Wednesday, June 2, 2010

1995 Talon TSI AWD Turbo - A TT Alternative

If you do a Google image search for the Eagle Talon, the first picture you see is of one that's been lowered, has big chrome wheels, an aftermarket nose and Lamborghini style doors. That's the problem with the Talon. Those types of modifications were done to waaay too many of them. It's hard to take the car seriously.

This was a serious car, though. In stock form, this 1995 car featured AWD, a turbocharged engine and a tasteful body. 60 MPH came in just 6.4 seconds. To put that in perspective, the newer (1999) Audi TT, with AWD, a turbocharged engine and, in my eyes, a much less tasteful body, was only .2 seconds quicker.

Eagle was, of course, a short lived Chrysler brand. Created in 1988 after Chrysler took over AMC / Jeep, Chrysler never seemed to figure out what to do with the brand. The first two cars offered under the Eagle name were rebadged, slightly redesigned Renaults; the Medallion and the Premier. Chrysler never spent much time and money promoting those cars as they were only selling them because the were contractually obligated to do so in their deal with Renault for the AMC / Jeep brand. I've driven both. They were decent cars, although the Medallion was underpowered and the Premier felt too "American" for my taste. They also sold a number of Mitsubishi products including the Summit (a rebadged Mitsubishi Mirage) and this car, the Talon. Later, they sold the Vision, a version of the Chrysler LH car. (Arguably the best version of the LH car.) So were Eagle dealerships Euro-car dealers, Japanese economy car dealers, sports car dealers or American sedan dealers? Chrysler didn't seem to know and the public sure as hell didn't know. Chrysler discontinued the line in 1998. I wonder if they had just sold "sporty" cars (to go with the tough / sporty image of the Jeep) if the brand would still be alive today?

The Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eagle Talon are, under the skin, identical cars. I'd choose the Talon as a I like the rear end styling better and the spoiler at the bottom of the back window. (The Eclipse had a traditional basket handle style spoiler.)

This car is a one owner, 55,000 mile, unmodified car. It has an automatic transmission, which may turn a few people off, but since Talons are tough to find in this condition, it's a trade-off I'd accept. (Anyway, being a "newish" car, the auto transmission doesn't rob as much power or take away any of the fun of driving the car like older automatics did.)

If you're looking for the performance of an Audi TT at about half the price, this would be a great car to check out. (Please don't throw on a set of Lambo doors and chrome wheels, though. OK?)

Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, click here to see the eBay listing.

1 comment:

Jon said...

Nice pick Mr. Geek!

I think you pretty much summed up all the problems with sorting through the Talon / Eclipses. I just scanned through Talon listings with Lambo doors and rice-a-roni body kits.

Some body kit - wheel combos actually look passable and it's pretty obvious some of these owners have sunk tons of money into aftermarket engine mods, etc. In fact, most of the kitted cars outclass some hideous "Slantnose 912 Targa Turbo with Whale Tail" conversions I've seen in the past.

However, having passed the half century mark, I'm not sure I can see myself sitting behind the wheel of some of the more extreme vehicles. I can't imagine what what kind of unwanted attention they would draw from the Fast and the Furious crowd. Picking up a quart of milk on a Friday night could turn into a real drag.

However, I can picture myself driving this one.

Of course, the food processor wheels would be first to go. Next the terrible monotone gray interior would have to be ripped out. Once the subs are installed I'd go shopping for a bodykit...