Even though Plymouth was discontinued in 2001, the US-based brand under Chrysler Corporation and Daimler Chrysler did make a huge impact in the automotive industry with its 73-year stint. It provided the market with good options for a mid-size sedan such as the Plymouth Acclaim. The Acclaim was based on the Chrysler Corporation’s AA-body. It was an upgraded version of the E-body Caravelle. Though it shared similarities with other AA-body vehicles that were badge-engineered, its main difference came from its choice of wheels, the body-side molding, and the fascia. It was sold as a mainstream variant compared to the Chrysler LeBaron, which was marketed more as a luxury option.
1989: The beginning of the Plymouth Acclaim
An AA-body four-door mid-size sedan from Plymouth was introduced in 1989. The Plymouth Acclaim was closely related to the Chrysler LeBaron, Chrysler Saratoga, and Dodge Spirit. It had three trim levels: the base model, mid-range LE, and high-end LX. Some of the common features of the LE and LX trims included premium cloth seating, body-side cladding, additional exterior bright work, power windows and locks, and premium sound systems. Eventually, these trims also featured 15-inch lace-spoke aluminum wheels. But although they came with more features, the base model was still the most popular of all the Acclaim trim levels. In fact, about 85 percent of the Acclaims sold were base models. The other two trim levels were discontinued in 1992 and integrated into the base model. Packages and options found in the mid-range and high-end trims were made available at an added cost.
Various engine options were available for the Acclaim. The 2.5 L Chrysler inline-4 engine (with throttle-body fuel injection) was a standard while the 3L Mitsubishi V6 (with multi-point fuel injection) was standard only on the LX and optional on other trims. A turbo variant of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine was available on base and LE from 1989 to 1992.
1993: The Acclaim’s facelift and other changes over the years
After the consolidation of the trims into one base model, the bigger change for the Plymouth Acclaim came for the 1993 model year. The mid-size sedan received a facelift brought about by the new radiator grille and other minor changes such as the use of a chrome Pentastar hood ornament. The Gold Package was introduced in 1993. It featured alloy wheels in gold accents and gold body-side trim, as well as gold paint and pinstripes. The Shelby package, which was installed by the dealer, also introduced some upgrades on the intake, exhaust manifolds, and fuel pump. With these upgrades, an Acclaim with the Shelby package could perform just as well as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.
A flexible-fuel Plymouth Acclaim was introduced in 1993 and offered till 1995. This Acclaim came equipped with a multipoint fuel injected version of the 2.5-liter engine that could produce up to 107hp. This could run on fuel with 85% methanol. The 1995 Acclaim got a 2.5-liter engine with a revised cylinder head. The Acclaim was replaced by the Plymouth Breeze in 1996.