I'm back and showing my age.
I have owned over the years a couple of Chev Monza's (looking back these were not very good, but in the late 70's, not bad compared to what else was out there). Buick 231 V6 powered - all 110 hp. Then I had a GM X - an 81 X11. This is the car that convinced me that FWD could be fun. But then I drove an 84 Omni GLH (non-turbo 2.2) and promptly ditched the X. A lower quality car than the X and built as an obvious 'throw-away when done', but it would run circles around the X and the 'fun' factor was much higher. I beat that thing to death, it leaked oil so much I put used oil in it, and it lasted for well over 100K and was still running strong when I sold it (on the original headgasket and timing belt). Then I moved on to a string of k-based turbo cars and I have had all of the 8 valve variations. Yes the cars were not built to last, but the 2.2 drivetrains were as good or better as any from the era. The turbos all had a big 'fun' factor for cheap. Look back 25 years and what else was around; deisel oldsmobiles (I had one of those too, thats what donated used oil for the GLH), 160 hp Ford and GM V8's, etc. Adding the turbo to the 2.2 allowed Chysler to keep up from a performance perspective on a budget. I have had my share of imports and currently drive one. I am not 'brand loyal' in any sense as I would not purchase any new mopar (aside from the Cummins), but if I want to get a grin on my face, I fire up the 2.2 powered daytona in the garage and go out to the track (it runs mid 12's). What is fun is not the fact that it runs mid 12's, but that no one expects it to. It is not too far removed from stock aside from more boost with a bigger turbo, decent pistons and a clutch. 5K launches on slicks (hundreds of passes) and all on the original trans.
In summary, the 2.2 started off as most new motors do and morphed into a very good engine and drivetrain considering the era. The cars that wrapped around these drivetrains were admitedtly not the best, but not bad when one considered the intent and price. They do not compare to anything a decade newer, but they are the grandfathers of performance front wheel drive.
Not flops, they saved a car company that was willing to stick it's neck out and build more turbo motors than any company before or likely since and to price and sell these to the masses as neglected daily drivers.
(who else would put a turbo motor in a mini-van)