The 1978-1983 Dodge Challenger (second generation Challenger) was a rebadged Mitsubishi Galant Λ (Lambda), which was also known as Mitsubishi Sapporo in Europe and South America, Plymouth Sapporo in North America, and Chrysler Sigma Scorpion, Chrysler Scorpion and later the Mitsubishi Scorpion in Australia, and as the Colt Sapporo in the United Kingdom.
Dodge Colt Challenger Overview
The Dodge Colt Challenger is a lesser-known nameplate that was a part of the broader Dodge Colt lineup in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It represents one of Chrysler’s badge-engineered imports from Mitsubishi during that era.
The Dodge Colt Challenger, like other vehicles under the Colt name, was a rebranded version of a Mitsubishi model. In this case, the Colt Challenger was a version of the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda, also known in various markets as the Mitsubishi Sapporo or Mitsubishi Scorpion.
The Colt Challenger was a rear-wheel-drive, 2-door coupe with a sporty orientation. Distinctive for its period, the model featured a somewhat aggressive stance with pop-up headlights and a design that catered to the emerging personal luxury and sport coupe trend of the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was equipped with either a 2.6-liter 4-cylinder engine or a smaller displacement 4-cylinder, depending on the market and the specific trim.
The vehicle was introduced to cater to the North American market’s demand for sporty, compact coupes. It provided an alternative to both domestic and other imported competitors in that segment. Despite the “Challenger” name, this vehicle had no direct relation to the more renowned Dodge Challenger muscle car of the early 1970s. The use of the Challenger name in this context can be seen as an attempt to capitalize on familiar branding, though the cars were distinctly different in purpose and design.
As was common with the Colt lineup, the Challenger saw various badges depending on the market. Besides the Dodge Colt Challenger, it was also known as the Plymouth Sapporo in North America. Both versions were virtually identical, with only minor trim differences. The Dodge Colt Challenger/Plymouth Sapporo was available in the North American market from the late 1970s until the early 1980s. After that, the model was discontinued as the market evolved and Chrysler adjusted its product lineup.