Dodge Spirit R/T vs. Lumina Z34 vs Taurus SHO

BlaRo

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Battle of the obscure beaters! :D
 

Phila

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^ Absolutely. The SHO will always have a special place in my heart.
 

Labcoatguy

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...and the year after this article came out, the newly updated Nissan Maxima beat the SHO in a head-to-head comparison. Oh well, you can't win them all or forever :D
 

otispunkmeyer

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wow cool, despite looking like a soap box, that dodge is awesome...... small unit, lots of grunt, just like VAG's current engines.
 

thedguy

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There is a nasty little rumor abound that the Z34's 3.4L DOHC v6 was originally pumping out 300hp from the factory but GM higher ups wanted it to work with their automatic. Due to the auto-transaxles general weakness under power it was detuned. :(
 

_HighVoltage_

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Thank You very much for the article!
I want any of these 3 cars (I wish they would've tested the Pontiac Grand Prix STE with 3.1 Turbo 205bhp)

If I can slightly change a Jeremy Clarkson quote: "Automatic transmissions are for the feeble!"
 

_HighVoltage_

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There is a nasty little rumor abound that the Z34's 3.4L DOHC v6 was originally pumping out 300hp from the factory but GM higher ups wanted it to work with their automatic. Due to the auto-transaxles general weakness under power it was detuned. :(
I actually know about this.
The first 3.4 Twin Dual Cam that GM produced made exactly 281hp and they were very pleased with it. They wanted to sell it as 275hp.
But the GM Hydramatic (transmission) division dropped the ball big time - they didn't have the time (or the wits) to make a FWD auto-transmission that could handle 275hp. So what they did is they beefed up their current TH440 transmission that was used in the regular 3.1 cars, but even after that it could only cope with 200hp. So GM had to limit the engine at the flywheel at 200hp.
Sad story...
Although, I'm not sure how successful a 275hp FWD car would've been.
 

Crazyjeeper

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I actually know about this.
The first 3.4 Twin Dual Cam that GM produced made exactly 281hp and they were very pleased with it. They wanted to sell it as 275hp.
But the GM Hydramatic (transmission) division dropped the ball big time - they didn't have the time (or the wits) to make a FWD auto-transmission that could handle 275hp. So what they did is they beefed up their current TH440 transmission that was used in the regular 3.1 cars, but even after that it could only cope with 200hp. So GM had to limit the engine at the flywheel at 200hp.
Sad story...
Although, I'm not sure how successful a 275hp FWD car would've been.
A 275hp FWD car can be very successful, look at the Mazdaspeed3.
 

thedguy

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A 275hp FWD car can be very successful, look at the Mazdaspeed3.
This is GM we are talking about... Early 90's GM at that. Mazda is willing to invest money to make it work, and there still are complaints of torque-steer from actual owners.

Still would have been interesting to see how things might have turned out if GM had actually sold the engine with the power it should have had. Of course they did do exactly that with the Quad 4 HO and they get no respect for that engine, and the 3.4 twin cam v6 IIRC had head gasket problems (same as the Q4ho).
 

Jay

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This is GM we are talking about... Early 90's GM at that. Mazda is willing to invest money to make it work, and there still are complaints of torque-steer from actual owners.
Truth. The W bodies (Lumina for example) were very revolutionary for GM when they came out in 1988, but GM was still hung up on FWD performance from the 1970's....

And where are you finding these articles?!? I used to scour all the auto mags back in the 1990's, it is weird to see articles that I read from fifteen years ago.
 

go4damo

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I actually know about this.
The first 3.4 Twin Dual Cam that GM produced made exactly 281hp and they were very pleased with it. They wanted to sell it as 275hp.
But the GM Hydramatic (transmission) division dropped the ball big time - they didn't have the time (or the wits) to make a FWD auto-transmission that could handle 275hp. So what they did is they beefed up their current TH440 transmission that was used in the regular 3.1 cars, but even after that it could only cope with 200hp. So GM had to limit the engine at the flywheel at 200hp.
Sad story...
Although, I'm not sure how successful a 275hp FWD car would've been.
I've read this same thing. Does that make the 3.4 engine a responsive engine to soup up?
 

public

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A great read. And yeah, I'd go for the Dodge.
 
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