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Sebring swap: Chrysler will call its 2011 sedan the 200

Tue, 14 Sep 2010 00:00:00 -0700

The Chrysler Sebring will get a fresh start late this year as it relaunches with a new name, the 200, and considerable upgrades to the engines, sheetmetal and interior.

The 200 gets a new grille with a prominent Chrysler badge, new fascia front and rear, projector headlamps and fog lamps and LED taillights.

The new engines to be offered are Chrysler's Pentastar V6 that will make 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is slightly detuned from its uses in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Charger, and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder from Fiat's global engine bin. The V6 is paired with a six-speed automatic transaxle, and the I4 uses that gearbox or a four-speed.

The chassis has been extensively reworked for a softer ride, and the cabin materials are upgraded with new soft-touch materials and a fresh instrument panel. The car will be assembled in Sterling Heights, Mich.

The 200 name comes from Chrysler's not-too-distant past. It was a concept at the 2009 Detroit auto show, called the 200C, and it used electric power.

As the name implies, the 200 slots in Chrysler's lineup below the flagship 300, which is being updated along with its Dodge Charger sibling this year.

By Greg Migliore