23. Chrysler 2.2-Liter
From this perspective, it’s safe to say that Chrysler was saved from bankruptcy by two things, the K-Car platform and a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, both of which were introduced in the early ’80s and proved perfect for the times. The 2.2-liter (later 2.5-liter) was an ideal engine since it offered compact size, decent performance, and good fuel economy. This unit was installed in almost all Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth models of the period and stayed in production until 1995.
Interestingly, Chrysler offered it with the turbocharger, and a modest 2.2-liter managed to be one of the most potent compact engines of the period. One of the best examples was the Dodge Omni GLH. It was also one of the best affordable performance models drivers could buy. Nobody expected Dodge could produce a hot hatch that could beat the European competitors. But with Shelby’s help, it did just that. Shelby took the 2.2-liter four-cylinder and added a turbocharger. This gave the Omni GLH a total output of 175 HP and a 0 to 60 mph time of fewer than seven seconds. Dodge offered the GLH some suspension modifications and other upgrades so it could handle all that power.