Changes


The 1989 Saratogas were sold as 1990-models and slightly adapted for German regulations.

The modifications on the 3.0 LE types were:
  • the front lights are 55/65 Watts H-4 asymetric driving lights with 'real' front-glasses
  • european front foglights are installed, using 55 Watts / H1 bulbs
  • the third brakelight in the back was coloured black and the bulb removed to meet the german regulations of those days
  • the marker lights within the front flashers were set out of function by cutting a cable, the sidelights were removed completely and replaced by a dummy
  • instead: small round flasher repeater-lamps are installed in the front fenders between wheel and front-door (dia. about 1.5 Inch)
  • Aluminium wheels 15x6.5J were used
  • Tires from Michelin are used. The size is P205/60R15 90H for an extended speed range up to 210 km/h. Also allowed are 185/65R15 87Q M+S on a steel wheel 15 x 6.0JJ but no snow-chains
  • Monroe gas-shock absorbers are used - it is not verified if they were generally used on the canadian model too
  • european rear lights with orange flashers, 2 foglights and 2 integrated reverse lights
  • the engine power was given at 141 hp / 104 kw @ 5200 rpm, corresponding to German tests and regulations

DOOR SIGN #1

Later versions of the Saratoga (past '91 models) have in addition
  • e-powered height adjustment for the headlamps (adjustable from drivers seat)
  • height adjustable front seat-belts (only some later models after '92)

The cars were sold (September '89) for 37.950 DM (29.720 / 2.5 SE) if you take one in non- metallic colours. The price changed in late 1991 (or early 1992) to 38.700 DM (30.350 / 2.5 SE) for the new 1992 model 3.0 LE, which comes with A/C, US-Fullsize Airbag and ABS as standard equipment - and non-metallic colour of course.

The 1992-model had a different grille - in chromed plastic instead of one in cars' colour - with that Chrysler Penta in the middle of it (like on the former minivan types) and some come with more chrome rims over the wheels and under the doors. They also changed the wheel design and no longer used these snowflake-style Mini-Van wheels.

People told me, that these wheel were in the USA typical only for the Spirit R/T - here in Germany they were used on nearly any LE-Minivan between 1990 and 1991. However: there were some fine differences. The Saratogas always had the deeper regions of the wheel in darker colors (except on white cars, which had unique white wheels), the 2.5-LE-Minivans hadn't. Their wheels were unique alloy-colored and had 195/60 tires on them.

The engine power those days was 141 hp / 104 hp at 5200 rpm, but some information sheets (released in 1992 for the last series) showed 136 hp /101 kw at 5200 rpm, which was also given for the Le Baron V6. Unlike to that even the last of the '94-models brought here had 141 hp in the papers.

For the 1992-models the "orderable options" list was totally removed, instead they changed the equipment a little to give the 2.5 SE-model some upgrade for better marketing - but in vain. The 2.5 litre-models were no longer available in Germany after mid-1992 but probably sold somewhere else in Europe because I saw at least one later-type Saratoga (with that awful chrome rims), the manual gearbox and steel wheel (Size 195/60H15) and plastic pizza-style wheelcaps.

Officially the Saratoga disappeared sometime in middle of 1992, but some few cars were already sold here until the Stratus came to Europe in March 1994.


To my state of information the production of the european Saratoga officially ended in summer 1992.
Nontheless: there were cars sold from stockpile as new in 1993. I was offered a Saratoga even in late 1993. When I visited a Chrysler Dealer in Mid-1995 they were just selling a used Saratoga ('92-model) from first owner, with about 70.000 km on the counter - first been in traffic in November 1993 - over one year after production ended in 05/92 !

Later Saratogas (past '92-models) may base on a modified Le Baron Sedan or Plymouth Acclaim - not on the Dodge Spirit.
Some of the last models imported from USA as Saratogas even had leather seats and wooden-style applications for the dashboard. These versions can be identified by the VIN. European Saratogas VIN begins with 1C3BA7..., later imported and modified models have a VIN beginning with 1C3XAB... and are originally Le Baron Sedans.

While the Saratogas aren't in production anymore, the replacement should be the Stratus. Did they put more effort in advertising ? I think not. Seems they haven't learned anything in addition.



Last Update 09. July 1999
© 1997 by Peter H. Wendt