As a potential follow-up to Dodge SRT-4 compact sedan, Dodge brought a turbocharged version of its Dodge Stratus midsized sedan to the 2002 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas.
Created for the everyday hot rodder in the early-2000s, the Dodge Stratus Turbo Concept took the mainstream sedan to the next level with a custom-tuned turbocharged engine, R/T-based performance suspension, and unique exterior styling.
Sourcing the SRT-4’s turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four cylinder engine, engineers were able to extract 240 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque out of it for this concept. Pretty impressive considering that the 2018 Ford Focus ST performance hatchback produced 252 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, 16 years later.
Other enthusiast-oriented features designed by Chrysler Group engineers include a 5-speed manual transmission, short-throw shift kit, upgraded brake system for shorter stopping distances, and dual exhaust system with bright chrome tips. The car also featured the performance-oriented R/T suspension from the Stratus R/T sedan, which is lowered by half an inch compared with the base version for even more precise handling.
When it comes to the car’s exterior, the Stratus Turbo got a unique look thanks to a custom front fascia with lowered front skirting, a functional ram-air hood scoop, as well as custom rocker panels and side skirting for improved aerodynamics. The car sat on a set of 18-inch RH Evolution wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot performance redline rubber. Other exterior highlights included custom clear Euro-style taillights, an aluminum rear wing, and House of Kolor Cobalt Blue exterior paint.
Inside, the Stratus Turbo Concept featured details that could make it fit right into the street scene at the time. Amenities included custom leather seats and door panel accents, Momo leather-wrapped shift knob, House of Kolor Cobalt Blue accents on the instrument panel, an A-pillar boost gauge, Chrysler Sebring-sourced chrome door handles, and an Eclipse entertainment system.
While the Dodge design studio and engineering team developed much of the concept’s execution, many of the final touches were completed by Decoma SVE of Troy, Michigan, under the direction of the team in Auburn Hills.
Unfortunately, the car would never make it into production. Instead, elements like the aluminum rear wing would make it into production on the 2006 Dodge Stratus R/T sedan in its final year of production.
For those living in Mexico, the turbocharged 2.4-liter would make it under the hood of the Stratus R/T sedan there. From 2001 to 2003 the car would produce 215 horsepower, and in 2004, the car would get a boost to 225 horsepower and 235 lb.-ft. of torque. Not near the power of the SEMA concept vehicle.