At last, Chrysler's entry level sedan will completely shed the Sebring chains that have held it back for so long. Meet the 2015 Chrysler 200. It's going to be kind of a big deal for them.
We've already seen some very clear shots of its interior, but these spy shots show the new 200 completely undisguised for the first time ever. The car should be making its official debut next month at the Detroit Auto Show.
The folks at Chrysler fansite Allpar have a ton of preliminary information about the new 200. First of all, yes, as you can probably tell from these photos, it is based on the Dodge Dart. But that's not necessarily a bad thing — the Alfa Romeo-derived Dart platform also underpins the new Jeep Cherokee, and almost everyone seems impressed with that so far.
The platform isn't all it will have in common with the Cherokee. Allpar expects the 200 to have a 2.4-liter inline four with around 200 horsepower, as well as a 3.2- or 3.6-liter V6 and the nine-speed ZF automatic transmission. If sold in Europe as a Lancia, as Chryslers are these days, it could get a 170 horsepower Fiat 2.0-liter engine.
Like I mentioned earlier, Chrysler needs for the new 200 to be a hit. The outgoing model, a heavily refreshed and renamed Sebring, was uninspired and a perennial also-ran in the entry-level luxury game. Sales have lagged hard lately. This new car is expected to be loaded down with all the tech Chrysler can throw at it, including self-parking and advanced telematics.
I think that visually, it's a huge improvement over the old 200. From these photos it does look a little too Dart-ish, especially in the C-pillar area, but I'll hold off judgement until I see it in person next month.
Anything's better than the Sebring, right?
Photos: KGP Photography