Tag Archives: Autostick

Plymouth Prowler

1999 is the first year you can order Plymouth Prowler in something other than purple. Yellow is already available. Prowler Red and Prowler Black are due later.

Prowler’s 3.5-litre V6 also powers Chrysler 300M and Chrysler LHS. Both debuted this year in new-generation formats, so Chrysler used the occasion to re-work the all-aluminum engine; it now makes 253 hp (up 39) and 255 lb.ft of torque (up by 24). For Prowler duty it’s tuned to run on premium fuel, and customized with a quicker throttle cam, retuned intake and exhaust, and re-programmed engine management system. As last year the only tyranny is an automatic fitted with AutoStick. While it looks intimidating, the Prowler is easy and fun to drive, with great seat-of-the-pants acceleration and neat engine burble. But with its massive rear tires and smallish front ones it under-steers – like a pig.

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Compact and Mid-size Cars

The Galant/Eclipse platform, featured Mitsubishi engines, a single-overhead cam 2.4L four-cylinder with 142 horsepower, and a single-overhead-cam V6 with 200 horsepower. The sedan and convertible featured a four-speed automatic exclusively, with an optional SportShift manumatic self-shifting feature. The Sebring coupe offered a four-speed automatic, an automatic with AutoStick, and a rare five-speed manual transmission.

Though the three body styles resemble each other, there are significant differences under the skin. The sedan and convertible are Chrysler products, with Chrysler bodies and drive trains. They are fundamentally the same in front of the windshield, but the convertible is built on a shorter wheelbase and is longer and taller than the sedan. The sedan has a clean shape, but followed the styling trend towards blockier, edgier looks. All models display the ersatz-1960s Ferrari grille Chrysler first showed on the 1998 Concorde. The coupe is the same length as the sedan, but unrelated mechanically. The Sebring coupe is the fraternal twin of the Mitsubishi Eclipse but has a longer wheelbase and is a foot longer overall. The coupe shares the Ferrari-esque nose but little else with the Chrysler-produced Sebrings. With its chic grille and clean flanks, the Sebring coupe is less sporty but arguably more elegant than the Eclipse.

The Sebring sedan and convertible interiors are more carefully assembled from better components than their predecessors. The dashboard has clear, legible instrumentation and simple, logical controls, except for the optional CD changer that is hung from below the dash and is difficult to load on the move. The rest of the cabin is conservative, with serviceable fittings and upholstery. The sedan has enough room and acceptable seats; the rear seat cushion is mounted too low for optimum comfort, but if it were higher, headroom would be tighter than it is. The rear seat isn’t as spacious as on the new Japanese rivals. The large trunk is easily accessed, and its lid is supported by gas struts, not luggage-mauling gooseneck hinges.  The convertible shares the sedan’s dash and overall interior style. The cabin of the Limited convertible model manages to look plush. Interior room is good, but the shorter wheelbase and the need to move the rear seat forward to clear the folded top eat into legroom. The top fits well and has a defroster-equipped glass rear window. The trunk is roomy, considering it shares space with the folded top. The Sebring coupe’s interior is derived from the Mitsubishi Eclipse, and is very similar in style. A low roof line makes ingress-egress awkward, and headroom is tight.

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