Launched as the "First Plymouth of the 90's," the Plymouth Laser was a more upscale sporty coupe version of the Eagle Talon. To attract the younger and more adventurous crowd, its commercials featured 1980s icon Tina Turner. Throughout its production years from 1989 to 1994, it underwent several upgrades to keep sports car buyers happy. Today, the Plymouth Laser, especially its RS Turbo variant, continues to attract fans and enthusiasts from around the world.
1990: The Plymouth Laser entered the US market
The production for 1990 Plymouth Lasers started in 1989. To set it apart from its Eagle and Mitsubishi brothers, the Laser featured a different badge, a race car look, a plastic panel instead of a grille, a bulging hood for 2.0 L models, lace-patterned alloy wheels, and a rear lightbar.
The Laser was initially offered in three trims: base (1.8 L engine), RS (2 L non-turbo), and RS Turbo (2 L turbocharged engine). To attract its target market, RS models were designed to accommodate a factory-installed CD player and featured a distinct black roof, dual power mirrors, accent striping on the lower part of each side, and other exclusive design tweaks. For the base and RS versions, an automatic transmission was an optional feature.
1991: Engine and safety upgrades
For the 1991 models, changes included ABS or anti-lock brakes for increased passenger safety. An automatic transmission became an option for all Laser trims. The RS version was equipped with a more powerful engine that could produce 195 horsepower.
1992: Cosmetic changes
Several cosmetic tweaks were done on all Laser trims in 1992. The hood and rear and front fascias were restyled, while the pop-up headlights were dropped to make way for the fixed multi-form headlights to achieve a more aerodynamic look. Two separate headlights replaced the rear lightbar for a more streamlined exterior. Other changes included alloy wheels for the RS version and an expanded product lineup that included an AWD layout. The AWD (all-wheel drive) version of the RS trim was only available with a manual transmission, and the RS can be bought with a Gold Package, which included gold-trimmed graphics, pin stripes, and gold-trimmed wheels. Because only a limited number of Gold Package RS units were sold, this version is quite rare and is considered by many as a collectible.
1993: More upgrades
In 1993, Lasers with an AWD layout were now available with an automatic transmission. The change to an automatic transmission system altered the turbocharged models' power ratings. A year later, the Plymouth Laser was discontinued due to declining sales. Because production was stopped during the first quarter of 1994, 1994 models are quite rare. Despite its discontinuation, the Plymouth Laser continues to attract fans because of its racing capabilities and its modification-friendly build.