1989 Maserati TC news, pictures, specifications, and information
Chassis Num: ZC2FP1104KB203629
Sold for $7,000 at 2014 Mecum.
This Chrysler Maserati TC is painted yellow with a saddle interior. The odometer shows just 4,001 miles. Power is from a 2.2-liter Turbo II four-cylinder engine and there is an automatic transmission. It has a removable hardtop.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2014
The 1980's were not kind to Maserati. After Alejandro De Tomaso took over the company in 1975, plans were made to turn Maserati into a much higher volume car producer. The vehicle with which the company planned to achieve this mass production was the Biturbo, an unfortunate blend of tricky road manners and mediocre build quality.

The Biturbo had its merits, of course, and was a very capable car in the right hands. Over the years, Maserati even managed to work most of the gremlins out of its system. It never caught on in the United States, though, and Maserati faced sales so pitiful that they were forced to pull out of the U.S. market entirely.

Chrysler, too, saw struggles in the 1980's. Fortunately for that company, though, chairman Lee Iacocca was able to bring stability back by the middle of that turbulent decade.
Financial stability aside, Chrysler was no impressive car company during the Reagan years. Its product offerings, sad and impossibly boring, could do little to excite a public already ravaged by automotive mediocrity. Lee Iacocca saw that something must be done to reinvigorate the Chrysler nameplate, so he contacted his friend Alejandro De Tomaso over at Maserati. Together, they formulated a plan to bolster Chrysler's sagging image and aid Maserati's depressed financial situation.

The product of this collaboration, unconventionally named Chrysler TC by Maserati, was introduced in 1988 to an audience that, well, didn't really care. Who could blame them? Delays in production meant that, though the production model was remarkably similar to the prototype, the TC was dated by the time it reached the street.

Its looks were inoffensive, but they were tame to the point of anonymity. Chrysler was in charge of exterior design, and this fact allowed the vehicle's K-car roots to show a little too clearly in the TC's design language. Maserati tackled the interior design, but the car used a standard Chrysler console and instrument binnacle. Maserati did what they could with the little freedom they had, but sexy door panels were hardly enough to save a dull, dated interior.

Supple leather and wood accents lent an upscale ambiance to the interior upon first impression, but the subpar build quality quickly erased any notion that the TC was manufactured with the care befitting an exotic.

The 5-speed TC's performance, at least, was respectable. A transversely mounted, 16-valve, 2.2L four delivered power to the front wheels. Engineered by Maserati, this turbocharged and intercooled engine was good for 200hp, 220lb-ft of torque, and an impressive 0-60 time of 6.9 seconds. The automatic, car, though, couldn't touch this kind of performance. Its uninspiring 3-speed was coupled to either a Chrysler-engineered 2.2L turbo four with 174hp or a later 3.0L Mitsubishi V6. On auto-equipped cars, 0-60 times grew to 9.9 seconds and performance levels sank far from sports car standards.

Poor marketing cemented the TC's fate. Clueless salespeople had trouble moving the cars, and its delayed introduction caused more problems than dated styling. The Chrysler LeBaron, sharing styling cues with the TC, was intended to come after the Chrysler-Maser. Under this plan, the LeBaron would have benefitted from the halo of the TC's prestige. The LeBaron reached production first, though, and the TC came out looking like a strange afterthought.

At double the cost of a LeBaron convertible, few people saw the point of the TC. Only 7300 were sold, and production ended in 1990 after a run of cars was built for the 1991 model year. Fine interior appointments and the availability of capable performance were not enough to save the car, and neither Chrysler nor Maserati benefitted to any significant degree from the car's production. The trident inscribed within a Mopar pentagon would never be seen again.


Lyons, Stephen. 'Chrysler's TC by Maserati.' Allpar.com 10 Apr 2009. http://www.allpar.com/model/tc.html.

Vance, Bill. 'Motoring Memories: Chrysler TC by Maserati, 1988-1990.' Canadian Driver 03 Apr 2009 10 Apr 2009. http://www.canadiandriver.com/2009/04/03/motoring-memories-chrysler-tc-by-maserati-1988-1990.htm.

By Evan Acuña
Recent Vehicle Additions


08072013 - SANTA CLARITA, Calif. Honda Performance Development, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is continuing its commitment to customer LMP1 endurance sports-car racing with...


- MX-5 Miata Wins Favorite Entry-Level Convertible - WASHINGTON, May 10, 2013 - Last evening, the all-new 2014 Mazda6 was presented with the prestigious Gene Ritvo Award for Design and Elegance...

Mazda Cx-5 Named 'Top Family Choice Vehicle' By Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2013 -- The Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA) yesterday named the 2013 Mazda CX-5 its Top Family Choice Vehicle and the all-new 2014 Mazda6 Best Green...


The all-new 2014 Mazda6 today was named to WardsAuto Worlds 10 Best Interiors list, as chosen by the publications editors. The redesigned mid-size sports sedan features Mazdas new design language called...

Chevy Indycar Engine Offers Promise For passenger Cars

The unbeaten track performance of the new Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 engine is bringing acclaim to the engineers who created it and hope for its significant technology to find its way into passenger cars. ...

300 Non-Letter
Fifth Avenue
Idea Cars
New Yorker
PT Cruiser
Series 70
Town & Country
Town & Country Mini Van

Image Left 1988 TC1990 TC Image Right
© 1998-2017. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Vehicle information, history, and
specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook  Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

© 1998-2017 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.