Eagle Talon

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This article is about the car. For the Japanese anime, see Eagle Talon (anime).
Eagle Talon
Talon bandit.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Diamond-Star Motors
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
Production 1990-1998
Assembly Normal, Illinois, USA
Body and chassis
Class Sport compact
Body style 3-door liftback
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
Powertrain
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic

The Eagle Talon was one of three model names given to a sports coupe that was manufactured between 1990 and 1998 and sold by the then Chrysler Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors of Japan in a joint 50/50 corporate venture known as Diamond-Star Motors (DSM). The Talon was sold under the Eagle marque, a brand developed by Chrysler to compete with Japanese imports in the late 1980s after purchasing American Motors (AMC) in 1987. Chrysler dropped the legacy line of AMC cars and renamed the distribution of Jeeps, the Medallion captive import, as well as the new Premier, under newly established Jeep-Eagle Division as a way to increase Jeep production and focus more money on marketing.[1] The new "Eagle marketing umbrella" also developed versions of vehicles produced by Diamond Star, including the Talon sports coupe.[2] The other two sister models were the Eclipse (sold by Mitsubishi) and the Laser (sold by Plymouth, another Chrysler brand).

Characteristics[edit]

All three vehicles were built on the same platform at the DSM manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois. All three vehicles were mechanically identical (when comparing the same option level) including engine, transmission, and drivetrain. Cosmetically, differences between the three were found in wheels, availability of colors, tail lights, front and rear bumpers, and spoilers. The primary way to establish the identity of an Eagle Talon is its two-tone body color - the 'greenhouse' (roof, pillars, door-mounted mirrors) was always black regardless of the body color (Note: 1G Eclipses with a 2.0 L engine also have black 'greenhouse' roofs). The basic characteristics of the Eagle Talon are:

  • Two doors
  • Hatchback
  • 2+2 seating (2 front seats and 2 marginal, fold down rear seats)
  • Front-wheel drive (FWD) for all option levels except for the top option level, which had all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions
  • Two-tone color combination as described above
  • Hood bulge on the left-hand side of the car in order to provide adequate clearance for the camshaft sprockets/timing belt cover on the 4G63 engine (Note: the base model DL did not use this engine but still had a bulge as evident in the 1992 Talon brochure. 2nd Generation cars all had such a bulge, even with the inclusion of the 420A engine.

First generation[edit]

First generation
1st-Eagle-Talon.jpg
Overview
Also called Plymouth Laser
Mitsubishi Eclipse
Production 1990-1994
Body and chassis
Platform BD-body
Related Mitsubishi Eclipse
Mitsubishi Galant
Powertrain
Engine 1.8 L Mitsubishi 4G37 I4
2.0 L Mitsubishi 4G63 I4
2.0 L Mitsubishi 4G63T I4
Dimensions
Wheelbase 97.2 in (2,469 mm)
Length 1990-91: 170.5 in (4,331 mm)
1990-91 TSi: 172.4 in (4,379 mm)
1992-94: 172.8 in (4,389 mm)
Width 1990–91: 66.5 in (1,689 mm)
TSi and AWD: 66.9 in (1,699 mm)
1992-94: 66.7 in (1,694 mm)
Height 51.4 in (1,306 mm)
AWD & 1990-91 TSi: 52.0 in (1,321 mm)

The first generation Talon was released in mid-1989 as a 1990 model and ran through 1994. This era of DSM vehicles is commonly referred to as the first generation, or "1G" for short. However, there were two 1G styles. The "1GA" models of 1990–1991 featured pop-up headlights lights and a "6-bolt" engine, while the "1GB" model of 1992–1994 featured composite style headlights with integrated turn signals.

The 1993–1994 base model DL was front-wheel drive and used a 92-horsepower 1.8 L engine (4G37). The ES model (or just the base Talon before 1993) sported a naturally aspirated 2.0 L 135 hp Mitsubishi 4G63 engine. The TSi and TSi AWD models used the same engine but added an intercooled Mitsubishi 14b turbocharger producing 11.06 psi of peak boost from the factory, resulting in 195 horsepower (145 kW) on TSi AWD models. The front-drive TSi produced only 190 due to a more restrictive exhaust system, and the automatics produced 180 horsepower (130 kW) due to a 13g turbo.

The "six-bolt" engine on all Talons built before April 1992 refers to the number of bolts connecting the flywheel to the crankshaft. All 1G Talons built after April 1992.5 received a freer revving "7-bolt" engine borrowed from the 1992 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution's lighter rods and seven-bolt crankshaft.

The Eagle Talon was consistently featured on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1990–1992.

1G trim levels[edit]

  • base - 1990-1992
  • TSi - 1990-1994
  • TSi AWD - 1990-1994
  • DL - 1993-1994
  • ES - 1993-1995

Production numbers[edit]

  • 1989: 10
  • 1990: 32,708
  • 1991: 33,537
  • 1992: 27,945
  • 1993: 26,740
  • 1994: 24,040

Second generation[edit]

Second generation
Eagle Talon TSi 2G.jpg
Overview
Also called Mitsubishi Eclipse
Production 1995-1999
Body and chassis
Platform PJ-body
Related Chrysler Sebring coupe
Dodge Avenger coupe
Mitsubishi Eclipse
Mitsubishi Galant
Powertrain
Engine 2.0 L 420A I4
2.0 L Mitsubishi 4G63T I4
Dimensions
Wheelbase 98.8 in (2,510 mm)
Length 1995-96: 172.2 in (4,374 mm)
1997-99: 174.8 in (4,440 mm)
Width 1995-96: 68.7 in (1,745 mm)
1997-99: 69.9 in (1,775 mm)
ESi: 68.3 in (1,735 mm)
Height 49.8 in (1,265 mm)
AWD: 50.5 in (1,283 mm)

The second generation (or "2G") Eagle Talon was introduced in 1995 simultaneously with its Mitsubishi Eclipse counterpart, while the Plymouth Laser model was eliminated. Mechanically, the new Talon and Eclipse models were almost identical with the engines in the turbocharged versions receiving a modest increase in output thanks to a redesigned intake and exhaust, higher 8.5 to 1 (vs. 7.8:1) compression pistons, and new turbocharger. The new T25 turbocharger, provided by Garrett, had boost increased to 12 psi of peak boost and was smaller than the previous Mitsubishi built 14b turbo that was on 1G models. The T25 did spool up faster than the previous turbocharger in order to increase the turbo response or reduce turbo lag. The other important change concerned the suspension. While the 1G had MacPherson struts in the front, the 2G had double-wishbone in the front and multilink suspension in the rear. The double wishbone suspension gave the 2G a much better roll-camber curve in the front, allowing for much better handling.

1997-1998 Eagle Talon

From an aesthetic standpoint, the differences between the Eagle Talon car and its Mitsubishi equivalent were somewhat more substantial than exhibited in the first generation models. These differences were most obvious at the rear of the car. For example, the rear fascia of the Talon featured a bumper cap with a dip in the middle to allow for a high-mounted rear license plate; rear light clusters incorporating amber turn signals (the Eclipse used red turn signals); reverse lights as part of the main rear tail light clusters (the Eclipse's reverse lights were mounted separately and lower around the mid-mounted license plate); and a sickle-shaped rear spoiler for the TSi and TSi AWD version mounted at the base of the rear window that was painted black regardless of body color (the Eclipse used a body colored, conventional "basket handle" spoiler mounted on the rear deck). Other differences included the air intake beneath the front bumper, which did not have a body-colored splitter (minor difference), and the absence of side skirts. Also, the hard-top Talon featured a black roof while the Eclipse had a body colored top.

1995 Eagle Talon TSi. Amber turn signals, integrated reverse lights, and bumper cap comprise the rear fascia that is unique to the Eagle Talon.

For model year 1997, a design update occurred for both the Talon and the Eclipse that is sometimes referred to as "2Gb". The update was primarily limited to the non-metal portions of the car. The front and rear fascias were heavily revised to incorporate more aggressive looking features. At the front, a larger air intake was created and the "Eagle" emblem was enlarged and embossed into the center of the bumper cap (as opposed to a badge that inset into a similarly shaped hole). At the rear, a new high-mount spoiler was introduced that projected further into the airstream, replacing the flush-mounted sickle spoiler. Added plastic moldings on the bumper caps and doors completed the revisions to the body. Lastly, on the TSi and TSi AWD models the aluminum wheels were increased to 17-inch (430 mm) rims and incorporated more angles replacing the 16-inch (410 mm) curved 5-spoke wheel. Another important, non-cosmetic change concerned the driveline. There was a slight change in gear ratios and the number of splines on the shaft feeding power to the transfer case was altered.

The TSi and TSi AWD models again featured an intercooled turbocharged engine, now replacing the 14B Mitsubishi turbo with a Garrett T25 model. Although the T25 was a smaller turbo, it spooled faster at a lower rpm resulting in increased low end acceleration performance. The TSi AWD model retained the all-wheel drive drivetrain system.

Engines[edit]

Production numbers[edit]

  • 1995: 25,066[3]
  • 1996: 15,100
  • 1997: 9,788
  • 1998: 4,307

End of the Talon[edit]

By November 1997, the Talon was the last model in the declining Eagle lineup and the rarest Talon model year. Amid declining sales, Chrysler management decided to stop promoting the Eagle brand and in 1998 stopped production of the Eagle Talon. The last one rolled off the assembly line on February 10, 1998.

Eagle Jazz[edit]

In 1994, a concept car called the Eagle Jazz was developed for the 1995 automobile show circuit.[4] "It was a sporty sedan with a rounded hatchback tail. Built into that was a hatch-within-a-hatch, so a driver could easily open the rear end to store cargo."[5] It was considered by some to have "a strange resemblance to a 4-door Eagle Talon".[6]

Motorsport[edit]

The Talon won the SCCA World Challenge touring car championship from 1990 to 1991 and the GT Touring championship from 1993-1995. Along with Oldsmobile, Eagle is one of only two American brands to win the TC championship.

Legacy[edit]

Some of the Eagle Jazz concept design and ideas resurfaced in the second-generation Chrysler Concorde.

The TSi nameplate appeared on Jeep's Grand Cherokee for the 1997 and 1998 model year. The model, which was the sportier among the Jeep Grand Cherokee line-up (with the exception of the 5.9 Limited) featured trim reminiscent of Talon's TSi model, including a similar Indigo blue trim and monochromatic scheme found on the Talon. The TSi reappeared once again, as a high-performance model for the Chrysler Sebring sedan, for the 2005 and 2006 year model

The Eagle Talon has appeared in several video games such as the Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport series. Eagle Talons (along with their Eclipse siblings) are very popular in the sport-compact tuning realm because of their performance and handling. There is a considerable number of aftermarket companies who offer performance parts for Talons of all years.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Automobile Quarterly, Volume 39, number 3 - Page 66
  2. ^ Dunne, Jim (January 1989). "Inside Detroit". Popular Mechanics 166 (1): 33. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  3. ^ "The Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser: Mitsubishi cars with pentastars". Allpar.com. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 
  4. ^ Eagle Jazz, retrieved on 2009-06-22.
  5. ^ "Fanfare, fireworks roll out new cars" Milwaukee Sentinel, January 4, 1995, retrieved on 2009-06-22.
  6. ^ Johnson, Elizabeth "1992 Eagle Talon" conceptcarz.com, undated, retrieved on 2009-06-22.

External links[edit]