Chrysler For 1997
By Carey Russ
The renewal of Chrysler Corporation's prestige Chrysler brand is complete. What began with the Concorde in 1993, and continued with the LHS and New Yorker for the 1994 model year, the Cirrus and Sebring coupe in 1995, and the Town & Country minivan and Sebring convertible last year has successfully attracted younger, more upscale customers. Chrysler is alive and thriving, and its strategy of practical luxury has paid off. It's time for a well-earned rest from new product introductions, so 1997 is a year of refinement. Most Chrysler cars are offered in two trim levels, LX and LXi. All electronically-controlled automatic transmissions have upgraded software that features adaptive shift logic that "learns" a driver's driving style.
The sporty-but-practical Sebring coupe receives a makeover for its third model year. Both trim levels have new front and rear styling and body side cladding. The upscale LXi also gets a spoiler, larger wheels and tires, and the formerly-optional performance suspension as standard equipment. There are refinements to the interior for appearance and convenience.
New last year, the Sebring convertible is another example of Chrysler's successful marketing strategy: find an unoccupied niche and fill it. It is the only family convertible on the market today. It easily has room for four people, and a real trunk. The convertible top is fully- lined, has a glass rear window with defroster, and is power-operated.
The best new feature for 1997 is the availablilty of the "Autostick" driver-controlled 4-speed automatic transmission. Autostick combines the best of and automatic with the best of a manual transmission. It works as a fully-automatic transmission or can be easily and quickly shifted when desired by the driver.
Other mechanical and convenience refinements have been made.
Town & Country
A name once associated with an elegant luxury car now belongs to an elegant luxury car alternative. It is the first, and only, luxury minivan. Available in short-wheelbase SX, long-wheelbase LX, and long-wheelbase premium LXi grades, the Town & Country offers features previously reserved for luxury cars.
Traction control and a driver's-side sliding door are now standard on all models. All-wheel drive and four-wheel disc brakes are available on long-wheelbase versions.
The Cirrus is Chrysler's mid-sized import-fighter. It combines sporty style with a high level of appointments and plenty of room. The Cirrus receives some new interior features for 1997. Four-cylinder or V6 engines are available.
Hard to believe that the Concorde is now the oldest car in the Chrysler lineup. It is now all of four model years old. The car that started the "cab forward" revolution gets a 3.5-liter V6 engine and power-adjustable driver's seat as standard equipment this year to make it an even better value. Two trim levels are offered.
The six-passenger V6-powered LHS continues with minor refinements as the flagship of the Chrysler line.