In 1984 Chrysler introduced a model that is branded as its “first sports car,” and later as the “first front-wheel-drive sports car built in America.” Back then it was touted as luxurious car with features like adjustable sport seats with Mark Cross leather and an available digital dashboard.
Despite regular improvements to an already competitive car, buyers failed to materialize, and the Chrysler brand ended its sports coupe experiment after a brief three years. Initially, the Laser came around with two powertrain options: there was a normally aspirated 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder, rated at 93 horsepower and 121 pound-feet of torque, and a turbocharged version of the same engine that produced 142 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque.
The standard transmission was a five-speed manual, though buyers could also opt for a TorqueFlite three-speed automatic. In its three years of production, Chrysler assembled just 147,396 Lasers.
It is not easy to estimate how many survive today, although the car would continue on in Canada as the Chrysler Daytona, replacing the Dodge Daytona north of the border. In the United States, the Dodge Daytona would continue to be a relatively strong seller for the brand, remaining in the lineup through the 1993 model year.
As for the Laser nameplate, it would reappear for the 1990 model year. The long and short of it is that Chrysler had introduced a lovely and promising car that bore a lot of potentials.
However, as it turned out, the Laser was unable to cut through the competitiveness of the time and that is how it eventually faded out.