The first generation Dodge Neon was introduced in January 1994 and was produced for model years 1995 to 1999. This model was available as a 4-door sedan or a 2-door coupe, and was fitted with either a 132 hp (98 kW) 2.0 L SOHC engine or a 150 hp (112 kW) 2.0 L DOHC 4-cylinder engine. This was also offered with either a 3-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission depending on the version. The Dodge Neon was sold as a Dodge and Plymouth in the United States and Canada, and as the Chrysler Neon outside of North America.
At the time of release, the Chrysler Corporation Chairman Robert Lutz commented that the Neon was equipped with high horsepower and strong torque power compared to the competitors. This model came featured with 4-wheel disc brakes, adjustable dampers, thicker anti-roll bars, fast-ratio steering, heavy-duty front wheel hubs, and a 5-speed manual transmission with higher fifth gear and final drive ratio for quicker acceleration. In 1995, the ACR versions were made available to SCCA members and subsequently to the public, but with no specific badging to identify them the only distinguishable difference was the bumper with the fog light holes, but no fog lights.
The first-generation Neons have become increasingly competitive in SCCA Solo autocross due to their efficient design. Furthermore, the Neon also made considerable profits, being one of the few American cars in its class to do so.
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