼ mile in 15.7 seconds at 89 mph.Underneath, the Lancer Shelby was combination of the Shelby Lancer and the Lancer ES.

Some Shelby suspension modifications that were used included the solid sway bars (1 1/16″ front, 1 1/8″ rear), the shorter high-rate springs (which reduced ride height by 1.5-in; compared to an ES), fast ratio (14.0:1) power steering with 2.2 turns lock-to-lock, and 205/60-15 Goodyear tires (which were scheduled to be Eagle GTs rather than Gatorbacks but it seems that Gatorbacks may have been used after all).

The Shelby’s Monroe Formula GP struts and shocks were replaced by Chrysler units from the ES; Shelby’s rear disc brakes were also dropped and replaced by the ES’s standard drums. The tires were not mounted on Shelby wheels; Chrysler substituted their own.

Dodge used a true Turbo II (Shelby used a converted Turbo I) when intercooling was called for. While the true Turbo II didn’t offer any more power, its beefier bottom end was certainly more durable than the converted engine.

Carrying a familiar 175 horsepower rating, the five-speed Dodge would equal the five-speed Shelby’s acceleration.The only options available were an electric sunroof and the less powerful 146 hp Turbo I engine with automatic transmission.

Although it was not planned as a limited edition, there were not many Lancer Shelbys produced either year.

279 in 1988
208 in 1989


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