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A Look Back At Chrysler's Eagle Premier

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Eagle Premier

A Look Back At Chrysler's Eagle Premier

Lauren Woods
April 20, 2007

Through the years, there have been different vehicles produced for the global auto market. Year in and year out, car manufacturers always come up with new models or upgrade existing ones. Some of the vehicles will forever be etched in the memory of the auto industry. These cars have set the bar higher for the succeeding generation of vehicles. Time passes and cars which have earned the praise of the auto industry are now considered classics.

A memorable model of time passed. One vehicle which can be considered as a classic on its own is the Eagle Premier and this one is made by Chrysler. Eagle is the defunct marque owned by the Chrysler Group and is formed from the remnants of the American Motors Corporation. That in itself gives the Premier a claim to immortality since it is the very last model with direct roots from the American automobile company founded in 1954.

While the Premier may not bring with it the flair and popularity of its rivals, it is considered as one of the best American cars in the last 20 years or so. Auto enthusiasts call the Premier a vehicle with a European styling and with an American price and size. The European connection of the Premier is in its platform which it shares with the Renault 25. In fact, the Premier was originally slated to be called the Renault Premier. But financial woes forced the French automaker to sell the struggling American Motors Corporation to Chrysler.

It is widely known in the automotive circle that Chrysler wanted the Jeep brand owned by AMC. After the AMC went to Chrysler, the Premier was released under the Eagle brand.

Chrysler chose to exploit the European roots of the premiers and aimed to attract the attention of car buyers who have set their sights on European brands such as Audi, Mercedes, Saab, and Volvo. To give the premier a truly European look, Chrysler enlisted the help of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s ItalDesign.

While the exterior design of the car is not as stylish as European rivals, its clean lines and simplistic design cues set it apart from its competitors. The platform of the Premier is one of the strong selling points of the vehicle. The platform that the Premier shared with the Renault 25 is stiff and light which gives it an advantage over some of its competition. The Premier’s powerplant is a 3.0-liter PRV V6 engine. The said engine was rated to produce 150 horsepower. While the power output may seem minimal, that power gives the Premier respectable performance during its heyday.

During its introduction, the Eagle Premier became the first vehicle from Chrysler to be equipped with a three-speed automatic transaxle. The vehicle can also be equipped with performance enhancing parts such as an Eagle cold air intake system to give it extra power.

While consumer acceptance of the Eagle is good, Chrysler did not reach their goal of producing 260,000 units of the Premier. In 1992, the line was discontinued making the Premier the last car with direct roots at the American Motors Corporation.

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