The Omni 024 was a lower, sportier 3-door hatchback version of the Dodge Omni, a similar concept to the Volkswagen Scirocco. It was a rebadged version of the Plymouth Horizon TC3. From the 1981 model year, the model year, the Omni name was dropped and the car was renamed simply Dodge 024 and for the 1983 model year, it was renamed again to Dodge Charger. Similarly, the Plymouth version was first renamed to simply TC3 and later became the Plymouth Turismo. The Charger and Omni were replaced by the Dodge Shadow in 1986.
Dodge Omni 024 Overview
The Dodge Omni 024 was a variation of the Dodge Omni, designed to capture a sportier aspect of the compact car market during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It shared many components with the regular Omni but had a distinctive hatchback coupe body style that gave it a more performance-oriented look.
The Omni 024 featured a notchback design, which means it had a trunk-like appearance, rather than the fastback design of most hatchbacks. This gave it a more sporty profile. Like the regular Omni, the 024 typically came equipped with a range of four-cylinder engines, including the 1.7-liter Volkswagen engine and, later, Chrysler’s own 2.2-liter engine.
In a collaboration with the Italian carmaker DeTomaso, a sportier version of the Omni 024 was produced in 1980. The Dodge Omni 024 DeTomaso featured unique styling touches, such as fender flares, a special front fascia, and a rear spoiler. It also had the DeTomaso logo, identifying its sportier aspirations. Despite the sporty looks, the mechanical components remained largely unchanged from the base Omni 024.
In 1981, the Omni 024 was rebranded as part of Dodge’s efforts to revive the Charger nameplate. The car became the Dodge Charger 2.2, emphasizing its 2.2-liter engine. While still rooted in the Omni lineage, this new Charger aimed to capture some of the performance heritage associated with the Charger name. The Charger 2.2 and its variants continued in production until the mid-1980s.
The Omni 024 and its DeTomaso variant represented Dodge’s attempts during the late 1970s and early 1980s to inject sportiness into their compact car lineup. While it may not have achieved the iconic status of some other performance cars of the era, it is a noteworthy footnote in the history of Chrysler’s continual efforts to produce sporty, affordable cars during that period.