Chrysler LeBaron

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Chrysler LeBaron
1989 LeBaron Premium convertible (Europe)
Automotive industryChrysler Corporation
Production1977–1995 (model years)
SuccessorChrysler Fifth Avenue for rear-drive M-body version (1983)
Chrysler Cirrus for front-drive sedan (1995)
Chrysler Sebring for front-drive coupe and convertible (1996)

The Chrysler LeBaron was introduced in 1977 as Chrysler's lowest priced model, and the name was used on various Chryslers until 1995. The name originates from a 1930s Coachwork bought out by Chrysler. Two years after the Corporation introduced the Imperial as a separate luxury division, LeBaron was designated the top of the line Imperial models in 1957 through 1975. Resurrected to add cachet to the Chrysler Division's new mid-sized entry two years later, the "LeBaron" name has since been applied to a total of 5 different cars built by the Chrysler Division:

  • The 1977-1981 M-body Mid-size LeBaron sedan, Coupé, and wagon
  • The 1982-1988 K-body Compact car LeBaron sedan, coupé, convertible, and wagon
  • The 1985-1989 H-body Mid-size LeBaron GTS hatchback
  • The 1987-1995 J-body Personal luxury LeBaron coupé and convertible
  • The 1990-1994 AA-body Mid-size LeBaron sedan

Contents

1977-1981


First generation
1980 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country wagon
Production1977–1981
AssemblySt. Louis, Missouri, United States
Newark, Delaware, United States
Car classificationMid-size
Car body style2-door Coupe
4-door Sedan (car)
4-door Station wagon
Automobile layoutFR layout
Automobile platformM-body
Internal combustion engine(225 SLANT6 3.1L ) 318 in³ LA V8
360 in³ LA V8
Transmission (mechanics)3-speed A727 Automatic transmission
3-speed A904 Automatic transmission
RelatedChrysler Town and Country
Dodge Diplomat

Although the LeBaron name had been used before on Imperials, this was the first time the name was used on its own. This first Chrysler LeBaron was a Rear-wheel drive M-body, a Badge engineering Dodge Diplomat with deluxe trim and equipment sold from 1977 to 1981. The LeBaron model name was moved to a new Front-wheel drive car for the 1982 model year, when the Chrysler-branded rear-drive M-body was renamed New Yorker Fifth Avenue for the 1983 model year.

LeBarons were available in Coupe, Sedan (car) and Station wagon. A Police version was available in 1981 only. The wagons arrived in 1978. All wagons had the Town & Country wood panelling until a plain base wagon was added in 1980-81. See Town & Country section for more info.

1982-1988


Second generation
1985-1988 Chrysler LeBaron sedan
Production1982–1988
AssemblyNewark, Delaware, United States
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Car classificationCompact car
Car body style2-door Convertible
2-door Coupe
4-door Sedan (car)
4-door Station wagon
Automobile layoutFF layout
Automobile platformK-body
Internal combustion engine2.2 Liter K Straight-4
2.2 L Turbo I Straight-4
2.5 L K Straight-4
2.6 L Mitsubishi Motors Mitsubishi Astron engine Straight-4
Transmission (mechanics)5-speed A525 manual
3-speed Chrysler A-404 transmission Automatic transmission
3-speed Chrysler A-404 transmission Automatic transmission
Wheelbase100.3 in (2548 mm)
Length179.2 in (4552 mm)
Width68 in (1727 mm)
Height52.9 in (1344 mm)
RelatedChrysler Town and Country
Dodge 400
Dodge Aries
Plymouth Reliant

For 1982, the LeBaron moved to the Front-wheel drive Chrysler K platform, where it became an upscale version of the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant. It was available in Sedan (car), Coupe versions. In 1983, it was released in a Convertible version, bringing to the market the first open-topped domestic vehicle since the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado. A station wagon version called the Town and Country was added as well. A special Town and Country Convertible was also made from 1983 to 1986 limited quantities (1,105 total), which, like the wagon, featured simulated wood paneling that made it resemble the original 1940s Town and Country.

Despite being mechanically identical to the Aries and Reliant, its fascias looked much more like those of the larger E-body sedans. This generation featured Chrysler's Electronic Voice Alert, a computerized voice which admonished drivers with phrases. A larger LeBaron sedan would arrive for 1990.

1985-1989 LeBaron GTS


LeBaron GTS/LeBaron
Chrysler LeBaron GTS
Production1985–1989
AssemblySterling Heights, Michigan, United States
Car classificationMid-size
Car body style5-door Hatchback
Automobile layoutFF layout
Automobile platformChrysler H platform
Internal combustion engine2.2 L K Straight-4
2.2 L Turbo I Straight-4
2.2 L Turbo II Straight-4
2.5 L K Straight-4
Transmission (mechanics)5-speed A520 Manual transmission
5-speed A555 manual
3-speed A413 Automatic transmission
Wheelbase103.1 in (2619 mm)
Length180.4 in (4582 mm)
Width68.3 in (1735 mm)
Height53 in (1346 mm)
RelatedDodge Lancer
Shelby Lancer

The 1985 LeBaron GTS was a somewhat different car than the standard LeBaron and was based on the Chrysler H platform. As a 5-door hatchback still derived from the K-car, the GTS (and the similar Dodge Lancer) was more of a performance vehicle, than the softer-tuned K-car LeBaron sedan. In base configuration, the car was powered by Chrysler's 2.2 Liter inline-4 engine, later replaced by a 2.5 L Fuel injection version generating 100 hp (75 kW). A turbocharged 2.2 L engine producing Convert/146, was also available. The GTS moniker was dropped for 1989, the final year of this vehicle's production, after the K-based LeBaron sedan was discontinued.

Trim levels

  • Highline - 1985-1989
  • Premium - 1985-1988
  • GTS - 1989 (replaced "Premium" after the "GTS" was dropped from the name of the car)

1987-1995 coupé/convertible

Third generation (coupe/convertible)
1993-1995 LeBaron convertible
Production1987–1995
AssemblyNewark, Delaware, United States
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Car classificationPersonal luxury
Car body style2-door Convertible
2-door Coupe (produced until 1993)
Automobile layoutFF layout
Automobile platformJ-body
Internal combustion engine2.2 L Turbo I Straight-4
2.2 L Turbo II Straight-4
2.2 L Turbo IV Straight-4
2.5 L K Straight-4
2.5 L Turbo Straight-4
3.0 L Mitsubishi Motors Mitsubishi 6G7x engine V6
Transmission (mechanics)5-speed A520 manual
5-speed A523 manual
5-speed A555 manual
5-speed A568 manual
3-speed Chrysler A-404 transmission Automatic transmission
4-speed A604 automatic
Wheelbase100.5 in (2553 mm) (1992-95 coupe)
100.6 in (2555 mm) (1992-95 convertible)
100.3 in (2548 mm) (1987-1991 coupe)
100.4 in (2550 mm) (1987-1991 convertible)
Length184.8 in (4694 mm)
Width69.2 in (1758 mm) (1992-95)
68.5 in (1740 mm) (1987-1991)
Height51.2 in (1300 mm) (1992-95)
50.9 in (1293 mm) (1987-1991)

After discontinuing the first generation LeBaron coupé and convertible in 1986, Chrysler released a new LeBaron in 1987, built on the J platform and available as a Coupé or convertible. The new LeBaron featured Hidden headlamps behind retractable metal covers, a waterfall grille, and curved (Coca-Cola bottle) style rocker panels. In Mexico, these models were marketed as the Chrysler Phantom.

Available Internal combustion engine were the stock 2.2 liter and 2.5 liter, naturally aspirated or turbocharged, and for the 1990 model year a 3.0 liter Mitsubishi Motors V6 became available, although the Mexican Chrysler Phantom also offered the same 2.2 liter turbo engine as used in the US market Dodge Spirit R/T.

The LeBaron was equipped with a trip & fuel economy computer and full instrumentation. For 1990, the instrument panel was redesigned.

In 1993, the LeBaron's exterior was slightly restyled. The Hidden headlamps of the 1987-1992 models were deleted in favour of less costly aerodynamic replaceable-bulb Headlamp, new Wheel styles were made available, and all models got the amber rear Automotive lighting introduced on the deluxe 1992 models. New for 1994, was the "Bright LX" decor package. It included a "bright" chrome grille, "bright" chrome badging, and "bright" chrome molding inserts, as opposed to being body-colored on the GTC. Available engines were naturally-aspirated 2.5 L and turbocharged 2.2 and 2.5 L versions of Chrysler's Straight-4, and the Mitsubishi 6G7x engine. The coupé was discontinued after 1993, and the convertible in 1995, to make way for the new Chrysler Sebring Coupé and convertibles, for 1995 and 1996 respectively.

Trim levels: 1987-1995

Throughout its lifetime, the LeBaron convertible/coupé was available in many trim levels. For its first year, the LeBaron was available in Highline and Premium, typical Chrysler trims at the time. The number of trims grew, peaking in 1990, with six available. After that, the number decreased until just one trim level remained for 1995.

  • 1987
    • Highline
    • Premium
  • 1988
    • Highline
    • Premium
    • GT
  • 1989
    • GT Turbo
    • GTC Turbo
    • Highline
    • Premium
  • 1990
    • GT
    • GT Turbo
    • GTC Turbo
    • Highline
    • Highline Turbo
    • Premium
  • 1991
    • GTC
    • GTC Turbo
    • Highline
    • Highline Turbo
    • Premium LX
  • 1992
    • base
    • Turbo
    • GTC
    • GTC Turbo
    • LX
  • 1993
    • base
    • GTC
    • LX
  • 1994
    • GTC
    • Bright LX
  • 1995
    • GTC

1990-1994 sedan

Third generation (sedan)
AA-body LeBaron sedan
Production1990–1994
AssemblyNewark, Delaware, United States
Toluca, Mexico
Car classificationMid-size
Car body style4-door Sedan (car)
Automobile layoutFF layout
Automobile platformAA-body
Internal combustion engine2.5 L Chrysler Straight-4
3.0 L Mitsubishi Motors Mitsubishi 6G7x engine V6
Transmission (mechanics)3-speed Chrysler A-404 transmission Automatic transmission
4-speed A604 automatic
Wheelbase103.5 in (2629 mm)
Length182.7 in (4641 mm)
Width68.1 in (1730 mm)
Height53.7 in (1364 mm)
Curb weight2,971 lb (1,348 kg)
RelatedDodge Spirit
Plymouth Acclaim
Chrysler Saratoga (Export only)

The last LeBaron sedan was built on the Front wheel drive AA platform, another K derivative, as an upmarket mid-size sedan. It differed from the Dodge Spirit and Plymouth Acclaim, as well as the Europe Chrysler Saratoga mostly in detail and trim choices. Theoretically, the Acclaim was supposed to be the more mainstream version, while the Spirit was the sportier version, and the LeBaron was the luxury version. In reality, however, there was considerable overlap amongst the three in available trim, equipment and features. The top-line LeBaron Landau model offered a padded vinyl half-roof with smaller "formal" backlight. All LeBaron sedans came with a standard driver's side Airbag, could seat up to six passengers, and had a relatively large trunk. In 1993 the LeBaron sedan received new Automotive lighting, which incorporated the reversing lamps previously located in the bumper fascia. The LeBaron sedan was discontinued after the 1994 model year, and was replaced in 1995 by the "Cloud Car" Chrysler Cirrus.

Trim levels

  • base - 1990-1992
  • LX - 1992
  • Landau - 1992-1994
  • LE - 1993-1994

Mexican market

The Phantom was the Mexican-market sports version of the LeBaron Coupe. Phantoms were sold with the same options as the Lebarons in the U.S., and sometimes at a higher Trim level[citation needed].

Main versions include:

1988-1990 Luxury Version: 2.2 Turbo I engine, Speaking module, leather seats & interiors, digital dashboard cluster, premium Chrysler sound system. Three-speed Automatic transmission.

1991-1993 Luxury Version: 2.5 Turbo I Engine, leather seats & interior, Chrysler Premium sound system or a six-speaker Infinity sound system also available with cassette or Compact disk player. Electronically-controlled four-speed Automatic transmission[citation needed].

1992-1993 Special Edition: 2.2 Turbo III DOHC 16-valve engine & Getrag 5V Manual transmission. The same engine and transmission were used on the U.S.-market Spirit R/T.

1992-1994 Luxury: 2.5 Turbo II Intercooled SOHC Engine & A413 three-speed Automatic transmission. Leather seats, digital dashboard cluster, automatic climate control, roof console with compass & temperature display. Single driver Airbag system and Anti-lock braking system. Additionally for 1994, an analog dashboard cluster, passenger-side airbag, and a power sunroof where available.

Safety

1994 NHTSA crash test results gave the LeBaron a 4 out of 5 for the front-impact, driver and a 3 out of 5 for the front-impact, passenger tests[citation needed].

References

External links

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