The new and not-so-new cars from Chrysler
Although it has changed the appearance of its long-touted K-cars for 1985, Chrysler's only all-new car is its 4-door hatchback sports sedan, the Dodge Lancer and its Chrysler twin, the LeBaron GTS.
The 5-passenger vehicles are just now being shipped to dealers, and the official launching is set for December - ''just in time for Christmas,'' a company spokesman notes.
Standard power is a 2.2-liter, elec-tronically fuel-injected ''4,'' but with the 2.2 turbo on the option list. Standard transmission is a 5-speed manual (and optional 3-speed automatic), plus a choice of three suspensions, one a sports-handling package.
The carmaker drops the E-class 4-door sedan from its Chrysler lineup, downgrading and switching it to its Plymouth marque, calling it the Caravelle SE.
The sports version of Chrysler's front-drive Laser, the G-24, gets a T-top for the options list. The 2.2-liter turbo gets more boost. A power-packed Shelby package is due at midyear.
The aging Horizon is unchanged in the new-model year, a contrast to the front-drive Reliant, which underwent some changes inside and out. The front-drive New Yorker and luxurious rear-drive Fifth Avenue sedan are also untouched for '85.
Chrysler will wait and see how tough the GM and Ford competition is before it does anything to the performance of its year-old Caravan and Voyager minivans.
The comeback carmaker is, however, sharply increasing the production capacity for the vehicle. ''We've seen the competition,'' the Chrysler executive suite chimes in unison. Now that's confidence.
Dodge is aiming at the high-power performance market with its high-spirited street machines: the quick Omni GLH, introduced late last spring; the Shelby version of the sporty Dodge Charger; the Daytona Turbo Z; and the 4-door Lancer.