In February 1975, the Lancer was complemented by a hatchback coupé called the "Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste" (A70-series). It succeeded the Galant FTO, which never did very well in the marketplace due to confusion with the Galant GTO and a too high price. It was also called the "Mitsubishi Celeste" or "Colt Celeste" in some markets; and sold as the "Chrysler Lancer Coupé" in Australia, the "Dodge Lancer Celeste" in El Salvador, the "Plymouth Arrow" in the United States, and the "Dodge Arrow" in Canada. Sitting on the same 2,340 mm wheelbase as the Lancer, length was up to 4,115 mm.
The Celeste was originally available with 1.4- and 1.6-litre options, a bigger 2.0-litre model was added later. The 1979–80 Plymouth "Fire Arrow" came with an even larger (2,555 cc) four-cylinder, but strangled by American emissions regulations it only offered 105 hp (78 kW), no more than the Japanese market 2000 GT. Along with receiving a light facelift in July 1977, including new taillights and the cleaner (but lower powered) MCA-Jet engines, new model codes (A140-series) were introduced. There was another facelift in April 1978; square headlights and bigger, less integrated bumpers heralded the coming eighties. Named accordingly, a top-of-the-line "GT System 80" version had appeared in November 1977, including every possible extra and special black and gold paintwork. This was trumped by the 105 PS (77 kW) "2000 GT" introduced in June 1979, with a version of the 2-litre Astron engine already used in export since October 1975. Production of the Lancer Celeste ended in July 1981 and it was replaced by the front-wheel drive Cordia in early 1982.
Because of the Arrow's long, narrow, aerodynamic, lightweight design and rugged suspension, it was used extensively in various types of racing including SCCA road racing, rally and drag racing. The Arrow body design was used on pro stock and funny cars in the late 1970s by noteworthy racers such as Ray Godman, Don Prudhomme, Bob Glidden and Raymond Beadle.
The 1.6-liter Celeste was sold in Australia as the Chrysler Valiant Lancer liftback as part of the LB series from April 1977. It featured sports instrumentation and a 60-kilowatt (80 hp) version of the 4G32. The final LC iteration arrived in May 1979 with a rationalised model range which saw the sedan body variant deleted. Changes were as for 1979 Celestes, comprising square headlamps, redesigned tail-lamps, plastic bumpers, interior trim upgrades, and a new five-speed manual transmission. During 1981, the Chrysler was rebranded "Mitsubishi Lancer" in the Australian market, lasting until August the same year.
The Australian cars featured had "arrow" decals on the hood and stripes on the flanks, but these were less flamboyant than on those sold in the North American market.
Chrysler introduced the "Plymouth Arrow" as a captive import of the Celeste in January 1976 as an extension to the Dodge Colt lineup. It was also known as the "Dodge Arrow" in Canada and as the "Dodge Celeste" in Puerto Rico.
The Arrow was a rear-wheel drive car utilizing a solid rear axle and leaf springs in the rear, with MacPherson struts in the front. Transmission types included four and five-speed manual transmissions and a three-speed automatic. A 1.6 L I4 engine was standard with an optional 2.0 L I4. It was produced in various trim levels including the 160, GS and GT. The first year Arrow is easily identified from later years because its quarter-window louvers have two slats in the center, which were changed to three on all later years. The 1976 Arrow also came with a single windshield-wiper fluid nozzle on the hood, which was changed to dual nozzles for 1977 and remained that way for all later year Arrows.
Sporty exterior finishes were also offered, such as the Arrow Jet package, first offered in 1978. The Arrow Jet paint package was an eye-catching two-tone finish, typically in spit-fire orange and black. The entire car was spit-fire orange, but the entire bottom half of the car was covered in a solid flat black stripe with the words "Arrow Jet" stenciled out of the stripe on the doors so that the underlying body color showed through. This color combination of spit-fire orange and flat black seems to pay tribute to one of the design inspirations for the Plymouth Arrow, that being the Plymouth Barracuda. In 1971, the Barracuda was offered with a "billboard" decal option, which was a large, solid flat black decal that covered the entire back half of the car on both sides (often in a red and flat black color combination).
For 1979, the styling was freshened with the addition of flush bumpers, a smoother grille with rectangular headlights and hidden turn signals, chrome strips on the tail-lamps, and larger rear glass for the hatchback. Inside, the steering wheel previously found only in the Arrow GT was now standard. The rear axle was also extended 2.5 inches for better traction. A sporty variant called the Fire Arrow was first offered this year, which had special decals and a sporty interior, as well as a 2.6 L I4 engine and four-wheel disc brakes. The Fire Arrow had one of the best horsepower/weight ratios among U.S. production cars at the time because of its light weight. For 1979 and the succeeding year, the 2.0 L I4 engine was unavailable as an engine option.
The styling changes of the 1979 models carried over to 1980. The Fire Arrow however, was changed significantly. The 1980 Fire Arrow was now available with two new paint schemes: tan with a darker caramel-colored hood, and blue with a dark blue hood. These colored models were available with the smaller 1.6 engine and, like the base-model Arrows, had bumpers that were chrome instead of body color. The white Fire Arrow was also changed, and now had a matte-black hood and cowl, with the black paint continuing along the tops of the fenders and doors and ending under the quarter-windows. Unlike the colored versions, the white/black Fire Arrow had only one engine option, the 2.6 I4.
The Arrow was discontinued after the 1980 model-year and was replaced by the Plymouth Sapporo/Dodge Challenger which was larger, heavier and had more amenities. The Sapporo/Challenger retained rear-wheel drive and was itself the forerunner to the Mitsubishi Starion. A pickup version of the Arrow was released in 1979 which was also available with the 2.6 L engine, but they shared few, if any parts. The Arrow's styling influence can clearly be seen in the Plymouth Arrow Truck and its cousins; the Dodge D-50 and Mitsubishi Mighty Max pickups.
One of the more interesting options available for the Arrow was a small tent. When the rear seats were lowered and the tent was clipped over the open hatchback, it would allow the back of the car to be used for camping. General Motors would borrow this design many years later for the Pontiac Aztek.
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