1983-1989 Plymouth / Chrysler Conquest car information
The Conquest was introduced in 1983 by a Chrysler Corporation that had yet to bring out its own sports coupe, the Dodge Daytona; that introduction would come a year later. The Conquest was aimed at import buyers who might have looked at the Supra, RX7, or 280ZX. A high performance grand touring car, the Conquest combined sporty, modern styling with an upper grade interior, advanced electronics (including electronically controlled automatic and thermostatic climate control), and many standard features. Full instrumentation was standard, and there was an optional “technica” digital dashboard.
A rebadged Mitsubishi Starion two-door, four-seat hatchback with no Chrysler engineering, the Conquest sold in small numbers and was based on the Mitsubishi Galant Lambda / Sapparo (also sold for a time as the Plymouth Sapparo). A traditional rear-drive, front-engined vehicle, 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 2.6 liter single-overhead-cam engine with a turbocharger and throttle-body electronic fuel injection (using dual injectors). Horsepower originally ranged from 150 to 198, with the TSi model getting a boost from an intercooler; a five-speed manual transmission was standard, with an optional electronically controlled four speed automatic. By 1986 the only engine was the turbocharged 2.6, with hemispherical combustion chambers, a third valve in each chamber for better mixing and burning (MCA-JET), and dual engine stabilizers built into the block.
The aerodynamic shape was appropriate for a truly aerodynamic car, with a drag coefficient of Cd=.32, about the same as the later Dodge Neon and quite good for the time (or for today).
The Conquest ran until 1989 with few exterior changes (and a move to the Plymouth brand in 1986), by which time the Daytona had its own turbocharger; it was replaced by the Dodge Stealth, a moderately restyled Mitsubishi 3000GT with no apparent Chrysler engineering.
In 1986, the standard 2.6 liter turbocharged engine that generated 145 horsepower and 185 lb-feet of torque, getting 19 mpg city, 24 highway, regardless of whether it was fitted with a manual or automatic transmission. Mitsubishi used a small turbocharger to lower lag, while hemispherical combusion chambers with center-mounted spark plugs helped efficiency and airflow. Transmissions were a five-speed with 0.856 fifth gear and 3.369 first gear, and a four-speed with 0.68 fourth gear and 2.45 first gear; the high gearing on the four speed hurt performance a bit, but increased gas mileage nicely so it was similar to mileage with the stick-shift (both were rated at 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway). The sole axle ratio was 3.545:1; turning diameter was a tight 31.5 feet; and the entire package weighed 2,820 pounds.
The Conquest included an optional automatic air conditioning system which measured temperature at both the ceiling and the floor, with a photosensor to compensate for sunlight. Like the domestic cars, it had an electronically tuned AM/FM stereo option with a five-band graphic equalizer, cassette, and six speakers, but this unit was completely different from the ones used in the domestics, and had digital controls (with somewhat less convenience.) Remote liftgate and gas-cap releases were standard and cable-operated; power window controls were in the center console.
The Technica package included an electronic instrument cluster, electronic voice alerts, and of course a nameplate. The dashboard included a digital odometer and climate control readout, bar-chart tachometer, gas, temperature, voltage, boost, and oil pressure gauges (the tachometer and boost gauges were horizontal, the others vertical), and a large digital speedometer readout. Even without this package, the dashboard was oriented towards the driver.
In 1988, Chrysler published this press release:
The Conquest TSi sports specialty coupe, imported for sale by Chrysler dealers, shows its world class ways in 1988 with the addition of an optional four-speed automatic transmission and new interior appointments to accent its aggressive performance personality. ... Performance highlights include a new 188-horsepower rating under the TSi's sleek hood, an increase of 12 horsepower for the strong 2.6-liter turbocharged, intercooled four-cylinder engine. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard equipment. The new beefed-up optional four-speed automatic transmission is now available.
Four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock rear brakes, an anti-theft system, automatic passive restraints and power door locks are just some of the TSi's standard highlights. New sporty five-way adjustable bucket seats, a new leather-wrapped fourspoke steering wheel and a new stainless steel exhaust system are added to a comprehensive list of standard equipment that help make Conquest TSi an outstanding value.
Conquest for 1988 is truly a driver's car featuring curve-taming 16-inch aluminum road wheels that are seven inches wide on the front and eight inches wide on the rear. The optional Performance Handling Package includes eight-inch wide front and nine-inch wide rear wheels with 225/50 (front) and 255/45 (rear) low profile tires and gas adjustable shocks for all-out handling and stability.
Exterior accents on the Conquest's performance check list include concealed halogen headlights, fog lamps in the bumper, a rear spoiler, rear wiper/washer with intermittent wipe feature, a new aerodynamic front air dam, optional pop-up glass sunroof and two new high-impact colors, Bright Yellow and Super Blue.
Interior touches include full analog instrumentation, split fold-down contoured rear seats, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, and fabric covered headliner, door trim panels, sun visors, armrests and quarter trim panels. Also among the more than 60 standard features that combine to enhance Conquest's comfort, convenience and value are automatic speed control, power antenna, electrically controlled heated outside mirrors, adjustable steering wheel, a full complement of warning lights, and an electronically tuned AM/FM stereo cassette radio with six speakers and a nine band graphic equalizer sound system.
The Conquest TSi imported for Chrysler is backed by a 3-year/50,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and a 5-year/ 50,000-mile outerbody corrosion warranty. TSi has a 95.9-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 173.2 inches. Width is 68.3 inches and overall height is 50.2 inches.
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.
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|
|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|
* We know that conflicts with the text. They're both from the same source; probably the text is right.
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