Lasting two generations from 1994 to 2001, the Chrysler LHS was a full-size, front-wheel drive vehicle that belonged to the brand’s LH platform. This luxury car was assembled in the company’s Brampton, Ontario, Canada plant, and it was marketed as the Chrysler’s flagship car during its run. Here’s a quick look at the LHS and its contemporaries, including some interesting facts about them.
Design and development
During the late 80s, Chrysler acquired Lamborghini—an Italian sports car maker who was bankrupt at that time. While the Chrysler was pursuing its latest venture, Kevin Verduyn began making the design for the LHS. However, he initially made this design for a concept sedan named Navajo—a car with a noticeably aerodynamic exterior. Later on, his exterior design for the Navajo was edited and reworked and this became the Lamborghini Portofino. The Portofino was introduced to the public at the 1987 Frankfurt Auto Show where it was hailed as a successful design. With the success of the Portofino, Chrysler decided to produce a sedan patterned after it that would maintain its cab-forward exterior design. This new sedan was called the Chrysler LHS. The cab-forward design of Chrysler vehicles at that time were characterized by having low windshields, short overhangs, wheels that were pushed to the corners of the vehicle, and a larger passenger cabin.
First generation: 1994-1997
When the LHS first came out, it was well-received and it was even praised by motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson as one of the best by global standards. It was mainly marketed and to match its rivals and competitors at a lower cost. Its cab-forward design made its cabin spacious, so passengers would feel like they were riding a limousine. It was powered by a 3.5 L ESE 24-valve V6 engine that was able to churn out up to 214 hp. It also had grilles that with the same color as the vehicles body, traction control, aluminum wheels, 8-way power adjustable front seats, a sweet sound system. Automatic temperature control, and integrated fog lights. However, some buyers complained about the poor brightness and quality of its headlights, which had projector-like beams. During this time, Chrysler also released a similar vehicle—the New Yorker, which, compared to the LHS, had livelier colors, a softer tuned suspension, and a beach seat at both the front and rear sides. However, the LHS was packed with more standard features that were only optional for the New Yorker.
Second generation: 1999-2001
In 1997, the LHS was dropped but it came back with its second generation just two years after in 1999. It was considered as Chrysler’s niche car at that time and it was released with the 300M, which didn’t differ that much from the LHS in terms of price. While the LHS was considered as the brand’s flagship model, its co-platform cars—300M and Concorde—eventually became more popular. This caused Chrysler to drop the production of the model in 2001 to focus more on the other two vehicles.