Chrysler LH-Series

Chrysler's highly-hoped big-size sedan has already launched in the late 1997. As usual, it is the biggest family sedan in the market, offering class-leading cabin room and boot space under a very competitive price. Look at the external dimensions : Length : 203.7in, Width : 74.7in, Wheelbase : 113in, it is as big as Cadillac Seville ! No wonder the swoopy roof line can hardly hurt its interior space. Is there any drawback ? Yes, weighing at 1600kg, it feels slower than its Japanese competitors. 

The model featuring in here is the Dodge Intrepid. Like its predecessor, Dodge Intrepid emphasis sports car styling. Sleek nose, tilt windscreen, swoopy roof....its look delivers a sports car feeling that it actually does not has.  

New engine is the biggest improvement. Both 2.7 litres and 3.2 litres V6 are made of aluminium alloy, the former employs double overhead camshafts so that good for 200hp / 190lbft, the latter remains sohc but a variable-resonnance intake manifold and longer stroke enables 225hp / 225lbft. The 2.7 revolves and sounds eagerly, mainly because of shorter stroke and dohc, but it lacks sufficient torque to match with the heavy body. Therefore the 3.2 suits the car better. No matter which one, "AutoStick" 4 speed semi-automatic is optional.  

Although chassis has been strengthened and suspensions has been improved, Intrepid still handles averagely. Excessive weight and dimensions handicap its dynamic. What about refinement ? Ride is OK, sound-insulation is good, build quality lags behind Japanese rivals. Worst of all - Chrysler used to be well known for reliability problems, although the new Intrepid is still unknown, buyers should take the risk into account. 

The above report was last updated in 1998. All Rights Reserved.

Chrysler 300M

Although the Chrysler LH sedan is medium-priced family sedan in the States, its extraordinarily large dimensions allow it to differentiate into an executive luxury like BMW 5 series. By enlarging the engine to 3.5 litres with 253 horsepower, by cutting overhangs to achieve a length of 5 meters, by sharpening the suspension setting to meet European's standard, by retrimming and restyling in and out, Chrysler created the 300M, which is intended to steal sales from European imports as well as to invade the European market. 

Besides the price advantage (which is achieved in the price of potential quality problems), early test of the 300M gave R&T quite good impression, especially is in the dynamic aspect. Although not comparable to the rear-wheel-drive BMW 5-series, it still impressed them with its crisp handling : very little understeer, communicative steering feel, good body control. The all-alloy V6 engine is strong yet smooth and quiet, although still lack its own character.  

The exterior styling is very radical. Inside, there is sporty white-face dials that glow light blue at night. Dashboard and console lacks a distinctive design. Fake wood implies its competitive price. 

Chrysler expect to sale 60-70,000 of this car and its sister car LHS per year, rather modest by BMW, Audi and Mercedes' standard.

The above report was last updated in 1998. All Rights Reserved.


Dodge Intrepid 3.2
Chrysler 300M
Front-engined, Fwd
Front-engined, Fwd.
L / W / H / WB: 
5174 / 1897 / 1420 / 2870 mm
L / W / H / WB: 
5024 / 1890 / 1422 / 2870 mm
V6, sohc, 4v/cyl.
V6, sohc, 4v/cyl.
3231 c.c.
3518 c.c.
225 hp
253 hp
225 lbft
255 lbft
4A with manual mode
4A with manual mode
225 / 60 R16
225 / 55 R17
1600 kg
1620 kg
Top speed
143 mph*
0-60 mph
8.6 sec*
7.9 sec**
0-100 mph
* Tested by Car and Driver
** Tested by Road & Track

LH-series: related models

Chrysler Concorde
Chrysler LHS
All derivatives of Chrysler LH platform is the mechanically identical except with minor deviations in styling, trimming, choice of engine and tuning etc. 
  • Dodge Intrepid - debuted earliest. Bread and butter full-size family sedan. Powered by either 200hp 2.7-litre V6 or 225hp 3.2-litre V6. Sport version R/T has 242hp / 248 lbft 3.5-litre V6 detuned from Chrysler 300M.
  • Chrysler Concorde - a facelifted Intrepid targeting white collar or executives.
  • Chrysler LHS - more luxuriously equipped and trimmed. 300M's 253hp 3.5-litre V6 is available.
  • Chrysler 300M - sportier executive sedan with suspension tuned to deliver European manner. Powered by 3.5-litre V6 producing 253hp.
The above report was last updated on 28 Dec 99. All Rights Reserved.

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