The 1988-1990 Dodge Lancer Shelby was a sporty low-volume offshoot of Dodge's late-'80s front-drive Lancer sedan. The H-body five-door hatchback also sold as the Chrysler LeBaron GTS. Not to be confused with the contemporary Shelby Lancer, a still-sportier confection built by Shelby Automobiles in California, not Chrysler in Michigan.

Lancer Shelby started with the sporty production ES model and added a monochrome exterior (first in red or white, then black, too), lower-body "aero" skirts, low-profile rear-roof spoiler, and a leather interior, plus an uprated "handling" chassis and intercooled 174-horsepower "Turbo II" engine -- with manual five-speed only; the optional automatic transaxle required the 146-bhp "Turbo I" engine.

Air conditioning and a power driver's seat were standard. At best, the Lancer Shelby is an iffy collector's item for the distant future due to Shelby-built cousin's greater mystique, higher power, and even lower production. Still, the Lancer Shelby is an interesting newer factory flyer that's quite practical day-to-day. It was dropped with other Lancers after 1989.

Pluses of the 1988-1990 Dodge Lancer Shelby:

  • Good performance and economy
  • Hatchback versatility (fold-down rear seat)
  • Rare
  • Roomy
  • “Used car” cheap

Minuses of the 1988-1990 Dodge Lancer Shelby:

  • Chrysler turbo-four boominess
  • Collectibility far from certain
  • Mediocre fit and finish
  • Usual manual-shift clunkiness and production

Production of the 1988 Dodge Lancer Shelby:
279

Specifications of the 1988-1990 Dodge Lancer Shelby:
Wheelbase, inches: 103.1
Length, inches: 180.4

Weight, pounds: 2,850
Price, new: $17,395 (U.S.)

Engines for the 1988-1990 Dodge Lancer Shelby:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
ohc I-4
435 cid
146/174
1988-1990

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