1983-1989 Plymouth / Chrysler Conquest: sporty rebadged Mitsubishis

The 1983 Plymouth Conquest was launched one year before Chrysler Corporation brought out its own sports coupe, the Dodge Daytona. It was aimed at the Supra, RX7, or 280ZX, and the styling was rather Daytona-like at first.

conquest

The Conquest had advanced electronics, including thermostatic climate control and an electronically controlled transmission. It came with full instrumentation, with an optional digital dashboard.

The Conquest was neither new nor a Chrysler (or Plymouth); it was a modified Mitsubishi Starion two-door, four-seat hatchback. The Starion itself was based on the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda / Sapparo, which was also sold as the Plymouth Sapparo). It was, thanks to its price tag, never a big seller, even after it moved to the Chrysler marque.

2.6 engine with turbocharger

The Conquest had a MacPherson strut front suspension and an independent rear suspension; the base engine in Japan was 2 liters, but Americans got a turbocharged 2.6 liter single-overhead-cam engine with twin-injector, throttle-body electronic fuel injection. The car looked like it had front wheel drive, but power went through the rear wheels.

The base car had a respectable 150 horsepower, more than some contemporary V8s were rated at; but the TSi added an intercooler, “boosting” that to 176 hp. A five-speed manual transmission was standard. The drag coefficient (cD) was a fine 0.32.

1989 chrysler conquest

The 2.6 had hemispherical combustion chambers with center-mounted spark plugs and a third valve in each chamber for better mixing and burning (MCA-JET). Dual balance shafts (engine stabilizers) in the block kept it smooth; a small turbocharger lowered lag.

The 1986 Chrysler Conquest — no longer a Plymouth — dropped to 145 horsepower and 185 lb-feet of torque, getting 19 mpg city, 24 highway with either transmission. The axle ratio was 3.545:1; turning diameter was a tight 31.5 feet; and the entire package weighed 2,820 pounds.

The optional air conditioner measured temperature at both the ceiling and the floor, with a photosensor to compensate for sunlight. It had an electronically tuned stereo option with a graphic equalizer, cassette, six speakers, and digital controls. Cable-operated remote liftgate and gas-cap releases were standard.

conquest car interior

The Technica package included electronic gauges and voice alerts; either dashboard was oriented towards the driver.

teknica dashboard

The 1988 Conquest had a new, 12-horsepower-higher 188 hp rating for the TSi model, and a beefed-up automatic. The TSi also included disc brakes, anti-lock rears, anti-theft system, passive restraints, power door locks, new five-way adjustable bucket seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a new stainless steel exhaust.

Every 1988 Conquest had 16-inch aluminum wheels, seven inches wide on the front and eight inches wide on the rear. The optional Performance Handling Package used 225/50 front tires and 255/45 rears, with gas adjustable shocks.

1988 chrysler conquest

The interior came with premium trim; standard features included cruise control, a power antenna, power heated mirrors, tilt-wheel, and an electronically tuned stereo cassette with six speakers and a nine band graphic equalizer sound system. The warranty was three years or 50,000 miles. The car had its original 95.9-inch wheelbase and 173.2 inch length; it was 68.3 inches wide and just 50.2 inches tall.

The Conquest ran until 1989, with few exterior changes, by which time the Daytona had its own turbocharger. Mitsubishi replaced it with the Dodge Stealth, a restyled Mitsubishi 3000GT.

Featured Chrysler Conquest

One of the rarer cars at the 2008 All-Chrysler Nationals at Carlisle was this clean 1989 Chrysler Conquest TSi belonging to Terry Sturgill of Norton, VA. Terry acquired his car in 2001 when it had 56,000 miles on the odometer. It came with 8-way adjustable shocks and other options. The 2.6 liter single-overhead-cam engine, displaying the Mitsubishi brand on the valve cover, features a turbocharger and throttle-body electronic fuel injection. Terry has added a long list of modifications which he believe boosts horsepower to 375-400 from a typical factory rating of less than 200.

conquest tail

Photos show the car's highly aerodynamic body lines, front and back, and a cockpit for serious driving! But notice those safety belts that follow the opening and closing of the doors. The Mitsubishi version of the Conquest was marketed as the Starion, and, while the Starion evolved after 1989 into the Mitsubishi 3000GT and Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Mopar versions became the Dodge Stealth and Plymouth Laser/Eagle Talon.

1986-1988 Chrysler Conquest specifications

Engine 2.6 liter (156 cid) I-4, intercooled turbo, throttle-body fuel injection
Power 176 hp @ 5,000 rpm; 223 lb-ft @ 2,500
145 hp, 185 lb-ft (1986)
Mileage 18 city, 20/22 highway (automatic/stick); 19.8 gallon tank
Transmissions Five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Weight 1986, 2,820 lb; 1988, 3,031 pounds
Wheelbase 95.9 inches

Length x Width x Height 173.2 x 66.3 x 50.2 (wheelbase, 95.9 / 2436mm)
Cargo capacity 10.3 cubic feet
Head room F/R 36.6 / 35.4
Leg room F/R 40.7 / 29.1
Shoulder room, F/R 52.4 / 51.2
Hip room, F/R 53.1 / 40.6
Track F/R 54.9 / 55.1
Turning diameter 31.5 feet

Gear ratios, five-speed transmission: 3.369, 2.035, 1.360, 1.0, 0.856; reverse, 3.578:1

Gear ratios, four-speed automatic with lockup torque converter: 2.45, 1.45, 1.0, 0.68; reverse, 2.18

1988 dimensions:

dimensions

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