When Chrysler set out to create a dramatic new model with the Neon, it developed a unique marketing approach as well. The standard-setting compact vehicle, which has now been benchmarked by import automakers for its engineering design, paved new ground by marketing two brands under one image - identical cars with only a surname difference. The goal of the Plymouth/ Dodge Neon was to reach a new and larger group of small-car buyers who were disenchanted with the lack of standard safety features, interior room and, particularly, fun in their vehicles. To address these and other concerns, the Neon offered a new engine that boasted the most horsepower in its class, the longest wheelbase in the small-car segment, standard dual airbags and side-impact protection. And all this was done at a yer-kiddin' base price of $8975. The Neon sedan has been a sellout since its introduction in January 1994 as a '95 model. It was joined by the Neon coupe, which has been in production since late fall of '94. The Neon 5-passenger sedan comes in three trim levels - base, Highline and Sport - while the coupe is available in Highline and Sport only. An array of options nearly as long as the Neon's 104 in. wheelbase is offered individually or in a variety of packages. A top-of-the-line, trim-packaged Neon, such as our test model Highline, can screech around corners for a price above $15,000. Our test car came with an option package that included air conditioning, power door locks, dual remote exterior mirrors, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), 3-speed automatic transmission and a CD player. This boosted the price to $15,042, including destination charge.