Many look to the 1980s with loathing…perhaps memories of parachute pants and fanny packs are simply too fresh. But those who remember the ‘80s superstar that was the Dodge Omni GLH have a decidedly different perspective.
Introduced in 1984 and built with direction from Carroll Shelby, the Omni GLH was a performance sledgehammer in a shoebox of a package, and it only got better over its next two years of life. Sadly, it was to be a short life, and by 1987 the GLH was gone.
Nevertheless, the passion for the “Goes Like Hell” Dodge still lives on, as evidenced by this brooding 2016 Dart GLH concept, which turned up at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. On visuals alone, it makes quite the statement.
The sinister Dart GLH comes slathered in Pitch Black paint and has been kitted-out with a host of Mopar Performance goodies—note the Hellcat-esque aluminum hood. Around the front, the GLH packs on a sleek Mopar chin splitter, while red accents define the concept’s side sills and a racy rear diffuser towards the back.
While the original Omni GLH sat on 15-inch alloy wheels, the times have changed and the Dart GLH opts for much larger 18-inch Mopar wheels—painted anodized black—which hide a set of high performance brakes. Inside, Dodge keeps with the all-black look and massages Katzkin leather into the seats, while a sport steering wheel, Mopar pedal kit, and shift knob remind you that you’re resting in a GLH part deux.
Unfortunately, the Dart GLH concept lacks the engine enhancements that made its ‘80s namesake such a screamer. 1984 saw the introduction of a tuned 110 horsepower four-cylinder, and ’85 introduced Chrysler’s triumphant 2.2-liter turbocharged engine, which pummeled the road with 146 ponies and could launch to 60 mph in seven and a half seconds.
For argument’s sake, the Dart already makes a larger 184 hp in standard form, but this being a concept…many were undoubtedly hoping to see some silly “Goes Like Hell” levels of thrust. Thankfully, Dodge also brought an all-wheel-drive Challenger to SEMA. We’ll call this one even.