7. Dodge Spirit R/T
The Spirit was a compact, front-wheel-drive model Dodge introduced in 1989. In its base form, it was popular with consumers since it had a modern design. It was also of good quality and had up to date features at an affordable price. However, the R/T version was far more interesting. It is a shame most people have forgotten about it, except for the most dedicated Dodge fans. Since the performance and power output of the base Spirit was nothing to write home about, Dodge decided to introduce a hot rod version. They called it the R/T to resurrect the famous moniker they used in the muscle car era.
The base 2.2-liter four-cylinder motor only produced 90 HP, so they gave it a turbo upgrade. After that, it produced an impressive 224 HP and 218 lb-ft of torque. For the 1991 model year, this was a hefty power level from an economy car. This newfound power raised performance to a whole new level. In fact, the Spirit R/T could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than six seconds, which made it enter Corvette territory in 1991. At over $17,000 it was expensive, but it offered fantastic driving dynamics and sublime performance for an economy sedan. Unfortunately, the market didn’t understand this car, so Dodge made less than 1,500 in the two years the Spirit R/T was available. Today, most people have forgotten those hot little cars. But if you find one for sale, you may want to buy it. It is an interesting cool piece of Dodge’s performance history.