by Dan Minick of Global Auto with renderings by Charger, JackRatchett, S. Weigel, and Suzq044.Thanks to oh2o, JRS200x, Karl3
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The Chrysler 200 continued for 2013, its final model-year as a Mitsubishi-platform Chrysler-architecture sedan and convertible. The Limited now had a standard V6 and Boston Acoustics speakers; the touchscreen stereo, Bluetooth system, and 18” wheels were optional. The S appearance package was available on Touring and Limited. There were no known changes to 200 Convertible, according to Chrysler PR, other than colors. The convertible was quietly dropped from production before the sedan.
The Chrysler 300C also continued with few changes, while the 300C’s sister for Europe revived memories of exotic big Lancias and gave Lancia a better flagship than the Thesis; parts of it were adapted back again in the 300C Luxury Series. The Chrysler 300 and 300C had a simplified lineup for 2013, with four basic models: 300, 300S, 300C, and SRT8, with the Luxury model being a package on top of 300C. All of these had a V6 standard (300C SRT8 continued with a 6.4 liter V8 as its only engine); the V6 was coupled with an eight-speed automatic, the V8s with a five-speed. Only 300S and 300C had an optional Hemi V8; every model, including the base 300, had standard leather, UConnect Voice, and BlueTooth. Moving the base 300 upwards in price and features led to some lost sales but a major improvement in resale value, with most low-ticket buyers moving to Charger instead.
There were other changes for 2013:
How Launch Control works: When the vehicle is at a complete stop, the driver presses ESC twice, pushes down on the brake with one foot, and applies full throttle briefly with the other. Launch control holds the engine at 1,825 rpm and waits for the driver to release the brake. Launch Control then uses engine torque management to achieve controlled wheelslip for maximum acceleration up to 62 mph (100 kph).
Chrysler Town & Country gained standard trailer-sway damping (using the anti-lock brakes) and second-row floor mat retainers. Various other minor features were:
We never did see the 300C Imperial, an attempt to move the brand upwards with an extended wheelbase (for luxury car fleet operators).
Fiat 500 got a standard “spotter mirror” on all levels, black-and-red leather optional on Sport, darker tinted glass (including on the sunroof), revised instrument icons, new carpet, configurable door locks (allowing the driver’s door to be pushed twice, instead of once, as a "lock all doors"), tire pressure visible in the trip computer, speed-sensitive volume on the premium audio, and heated seats optional with manual transmission. A new, 368-watt, six-speaker-plus-subwoofer Beats premium audio system on Sport and Lounge replaced the Bose system, and there was much rejoicing.
The Fiat 500 Turbo had a “touring turbo,” essentially a light-pressure turbocharger that does not require all the hard-riding suspension upgrades of the Abarth, but still gives better acceleration than the stock 500. Based on the similar European configuration, most observers expected it to produce around 130 horsepower — it actually came in at 135 horsepower. It uses the Sport’s suspension tuning where possible, with numerous beefed-up components.
A new model, the 500L, was launched; made in Serbia, the Punto-based four-door car with 500 styling and a choice of manual or dual-clutch automatic transmissions shared a 1.4 turbo engine with Fiat 500 and Dodge Dart. Sales were fairly minimal, failing to match Mini Countryman’s big boost. Fiat 500 itself easily beat Mini’s comparable car in the sales charts.
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