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By Jim Mateja
January 8, 1990
With or without? A Dodge Daytona with a powerful 2.2-liter, turbocharged, 4-cylinder or aDodge Daytona with a less powerful 3-liter, V-6 and 5-speed? A 174 h.p. turbo 4 or a 141 h.p. V-6 sans the turbo boost? We`ve tried both and vote
for the less powerful, but more civilized V-6in the 1990 Daytona. Daytona for years has been a performance image car for Dodge, though forthe most part there was more image from the sporty looks than performance froma variety of underpowered
4-cylinder engines. In the last five or six years Chrysler has used a crutch, the turbo, toput some life in Daytona powered by 2.2- or 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engines. For1990, the 2.2 gets a variable nozzle turbo with intercooler that boastsfaster
response without the typical turbo lag. A 2.5-liter, 100-h.p., 4-cylinder engine is standard in Daytona, the 2.2turbo and 3-liter V-6 are options. If you like racing the 97-inch wheelbase subcompact from the light, the2.2 gives you that
freedom. The turbo packs a punch. There still is a traceof turbo whistle, however. But the optional 3-liter, V-6 in the Daytona ES coupe we drove alsoprovided ample power. We got quick response without any whistle. Chrysler had needed the
3-liter, Mitsubishi-built V-6 for its mini-vans.For 1990 it added a 3.3-liter V-6 to the mini-vans, freeing some of theMitsubishi engines for other lines such as Daytona. The V-6 is more sophisticated than the turbo 4. It delivered the powerand
performance we wanted without the added cost of the turbo or the addedservice required, such as diligent oil and filter changes. The turbo generated 30 more h.p., but the V-6 provided peppy yet quietperformance without the need to put on the racing
gloves before taking to the highways. The turbo was included in a $2,778 competition package in the $9,795Daytona coupe we drove. The package included 15-inch cast aluminum wheels,unidirectional tires, performance suspension, tilt steering, power
brakes,turbo boost gauge and performance tuned exhaust for power sound effects. With an optional AM/FM stereo with cassette at $157 and a $454 freightcharge, the car was stickered at $13,184. The V-6 ($794) was part of a $2,415 performance
package on the $10,995Daytona ES coupe we drove. The package included power brakes, carpeting, powerdoor locks, performance tuned exhaust, power seats, leather-wrapped steeringwheel, performance handling suspension, power windows and AM/FM stereo
withcassette. With other option packages, the car`s sticker rose to more than $15,000.