Dodge Diplomat

Dodge Diplomat 1977

The Dodge Diplomat was a 1977 to 1989 by the U.S. automobile manufacturer Dodge offered model of the middle class with rear-wheel drive, which was based on the M platform of the Chrysler Group. The diplomat was manufactured in three series. He is the longest- produced passenger cars the Dodge brand.


The Dodge Diplomat was originally designed as a parallel model for 1977 Chrysler LeBaron presented.

In view of the 1973 oil crisis erupted was built on the American automobile market in mid -1970s, the demand for smaller vehicles. This was also true for the range of high-quality, more expensive models. General Motors had successfully positioned in this market segment, which was initially operated by importers such as Mercedes- Benz and BMW as the first American manufacturer in 1975 with the Cadillac Seville a private vehicle; the Ford Motor Company moved soon afterwards to the Lincoln Versailles. The Chrysler Group responded in the summer of 1976 with the LeBaron, of approximately the Seville and Versailles corresponded in its dimensions, but was offered at a lower price than the competition models. The technical basis of the LeBaron was designated as M platform. This new designation suggested an independence of the series, which was not actually given. The M platform was largely identical to the year before featured F platform, based on the Chrysler affordable volume models Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare. Most of the technical components of the LeBaron corresponded to the Aspen and the Volare; numerous body parts of the series were interchangeable.

The LeBaron was sold from model year 1977 Chrysler Plymouth dealer. Chrysler developed the diplomat, who was stylistically largely the LeBaron resembled, but less elaborately equipped and has a lower price for the existing separated dealer of the Dodge brand. For the model year 1982, the Plymouth Gran Fury supplemented the series; at the same time was from the Chrysler LeBaron of New York and a year later the Fifth Avenue.

Market positioning

Within the three Chrysler brands, the Dodge variant of the M - Body took a middle position one: the same design, but very complex equipped Chrysler LeBaron and his successor New York and Fifth Avenue were significantly more expensive than the Diplomat, Plymouth Gran Fury during the the basic version represented and was even cheaper than its Dodge counterpart.

Based on the model range of the Dodge brand positioning of the diplomat was not unique; he took during his thirteen- year production period on different roles. 1977 and 1978, the diplomat was offered in parallel to the larger middle class models Dodge Coronet and Monaco, this outdated design that is sparked from not immediate. About the middle class duo Diplomat / Monaco also ranked the full-size model Royal Monaco. Regardless of the size ratios of the diplomat was more expensive than the two larger models. With the setting of Monaco in the summer of 1978, the diplomat took over his role as the second largest Dodge model over the 1979 was still only positioned the much larger St. Regis. Once again this full-size model had been discontinued in the late summer of 1981, the diplomat for the most cars the Dodge brand was, and after the Chrysler Group had replaced all smaller vehicles with front wheel drive cars from the K -car family, was the diplomat and its sister models, the recent Chrysler vehicles with rear wheel drive.

Model history

First Generation: 1977-1979

The first series of the Dodge Diplomat was offered as a four-door sedan, two-door coupe and as a five-door station wagon. The coupe had arched rear fenders with a rounded lines. All body styles had the same wheelbase. Stylistically, the diplomat was almost identical to the Chrysler LeBaron; only the shape of the radiator grille as well as the arrangement of the front light units was independent. During the LeBaron the flashing lights were placed over the rectangular headlights, they were at the Diplomat below the headlights.

In the first model year, the diplomat was powered exclusively by a 5.2 -liter eight-cylinder engine from 1978 was also available the Slant Six in-line six -cylinder engine with 3.7 liter displacement. 1978 and 1979 could also be ordered also a 5.9 -liter version of the V8 engine. The eight-cylinder engines were fitted as standard with a three-speed automatic. Only in model year 1979, a manual four- speed transmission was available as an alternative.

Second generation: 1980-1984

1980 learned the diplomat extensive stylistic modifications. The four-door sedan as well as the Chrysler LeBaron received a standing steep C-pillar, which increased the headroom in the rear of the car. This body style has remained unchanged up to the attitude of the model in 1989 in the core.

The Diplomat coupe was extensively modified. Unlike earlier in the years, it had now shorter by 10 cm wheelbase coupe versions of the Dodge Aspen / Plymouth Volare and was smooth-surfaced rear fender with square lines. The station wagon remained however unchanged. The station wagon and the coupe of the second generation were only produced in model years 1980 and 1981; from 1982, the Diplomat was available only as a four-door sedan.

The drive continued to serve the 5.2 -liter eight- cylinder engine, which could be equipped with different gasifier systems. From 1980 to 1983, the 3.7 liter Slant -Six, six-cylinder engine was available as an alternative.

Third generation: 1985-1989

In 1985, the diplomat, who was only available as a sedan, another facelift. In an otherwise unchanged body he took over the front design of the Chrysler Fifth Avenue, where the turn signals were still positioned above the headlights. Thus, the diplomat stressed now clear of the cheaper Plymouth Gran Fury from which to 1984 externally with the diplomat had been identical to that of 1982 and maintained its previous front design in the coming years.


The Dodge Diplomat was initially made ​​in Chrysler's own plants. In 1981 the production was in contrast in order for the competing company AMC. Its factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the M- Bodies were cheaper to produce than Chrysler's own works.

Since the early 1980s, the diplomat was developed only marginal. The car is increasingly outdated, but remained successful long on the market. In recent years the vehicles have been sold mainly to fleet customers such as government agencies and car rental companies.

The Chrysler versions of the M -body were regularly the most successful offshoot of M platform, followed by the Dodge models. Plymouth version was regularly asked the least.

Dodge built a total of approximately 363,000 copies of the diplomat. In not a single model year, the diplomat reached six digit production numbers. The highest emissions, he reached in his first full year of production. In the 1980s, the production almost always fluctuated annually 20000-25000 vehicles. The production distributed to the individual model years are as follows: 37 552 (1977 ), 78 552 (1978), 53 879 (1979 ), 35.200 (1980 ), 24,170 (1981 ), 23,146 (1982 ), 24.444 (1983 ), 22 169 (1984 ), 39,165 (1985) 26,953 (1986) 20,627 (1987) 19,173 (1988) 6,329 (1989).