This is the all-new Chrysler 200 saloon, a car that is of vital importance to the company in its home market.
The new 200 follows closely the style set by its predecessor, albeit executed in a more slickly modern style. It gets dramatic LED running lights and, inside, a raised and angled centre console that houses the controls for the climate control system, as well as the control dial for what’s expected to be a nine-speed autobox.
While it might be argued that the new 200 is also somewhat anonymous, it is pitched into one of the most cut-throat segments in the US new car market. The new model will be completing against the Toyota Camry – the best-selling car in the US for the last 12 years running – as well as a strong-selling Honda Accord, the Hyundai Sonata and new Ford Fusion (the next-generation Mondeo, to European drivers).
The 200 is expected to be sold with two engines: a 2.4-litre, ‘Tigershark’, four cylinder and one of Chrysler’s familiar 3.6-litre V6 Pentastar engines.
The 200 will be unveiled in January at the Detroit motor show, replacing the previous Sebring model, which was a major re-engineering makeover in 2010, in the wake of Fiat’s controlling purchase of Chrylser. The Sebring was a left-over from the DaimlerChrysler era and was often lampooned for its cost-cut interior and overall build quality.
The current model is also sold in mainland Europe as the Lancia Flavia. There’s no news yet as to whether Lancia will also get the new 200 model.
Although the 200 sold significantly better than its Sebring predecessor, its 2012 sales of 125,000 units in the US is well behind the Toyota Camry’s expected 2012 total of around 400,000 units.