Eagle Talon

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(Redirected from Plymouth Laser)

Eagle Talon was one of three model names given to a two door sports car that was manufactured and sold by Chrysler and Mitsubishi in a collaborative project known as Diamond Star Motors (DSM) between 1990 and 1998. The Talon was sold under the Eagle marque, a brand developed by Chrysler in the late 1980's to compete with Japanese imports. The other two names were Eclipse (sold by Mitsubishi) and Laser (sold by Plymouth, another Chrysler brand). Note that both "Eagle" and "Plymouth" brand names have been discontinued.

All three vehicles were built on the same platform at DSM's manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois. All three vehicles were mechanically identical (when comparing the same option level) including engine, transmission, and drivetrain. Cosmetically, differences between the three was limited to wheels, availability of colors, and minor trim pieces. The primary way to establish the identity of an Eagle Talon is its two-tone body color - the 'greenhouse' (roof, pillars, door-mounted mirrors) was always black regardless of the body color.

The basic characteristics of the Eagle Talon are:

  • Two doors
  • Hatchback
  • 2+2 seating (2 front seats and 2 marginal, fold down rear seats)
  • Three option levels (from lowest to highest): ESi; TSi; and TSi AWD
  • Front wheel drive (FWD) for all option levels except for the top option level which had all wheel drive (AWD)
  • 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions
  • Two-tone color combination as described above
  • Hood bulge on the left, or driver's, side of the car in order to provide adequate clearance for the camshaft sprockets/timing belt cover on the 4G63 engine (note: the ESi did not use this engine and therefore, although it had the bulge, did not need it).
Contents

1st Generation (1G)

The first-generation Talon/Laser was produced from (model years) 1990 to 1994, afterwhich the Plymouth Laser was discontinued. This era of DSM vehicles is commonly referred to as the first generation, or 1G for short.

There were four models of Talon/Laser:

  • base
  • DL/RS
  • TSi/RS Turbo
  • TSi AWD/RS Turbo AWD

The base model was front wheel drive and home to a low-power 1.8 L engine. The RS model sported a naturally aspirated 2.0 L Mitsubishi 4G63 engine. The TSi/RS Turbo and AWD (all wheel drive) models were powered by the same engine, with the addition of a turbocharger to boost performance significantly. Note that the RS Turbo AWD Laser was not available until the 1992 model year.

The Laser Turbo was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1989, and the Talon and Laser Turbos made the list for 1990 through 1992.

Production numbers

  • 1991: 29853
  • 1992: 29911
  • 1993: 27360
  • 1994: 27680

2nd Generation (2G)

Missing image
DSC00879.JPG
1995 Eagle Talon TSi. Note black greenhouse, original equipment wheeels/tires, and front air intake below front bumper
Missing image
DSC02432.0.jpg
1995 Eagle Talon TSi. Note black greenhouse, hood bulge, sickle-shaped rear spoiler. Wheels and tires are aftermarket
Missing image
DSC04089.JPG
1995 Eagle Talon TSi. Amber turn signals, integral reverse lights, and bumper cap comprise the rear fascia that is unique to the Eagle Talon


The second generation Eagle Talon was introduced in 1995 simultaneously with its Mitsubishi Eclipse counterpart (the Plymouth Laser was not continued into the second generation). Mechanically, the Talon and the Eclipse were practically the same. The engines were carried over from the first generation models with only modest increases in output.

From a design standpoint, the differences between this car and its Mitsubishi equivalent were somewhat more substantial than exhibited between in the first generation. These differences were most obvious at the rear of the car. For example, the rear fascia of the Talon featured a bumper cap with a dip in the middle to allow for a high-mounted rear license plate; rear light clusters incorporating amber turn signals (the Eclipse used red turn signals); reverse lights as part of the main rear tail light assembly (the Eclipse's reverse lights were mounted separately and lower around the mid-mounted license plate); and a sickle-shaped rear spoiler for the TSi and TSi AWD version mounted at the base of the rear window that was painted black regardless of body color (the Eclipse used a body colored, conventional spoiler mounted on the rear deck). Other diffences included the cool air intake beneath the front bumper which did not have a body colored splitter (minor difference) and side skirts that were more bulbous on the Talon.

In 1997 a design update occurred for both the Talon and the Eclipse. The update was limited, primarily, to the non-metal portions of the car. The front and rear fascias were heavily revised to incorporate more aggressive looking features. At the front, a larger air intake was created and the "Eagle" emblem was enlarged and embossed into the bumper cap (as opposed to a badge that inset into a similarly shaped hole). At the rear, a new spoiler, mounted higher on a post so that it projected further into the airstream, replaced the flush-mounted sickle spoiler. Added plastic moldings on the bumper caps and doors completed the revisions to the body. Lastly, a wheel incorporating more angles replaced the curved 5-spoke wheel.

Models:

Production numbers

  • 1995: 20824
  • 1996: 13842
  • 1997: 1987
  • 1998: 2957

Dimensions

  • Wheelbase: 98.8 in (2510 mm)
  • Track (front/rear): 59.7 in (1516 mm)/59.4 in (1509 mm)
  • Overall length: 172.2 in (4374 mm)
  • Overall width:
    • ESi: 68.3 in (1735 mm)
    • TSi/TSi AWD: 68.7 in (1745 mm)
  • Overall height:
    • ESi: 51.4 in (1305.6 mm)
    • TSi/TSi AWD: 51.5 in (1308 mm)

Colors

  • Bright white
  • Black
  • Indy Red
  • Wildberry Metallic (maroon)
  • Medium Gray Metallic
  • Blue Metallic
  • Polo Green Metallic
  • Prism Blue

3rd generation (3G)

In 2000, a third generation Mitsubishi Eclipse was released. However, due to falling sales and a shift in Chrysler's model strategy which no longer included the Eagle brand, everything related to the Eagle brand, including the Talon, was discontinued. The DSM car was instead sold as the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger coupes.

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