Eagle Vision

Eagle Vision

One of Chrysler's three original LH-cars. Sold in Europe as the Chrysler Vision. Eagle Vision was a large four-door, full-size, front-wheel drive sedan. Produced by Chrysler from 1993 to 1997 as the replacement to the AMC/Renault-designed Eagle Premier (which the Vision was derived from), it was very similar to the first generation Chrysler Concorde, Chrysler LHS, Chrysler New Yorker, and Dodge Intrepid (details see below).

The Vision, Intrepid, LHS, New Yorker, and Concorde were collectively designated the LH: Chrysler's codename for the platform which underpinned them. The Eagle Vision was badged as the Chrysler Vision in Europe. The Vision debuted at the 1992 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1994.

Design

The design was based on the 1987 concept Lamborghini Portofino's revolutionary design, called "cab-forward". The cab-forward design was characterized by the long, low slung windshield and relatively short overhangs. The wheels were effectively pushed to the corners of the car, creating a much larger passenger cabin than the contemporaries of the time.

Without badges, the Vision could easily pass as a Concorde. The only main difference between the two were the taillight clusters; the Vision incorporated amber turn signals rather than the Concorde's red. The Vision also did not have the Concorde's rear lightbar between the two taillights. The Vision and Concorde shared the same headlights but the Vision's grille was smaller. The Intrepid, on the other hand, featured completely different head and taillights and did not have a grille at all.

Year-to-year changes

  • 1994: Variable-assist power steering was available, promising more feel at higher speeds. Both models now wore the same lower-body cladding, minimizing the evident differences between the ESi and TSi. The 3.3 L engine's power output was increased by 8 hp, while the 4-speed automatic transmission was revised for smoother shifting.
  • 1995: Only several minor changes.
  • 1996: A new AutoStick transmission was available for the TSi. It could be shifted by tilting the shifter right and left to change gears up or down.
  • 1997: Only minor changes were made to the 1997 Vision. For the first time, base ESi models received the 3.5 L V6 as an option. After this year the Vision was discontinued.

Lamborghini Portofino

The design was based on the 1987 concept Lamborghini Portofino's revolutionary design, called "cab-forward". The cab-forward design was characterized by the long, low slung windshield and relatively short overhangs. The wheels were effectively pushed to the corners of the car, creating a much larger passenger cabin than the contemporaries of the time.

Lamborghini Portofino was a concept car developed for Lamborghini by Kevin Verduyn, one of Chrysler's chief designers. Introduced at the 1987 Frankfurt Auto Show, it was a fully functional, four-door, four-seat sport sedan.

In 1986, Kevin Verduyn designed a concept car model for Chrysler called the Navajo. The concept never went beyond the clay model stage, but when Chrysler acquired Lamborghini in 1987, the design was resurrected and with some fairly minor tweaks, turned into the Portofino.

The Portofino was built by Coggiola on a Jalpa chassis. It also made use of the Jalpa's 3.5 L V8 engine and 5 speed transmission. The most interesting feature of the Portofino though was the doors, which opened scissor-style like the Countach, only the back doors were rear-hinged, suicide-style. The logo on the hood featured the Lamborghini bull inside the Chrysler pentagon.

Only the single prototype Portofino was ever produced. In 1991, it was heavily damaged in an accident in transit. However, Chrysler had it restored by Metalcrafters in Costa Mesa, CA, and it is now on display at DaimlerChrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Chrysler Concorde

Chrysler Concorde design was based on the 1987 concept Lamborghini Portofino. The Portofino was heralded as a design triumph, setting in motion Chrysler's decision to produce a production sedan with the Portofino's revolutionary design, called "cab-forward". The cab-forward design was characterized by the long, low-slung windshield and relatively short overhangs. The wheels where effectively pushed to the corners of the car, creating a much larger passenger cabin than the contemporaries of the time.

Without badges, the Vision could easily pass as a Concorde. The only main difference between the two were the taillight clusters; the Vision incorporated amber turn signals rather than the Concorde's red. The Vision also did not have the Concorde's rear lightbar between the two taillights. The Vision and Concorde shared the same headlights but the Vision's grille was smaller. The Intrepid, on the other hand, featured completely different head and taillights and did not have a grille at all.

Chrysler LHS

Chrysler LHS was a full-size, front wheel drive car based on the Chrysler LH platform. The LHS was dropped after the 1997 model year in anticipation of a new, redesigned LHS, released for 1999. As was the case before, the second generation LHS occupied its niche as Chrysler's largest car. The differences between the second-generation LHS and the Concorde were far fewer and limited mostly to fascias and equipment levels.

Chrysler discontinued the LHS after 2001, replacing it with the new Concorde Limited.

It should be noted that the first generation LHS was praised by American car hater Jeremy Clarkson, who noted that if it were to be sold in England, it would sell very well.

Chrysler New Yorker

The Chrysler "New York Special" first appeared in the 1930s, and the New Yorker moniker first appeared in 1939.

Until its discontinuation in 1996, the New Yorker was the longest running American nameplate. The last generation of the New Yorker continued with front-wheel drive and was introduced at the 1992 North American International Auto Show in Detroit for the 1994 model year as an LH-car, similar to the LHS and Concorde. The exterior was almost completely identical to that of the LHS, and was separated from the LHS by a front bench seat and fewer standard features.

Dodge Intrepid

It was also at this time that the Chrysler Corporation purchased bankrupt Italian sports car manufacturer Lamborghini. The Navajo's exterior design was reworked and became the Lamborghini Portofino, released as a concept at the 1987 Frankfurt Auto Show. The Portofino was heralded as a design triumph, setting in motion Chrysler's decision to produce a production sedan with the Portofino's revolutionary design, called "cab-forward".

Design of the chassis began in the late 1980s, after Chrysler had bought another ailing automaker: AMC. During this time, Chrysler began designing the replacement for the then-new Dodge Dynasty, which was a mid-size car. Initially it bore resemblance to the Dynasty, and this design was scrapped entirely after François Castaing, formerly AMC's Vice President of product engineering and development, became Chrysler's Vice President of vehicle engineering in 1988. The new design, under Castaing's leadership, began with the Eagle Premier.

Popularity of the Intrepid waned over its 12-year lifespan. The cab-forward design was no longer considered revolutionary, and although the design was still far more modern, attractive and roomy than many of its rivals, the Intrepid was quietly retired in August 2004 to make way for Chrysler's new rear wheel drive LX vehicles. Intrepids were built at AMC's former assembly plant, originally used to manufacture the Eagle Premier, in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

DaimlerChrysler discontinued the Intrepid after 2004 to make room for the 2005 Dodge Magnum station wagon and 2006 Dodge Charger sedan.

End of the Vision

The Vision sold in respectable numbers but was not as popular as the Intrepid or the Concorde. The Vision saw its last year in production in 1997; the whole Eagle brand was discontinued in 1998. When the LH cars were redesigned for 1998, the Vision was replaced by the 1999 Chrysler 300M.

You may also be interested in . . .

History of eagle cars

History of eagle cars Eagle was a marque of the Chrysler Corporation following the purchase of American Motors Corporation (AMC). The "new" Eagle was aimed...

1995 Chrysler New Yorker sedan 4dr automatic

The last generation of the New Yorker continued with front-wheel drive on an elongated version of the new Chrysler LH platform and was shown at...

2002 Chrysler Concorde LIMITED sedan 4dr automatic

First introduced in 1993, Concorde is the car that signaled the beginning of Chrysler's resurgence—a resurgence that continues today...

2004 Chrysler Concorde Limited sedan 4dr automatic

Concorde is the car that signaled the beginning of Chrysler's resurgence—a resurgence that continues today. The original Concorde...

Eagle Premier

Eagle Premier Designed by AMC, the Premier was also briefly badged as the AMC Premier and Renault Premier in late 1987 and early 1988. It shared several parts...

2002 Chrysler Concorde LXI sedan 4dr automatic

Chrysler's mainstream full-size sedan adopts the body of its discontinued LHS near-luxury sedan counterpart and adds a new top-line trim...

2004 Chrysler Concorde LXI sedan 4dr automatic

Chrysler's full-size sedan got an early redefinition as a 2004 model but was unchanged except for option-group tweaks. Concorde offers LX...