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The Le Baron Files

 

The J Body Chrysler Lebaron Coupe and Convertible debuted in 1987; filling the spot left by the cancellation of the Chrysler Laser and the directly K car based Lebaron sedan/coupe convertible. The cars were K based as well; but couldn't really be confused with their predecessors.

 

 

The design was quite unlike anything else offered by Chrysler at the time; indeed even today they turn heads.

Engine choices were plenty; a 2.5L N/A (naturally aspirated) four was standard through 1993. Also available at various times were a 2.2L Turbo 4, two versions of a 2.5L Turbo 4, and a Mitsubishi built 3.0L V6. The V6 was generally available with an automatic, though there are some reports of a 3.0\5spd.

The interior would look very familiar to the Chrysler Laser fan; as it was virtually the same; especially the dashboard which was identical except for minor trim changes.

  • 1989 saw the happy disappearence of the 'passive' door mounted shoulder seatbelts that were previously standard. A driver's side airbag replaced them; one of the first available in a car most people could afford.Two turbos were available: the 2.2 and 2.5. Starting in 1989, the 2.5 Turbo I was the common engine, and if you purchased a GTC with the five speed you got the 2.2 liter intercooled Turbo II engine.
  • In 1990 the Lebaron (and cousin Daytona) received an interior update; a much more contemporary look compared to the at that point dated interior (vintage 1984). Content levels were also upgraded; even base (designated Highline) models came with power doors & windows; as well as power; heated mirrors. The 2.5 turbo was available with a slight increase in horsepower and lots of extra torque. The four speed automatic made its debut.
  • The 2.2 turbo was dropped in 1991.
  • In 1993 the car received a facelift; the covered headlamps were gone; and the tail lamps were updated. 1993 was also the last year for the coupe.
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    The 1994 model saw some streamlining as the Lebaron neared the end of it's model run; not only was the coupe gone; but so was the overmatched 2.5L four and the powerful but course Turbo 2.5L; leaving only the Mitsu 3.0 V6. This is the first year that a Turbo is unavailable. A passenger side airbag is added. There is only one trim level; fully loaded. The Lebaron is still one of the best selling convertibles around.

    1995 saw the last year for the Lebaron. Changes are confined to a few color variations.