Eagle Talon

Eagle Talon

Eagle Talon (1990–1998) is similar to the Plymouth Laser and the Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Talon was Eagle's halo car and outsold its cousins.

The Eagle Talon was one of three model names given to a passenger car that was manufactured and sold by the then Chrysler Corporation (symbol: penta-star) and Mitsubishi Motors of Japan (symbol: triple diamond) 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 to compete with Japanese imports in the late 1980s from the remnants of American Motors which was purchased by Chrysler in 1987. The other two sister models were the Eclipse (sold by Mitsubishi) and the Laser (sold by Plymouth, another Chrysler brand). Note that both the "Eagle" and "Plymouth" brand names have since been discontinued.

All three vehicles were built on the same platform at the DSM 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 were found in wheels, availability of colors, tail lights, front and rear bumpers, and spoilers. 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 (Note: 1G Eclipses with a 2.0 L engine also have black 'greenhouse' roofs).

The basic characteristics of the Eagle Talon are:

  • Two doors
  • Hatchback
  • 2+2 seating (2 front seats and 2 marginal, fold down rear seats)
  • Four option levels (from lowest to highest): DL, 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-hand side of the car in order to provide adequate clearance for the camshaft sprockets/timing belt cover on the 4G63 engine (Note: the base model DL did not use this engine so although it had the bulge, it did not need it).

First generation (1G)

  • production=1990-1994
  • body_style=3-door hatchback
  • platform=FF/AWD D
  • engine=1.8 L Mitsubishi 4G37 I4
  • 2.0 L Mitsubishi 4G63 I4
  • 2.0 L Mitsubishi 4G63T I4
  • transmission=5-speed manual
  • 4-speed automatic

The first generation Talon was manufactured in mid-1989 as a 1990 model year car through to 1994. This era of DSM vehicles is commonly referred to as the first generation, or "1G" for short. However, there were two 1g styles. The "1ga" models, mid-1989 through 4/1992, featured pop-up, or flip-up lights while the post 5/1992, or "1gb" models featured composite style headlights with integrated turn signals.

There were four models of the Talon:

  1. DL
  2. ES (Simply Talon pre-1993)
  3. TSi
  4. TSi AWD

The 1993-1994 base model DL was front-wheel drive and used a low-power 1.8 L engine (4G37). The ES did not exist until the DL was introduced in 1993. Until then, it was simply the "Talon." The ES model sported a naturally aspirated 2.0 L Mitsubishi 4G63 engine. The TSi and TSi AWD models were powered by the same engine, with the addition of an intercooled Mitsubishi 14b turbocharger (13b on the automatic transmission models) to boost performance significantly. The TSi AWD model alone featured an all-wheel drive system for improved performance and handling.

The pre-4/92 1g features a "6 bolt" engine, referring to the amount of bolts connecting the flywheel to the crankshaft. All future talons were converted to a "7 bolt" version. The 6-bolt engines were and are prized for their impressive ability to withstand large amounts of boost, 25 to 30 PSI is not uncommon. This was due to the more robust combination of connecting rods and pistons. 6-bolt engines have been known to handle 500+ hp using the stock internals. Also, the 6-bolt versions were not known to crankwalk.

The Eagle Talon was consistently featured on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1990-1992.

Production numbers

  • 1991: 29,853
  • 1992: 29,911
  • 1993: 27,360
  • 1994: 27,680

Second generation (2G)

  • production=1995-1998
  • body_style=3-door hatchback
  • platform=FF/AWD PJ
  • engine=2.0 L 420A I4
  • 2.0 L Mitsubishi 4G63T I4
  • transmission=5-speed manual
  • 4-speed automatic
  • length=172.2 in (4374 mm)
  • wheelbase=98.8 in (2510 mm)
  • ftrack=59.7 in (1516 mm)
  • rtrack=59.4 in (1509 mm)
  • width=68.3 in (1735 mm) (ESi)
  • 68.7 in (1745 mm) (TSi)
  • height=51.4 in (1305.6 mm) (ESi)
  • 51.5 in (1308 mm) (TSi)

The second generation Eagle Talon was introduced in 1995 simultaneously with its Mitsubishi Eclipse counterpart, while the Plymouth Laser model was eliminated. Mechanically, the new Talon and Eclipse models were almost identical with the engines receiving a modest increase in output thanks to a redesigned intake and exhaust, and new turbocharger (in some models). The new smaller T-25 turbocharger spooled faster but provided less airflow than the previous turbocharger. This was a plus for response, but overall the durability of the new engine design is considred less than the previous model.

From a design standpoint, the differences between this car and its Mitsubishi equivalent were somewhat more substantial than exhibited in the first generation models. 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 clusters (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 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.

1995 Eagle Talon TSi. Amber [turn signals, integral reverse lights, and bumper cap comprise the rear fascia that is unique to the Eagle Talon.

For model year 1997, a design update occurred for both the Talon and the Eclipse that is sometimes referred to as "2Gb". The update was primarily limited 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 center of the bumper cap (as opposed to a badge that inset into a similarly shaped hole). At the rear, a new high-mount spoiler was introduced that projected further into the airstream, replacing the flush-mounted sickle spoiler. Added plastic moldings on the bumper caps and doors completed the revisions to the body. Lastly, an aluminum wheel incorporating more angles replaced the curved 5-spoke wheel.

Models:

  • ESi - 2.0 L 420A/ECH I4, 140 hp (104 kW) at 6000 rpm and 130 ft·lbf (176 N·m) at 4800 rpm
  • TSi / TSi AWD manual transmission - 2.0 L 4G63 turbo I4, 210 hp (156 kW) at 6000 rpm and 214 ft·lbf (290 N·m) at 3000 rpm
  • TSi / TSi AWD automatic transmission - 2.0 L 4G63 turbo I4, 205 hp (152 kW) at 6000 rpm and 220 ft·lbf (298 N·m) at 3000 rpm

The TSi and TSi AWD models again featured an intercooled turbocharged engine, now replacing the 1G Mitsubishi turbo with a Garrett T25 model. Although the T25 was a smaller turbo, it spooled faster at a lower RPM resulting in increased acceleration performance. The TSi AWD model retained the All Wheel Drive drivetrain system.

Production numbers

  • 1995: 20,824
  • 1996: 13,842
  • 1997: 1,987
  • 1998: 2,957

Colors

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

End of the Talon

By 1998, the Talon was the last model in the declining Eagle lineup. Although a concept car called the Eagle Jazz was produced, which bore a strange resemblance to a 4-door Eagle Talon, Chrysler stopped promoting the Eagle brand and in 1998 the Talon stopped production.

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