Do you dig the 2015 Chrysler 200's sleek new nose? Hopefully the answer is yes, because you should be seeing a lot more of it from now on.
At the official unveiling of the car this morning at the Detroit Auto Show, Chrysler Brand President and CEO Alistair Gardner called the 200 "the new face of the Chrysler brand." He also called it their "flagship," which makes me unsure where that leaves the 300 these days. Odds are the next 300 will look something like the 200 then.
I wasn't really sold on the 200's looks until I saw it in person. From the leaked photos I thought it looked too much like a Dart. I was wrong. It's a decent amount bigger than Dodge's compact sedan, and it looks quite striking in real life. The photos don't do it justice.
Gardner made a big deal about how Chrysler wants the 200 to be the best car in its class, not just a competitor or an also-ran. With the much-touted nine-speed auto on a midsize sedan and the most interior space in that segment, they've certainly hit the right notes. It's built at the new Sterling Heights assembly plant, which Chrysler spent $1 billion on and packed with so many high-tech robots that it should start turning out Terminators pretty soon.
Other interesting features include a rear axle that can be fully decoupled at high speeds, shifting in and out of all-wheel drive as necessary to improve fuel economy. That's pretty neat.
All in all, the 200's looking fine, and could be impressive value. It's the face of things going forward for Chrysler, a company that felt like it was going backwards for far too long.