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The Eagle Summit was a subcompact car produced by Mitsubishi Motors from 1989 to 1996. It was sold as a captive import by the Jeep-Eagle sales division that was created after Chrysler Corporation purchased American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1987. The Summit was one of the passenger car lines to expand the marketing mix of the Jeep dealer sales and service network in North America.

Overview

The Eagle Summit joined the Dodge Colt and Plymouth Colt starting in 1989 as Chrysler wound down the production of the subcompact Plymouth Horizon and Dodge Omni twins. The introduction of the Summit coincided with the release of the Mitsubishi Mirage's third generation.

The Eagle Summit was subcompact automobile model in the product mix for Jeep-Eagle dealers. Previously this position was held by the Renault Alliance until Renault withdrew from the U.S. and Canadian markets in 1987. The Eagle Summit line lasted through the extent of the Mirage's fourth generation, which ended in 1996. The somewhat related Eagle Summit Wagon (which was a compact MPV) ran from 1992–1996 and was based on the Mitsubishi RVR.

1st Generation

The Summit was a badge engineered version of the Mitsubishi Mirage. In a pairing of the Japanese-built Mitsubishi Mirage and the identical Eagle Summit to test if Lee Iacocca's theory was true regarding the preference of a Japanese to an American brand on similar cars, Popular Mechanics found that American consumers were "not sold on Japanese cars. Quite the opposite. They want to "Buy American," but the Japanese manufacturers seem to offer more of the type of cars Americans need and at a better price, and from more cooperative dealers." Originally assembled in Japan, starting with the 1991 model year, the Eagle Summits were built by Diamond-Star Motors (DSM), a joint-venture between Chrysler and Mitsubishi, in Normal, Illinois.

1989: Summit was introduced as a sedan in DL and LX trim, both powered by a 1.5-liter 8-valve 4-cylinder engine with 81 hp (60 kW). The LX could have a 1.6-liter 16-valve DOHC engine with 123 hp (92 kW). The 100.7 cubic feet (2.85 m3) of interior volume classified the Summit into the compact car class, while most of its competitors were still subcompacts. The Summit was also noted for its generous rear legroom.