1996 Dodge Stratus, Chrysler Sebring
Is Chrysler ever going to let up? Their stand at the Toronto
show will contain no fewer than four new models, plus a slick
Chief among the novelties will be the NS minivans, whose world
debut was just weeks ago in Detroit.
Although the original Magic Wagon pretty much nailed the
minivan thing right out of the starting gate, the Chrysler
newcomers make useful strides in interior space utilization,
styling and feature content — notably, dual sliding rear side
doors and rear seats on casters, for easier removal.
Look for a late-spring arrival at your dealer.
The Dodge Stratus, twin to the Chrysler Cirrus, will offer
four and six-cylinder engines, manual and automatic
transmissions, as opposed to the Chrysler's singular V6 auto
powertrain. Unique Dodge styling and interior will further
distinguish this car.
I had a chance to sneak-preview a Stratus prototype for a
local TV show a couple of weeks ago: this is a terrific
automobile great looks, ride, handling, performance and sure
to be a huge success.
The Chrysler Sebring reverses the introduction sequence it's
a twin to the previously released Dodge Avenger. A
Mitsubishi-Chrysler joint venture, the luxury sport coupe will replace
the K-car-derived LeBaron coupe in Chrysler's lineup.
I was a shade disappointed in the Avenger's mild performance.
With more of a luxury orientation, the Sebring will probably be
closer to its intended mark.
New to many showgoers, although they've been in dealerships
for a while now, will be the Dodge and Plymouth Neon sport
Given that the four-door already looks like a coupe, you might
wonder why Chrysler felt this model was needed. Still, even more
aggressive appearance and the finally fulfilled promise of the
150 horsepower twin-cam engine will make these cars worthy of
serious consideration by sporty-oriented entry level buyers.
The delightful Expresso concept car, one of the stars of the
1994 Detroit auto show, makes its first Canadian appearance at
This car must set some kind of record for cubic metres of
interior space per square metre of "shadow area" it's the
London taxi of show cars. The side windows are dressed up to
look like the biggest pair of eyes since Barney Google (geez, am
I dating myself again? Hey — somebody has to go out with me).
The Expresso is a charming little confection; I just wish
someone would have the guts to make something like this some
Then again, would anybody have the guts to buy one?