Dodge Intrepid, Eagle Vision, and
Chrysler Concorde, 300M, New Yorker, and LHS
First Generation: 1993-1997
“Launching the LH, that was really cool. I mean, that kind of blew everybody’s socks off with the north-south front-wheel drive. I can remember at Chelsea, there’s a track there, it’s a handling course. It’s pretty level. There’s not much banking to it, so it’s like a road course. A lot of twisties in it and some pretty tight, hairpin kind of turns. I remember Francois [Castaing] driving ... being a race driver, I knew he was going to pound on it, which is fine. But it was raining cats and dogs. I mean, it was just like the wipers were on full ... I was just amazed. I could kind of look over and see the speedometer a little bit, and we were running probably 20 miles an hour faster than I’d seen anybody drive on dry pavement on that course. It was just amazing what he was able to do. I remember we got back and he said, ‘That 3.5 is really good. I really like it.’” — Burke Brown [read more]
- The first generation LH series: Intrepid, Concorde, Vision, LHS, New Yorker
- First generation specifications and competitive comparisons
- Definition and advantages of cab forward (how cab forward was developed, and an interview with Tom Gale.)
- Dodge Intrepid plastic vs steel fenders
- Interview about the LH cars (both generations) with Burke Brown
- Interview about LH packaging and design with G. Glenn Gardner
- Interview about LH design with Francois Castaing
- Powerful climate control and engine cooling systems
- How the LH body shell and suspension were designed for maximum performance, comfort, and safety
- Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler Concorde, and Eagle Vision styling development
- 80-mpg Intrepids: ESX and ESX-2
- Performance upgrades and common repairs
- Design process for the LH series: innovations in the engineering and involvement process
- Step-by-step guide to repairing the LH steering
- Step-by-step guide to replacing the hub and bearing
- LH Series forums
Second generation: 1998-2004
Tech stuff (in readable terms)
Reviews and models
The 3.3 was replaced with new 2.7 and 3.2 liter engines, while the 3.5 was reengineered to produce 250 horsepower; and, at the last minute, the Eagle Vision was rebadged to create the Chrysler 300M. The cab forward look was pushed to its extremes, following favorable feedback on the original LH, the Neon, and the J-cars.
The second-generation LH cars, debuting in model-year 1998, had numerous updates to the body, powertrain, interior, electrical systems, and chassis; manufacturing was also moved forward, technologically. The only major gaffe of these cars was the 2.7 liter engine, whose reputation as a high-tech powerhouse was damaged by issues with oil thickening resulting in premature failure. While the problem was resolved, the causes are still unknown to the general public, with hints about PCV changes and oil-specification problems (caused by the oil industry, not Chrysler) gently wafting out of the CTC.
The Concorde had a distinctive “guppy grin,” which was reportedly not part of the original design. Burke Brown said:
... we weren't getting enough cooling air. So the guys took a saber saw and started opening up that grill until we got enough air through it to meet our goals. Then we dressed it up a little bit and showed it to Tom and the guys. I remember looking at that and we thought he’s going to say no way, and he looked at it and he said, “That kind of makes it. I like it.”
For 2000, the Chrysler Concorde and Dodge Intrepid gained a few changes; a new touring suspension and speed sensitive steering with chrome 16 inch wheels were made standard on the LXi model. While the Intrepid ES moved to a more powerful 2.7 V6 with active-tuned, dual-path intake manifold, the big news for the Dodge Intrepid was the new Dodge Intrepid R/T model, launched in early 2000, which included a 242 horsepower version of the 300M/LHS' 3.5 liter V6, AutoStick, and different interior styling. The base model gained 16 inch wheels.
In 2003, the R/T was gone, the ES package L was gone, and the ES got the SXT package standard. The Intrepid SCT also got momentum 16-inch chrome wheels and 16-inch all-season touring tires.
In its last year, there were three models of Intrepid: Dodge Intrepid SE, Dodge Intrepid SXT and Dodge Intrepid ES. Dodge Intrepid was loaded with features and priced below $24,500, including the high-output 3.5-liter "300M" SOHC Magnum V6 engine that delivers 250 horsepower (186 kW) at 6400 rpm and 250 lb-ft (339 N.m) of torque at 3900 rpm. It had standard 16-inch chrome wheels, P225/60R16 all-season touring tires, an independent front and rear touring suspension, decklid spoiler, and bright exhaust tip. Interior features included a premium AM/FM stereo/CD radio with six speakers and 120-watt amplifier, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, 60/40 split folding rear seat eight-way power driver seat, keyless entry and power windows, mirrors and door locks.