A brace of faster Chryslers
Chrysler chose the Geneva show to unveil two new versions of their front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, Sunbeam – a design that looks so very like the FWD Horizon that many are confused over which is which … until it comes to driving one.
The Sunbeam that dominated the publicity was the Lotus 2.2-litre version we touched upon when describing the rally car of the works a few months back, but a more common sight on our roads will probably be the Sunbeam Ti.
No price had been announced for this 1,598 c.c. model with its twin Weber carburetters and claimed 100 b.h.p. at 6,000 r.p.m., though sales are expected to begin in April. The pushrod four-cylinder engine is modified in much the same way as the Avenger Tiger series used to be, but current emission regulations and the need for mass production has cut down the horsepower a little by comparison.
The Ti unit has a 9.4:1 c.r. with new pistons and valves installed within a machined and polished cylinder head, the exhaust valve seats Stelilted for extra protection.
Naturally new inlet manifolding was provided to carry Weber carburation, Chrysler also installing a steel fabricated exhaust manifold.
Externally and internally the car is strongly identified as sporting in intention with a pair of sports seats and spoilers front and rear these aerodynamic aids not sported on the 2.2-litre Lotus-engined cars shown in initial press pictures. The Ti version does have a Chrysler heavy duty suspension specification, this to the same standard as can be optionally ordered on other models. That layout retains the standard MacPherson strut, four-link rear axle, but does feature new damper settings and new springs, plus a thicker anti-roll bar.
The price will probably be similar to that of an Escort Sport 1600 (£3,201 at the time of writing) and this could be quite a popular choice for those to whom Ford is a four letter word.
John Ebenezer of Mazda Car Imports (GB) Ltd. told us recently that the exciting twin rotor RX7 sports car will go on sale in Britain from August 1st.
Only the 2+2 model will be sold in Britain and the car is seen as a logical competitor to the Datsun 280ZX series. Price? About £8,000, which will probably encourage a healthy sale, rather than the waiting list rush response Mazda engendered with the two-seater version when that was launched in America last year.