Chrysler’s follow-up to its aging 200 sedan, seen here completely uncovered during what looks like a nighttime photo- or commercial shoot. We don’t see rapper Eminem anywhere in the photos, so maybe Chrysler’s Made In Detroit ad campaign is using fresh celebrities. Regardless, the 200 itself looks massively improved.
Chrysler’s meager product line consists of just four models: the 300,the 200 convertible,the Town & Country ,and the 200 sedan. The 2015 200 won’t flesh out the brand any, but as new product, it’s critical given the age and uncertain future of the T&C and the limited appeal of the 200 convertible. More important, the current 200 sedan is both uncompetitive and oddly sized, falling somewhere between compact and mid-size four-doors. The new model is expected to be more spacious and luxurious, attributes sure to find it more buyers in the entry-luxury segment.
Platform: As we’ve known for some time, the 200 will utilize a version of the Dodge Dart’ s Compact U.S. Wide architecture, itself adapted from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta’s bones. We must admit that after seeing camouflaged 200 mules earlier this year, we were concerned that the 200 was going to look a lot like a rebadged Dart, but these spy photos have proven us wrong. Although there are traces of the Dart’s roofline and general shape in the 200’s profile, the key styling elements—including grille, headlights, taillights, front and rear fascias—are unique.
Powertrain: I expect the sedan to inherit the Dart’s optional 184-hp 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine as its base powerplant, while the uplevel offering will be one of Chrysler’s Pentastar V-6s: the ubiquitous 292-hp 3.6-liter unit used in a variety of Chrysler products or the smaller-displacement, 271-hp 3.2-liter variant that debuted in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee.
Competition: Acura TSX, Buick Regal, Volkswagen CC.
Estimated Arrival and Price: Look for the 200 to go on sale midway through 2014 following its big reveal in Detroit. Pricing should hold relatively firm, meaning close to the current car’s $22,790 base price.