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2008-2009 Chrysler Sebring convertible cars (and newer)

The Chrysler Sebring was America’s best selling convertible for seven of its first 11 years. Sebring Convertible test drive1996-2000 Sebring Convertible

chrysler sebring convertible

Three automatically latching tops, including a retractable hard top, can drop with the press of a button on the key fob. The spacious interior keeps comfortable room for four adults; exceptional cargo room easily fits four golf bags, or two golf bags when top is dropped. Meanwhile, performance is boosted with top gas mileage of 31 mpg, highway, and flexible fuel capabilities.

2009 Chrysler Sebring convertibles

18 inch chromed wheels were made standard on Limited; a dark gray interior replaced the two-tone gray; trunk mats, floor mats, cabin air filtration, and deck lid closing assist handles were added to all models, which also got the acoustic package from the Sebring. Limited got standard heated front seats, remote start, automatic headlamps, garage door opener, auto temp, and heated/cooled cup holder; both Touring and Limited got ESP standard. The Convenience and Premium Auto groups were enhanced.

More changes

This Sebring was completely redesigned, and continues to be engineered to be a convertible rather than a sedan sent to a chop shop. It is unique in its presentation of three top options: vinyl, cloth, and, now, a hardtop. All can be automatically retracted at the push of a button. There is also a standard tonneau cover for all models. The advantages that kept the Sebring at the top of its class, including room for four people and their luggage, remain; the Sebring convertible is the only vehicle in its class that can hold two golf bags in the trunk with the top down.

2008 sebring convertible top

Outside North America, Sebring Convertible will be the first D-segment cabriolet for Chrysler to offer both a diesel engine and right-hand-drive availability.

Changes from the second generation Chrysler Sebring

  2.4 2.7 3.5 Diesel*
Transmission Auto-4 Auto-6 Manual-6
Gas mileage 23/31 20/28 18/28 ?
Horsepower 173 189 235 140
Torque 166 191 232 229
* Europe only.

The 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer, and the car is 3.5 inches taller and more than 2 inches wider than the 2006 version; its overall length also is 3 inches longer than the sedan to compensate for the top storage. Sebring Convertible’s profile is defined by a long hood, a long roofline, and a high chrome beltline, which give a nicely proportioned, elegant greenhouse with the top up. Designers minimized the width of the C-pillar, increasing rearward visibility when the convertible top is up.

Wide tail lamps are mounted on the corners and deck lid for visibility and visual impact. Rear fog lamps can be mounted in the backup lamps. Chrome-tipped dual exhaust outputs hint at the Limited model’s performance capability when equipped with the 3.5-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transaxle. Europeans will be able to buy a diesel-equipped Sebring - powered by Volkswagen.

Soft surfaces on interior touch points, including the instrument panel cover and door arm rests, complement the convertible’s luxurious interior. The center stack features a Chrysler signature analog clock, surrounded by vents. The center floor console features dual storage bins and a sliding armrest that moves 3 inches to provide a comfortable position for all drivers. Occupants sit 2.5 inches higher than they did in the previous Sebring Convertible model. Rear seat passengers also have plenty of leg and head room, making this a functional convertible that can be enjoyed year round in all seasons.

inside the 2008 chrysler sebring convertible

All 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible models feature a two-tone interior theme with dark and lighter shades of Khaki or Gray on the instrument panel and door trim. The Chrysler Sebring Convertible Limited model also features a Cream and Pebble Beige interior with leather seats. Interior accents include Alloy Silver and chrome on the Sebring Convertible model, Satin Silver and chrome on the Touring model and Satin Silver, chrome and Tortoise Shell on the Limited model.

The Karmann-made convertible tops, both hard and soft, suffered dramatic quality deficits compared with the original, American-made ASC tops. These issues may have been addressed after the 2008 model year.

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Features include:

  • Available remote convertible top operation on the key fob
  • No manual convertible top latches, as Sebring’s new convertible top system automatically latches
  • A standard power hard tonneau that neatly conceals each of the three convertible tops when retracted
  • Easy-entry rear seat, as passenger seat features slide and memory recline position
  • Available remote start
  • An available windscreen that reduces wind and road noise
  • A locking glove box that can secure important documents and small items, top up or down
  • An available heated/cooled cup holder
  • Available YES Essentials® stain-resistant, odor resistant, anti-static seat fabric
  • Rear cupholders that are positioned in the rear quarter panels for easy access by rear-seat passengers
  • Passenger seat back that includes a map pocket for storage

The 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible is available in the United States in three models: Chrysler Sebring Convertible, Chrysler Sebring Convertible Touring, and Chrysler Sebring Convertible Limited. As with the sedan, engines are the 2.4 liter four, a flexible fuel 2.7 V6, and a 3.5 liter V6 with a six-speed automatic (the four and V6 get a four-speed automatic). The four cylinder gets 23 city, 31 highway; it provides 173 horsepower, more than the prior version's 150 horsepower, with 8% better gas mileage than the old engine. The base 2.7 liter V6 produces 189 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque, sacrificing a little top end horsepower for more torque and a broader torque curve; it is rated at 20 mpg city, 28 highway, and can operate on E85 ethanol. The Limited has an optional 3.5 liter V6, with a six-speed automatic; due to packaging issues, it produces 235 horsepower rather than the usual 250. Gas mileage is boosted by the six-speed automatic to 18 city, 28 highway.

sebring convertible hard top

Chrysler Sebring Convertible also is available outside North America with a modern 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine that produces 140 horsepower (DIN) and 229 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with a six-speed manual transaxle.

The 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible rides on a 108.9-inch wheelbase and a 61.8-inch track, which improves ride quality and stability and maximizes crush space in the engine compartment. Overall, this vehicle’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches, 3.5 inches taller and more than 2 inches wider than the previous convertible model.

Chrysler Sebring convertible suspension and other features for 2008

The front-wheel-drive 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible features a four-wheel independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and a multi-link rear suspension. Front and rear suspension crossmembers are isolated to the body to create a quiet ride, with less road noise vibration and harshness (NVH) than previous models.

The new six-speed automatic transaxle, which provides quicker standing-start acceleration because of a numerically higher first gear ratio. A more robust differential enhances launch performance because it can deal with more torque - reducing the need to electronically limit initial torque. Smaller steps between ratios also make for a smoother, quieter ride, as the engine speed doesn’t change as much with each shift. More appropriate ratios for quicker acceleration and a lower overall top gear ratio provide a quiet ride and improved fuel economy at highway speeds.

clever tonneau cover

Standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) are included on all 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible models. Optional Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Brake Assist and Traction Control helps the driver maintain stability and traction by monitoring wheel speed sensor signals. If there is any indication of slippage, ESP engages, applying the brakes and, if necessary, closing the throttle to maintain traction. Sebring Convertible’s ESP system works in slick driving conditions, including wet, snowy, icy, sandy or gravel roads, as well as on hot, dry pavement where a thin layer of oil can form, causing the surface to be slick.

Hydraulic Brake Assist and Traction Control are bundled with ESP and help Sebring Convertible drivers keep control of their vehicle. A pressure sensor in the ESP hydraulic module determines when the driver is making an emergency stop by measuring the rate at which the driver applies the brake. A high rate of pedal pressure application causes the ESP system to apply maximum hydraulic pressure to the brakes and the vehicle stops as quickly as the available traction will allow. Traction Control helps the Sebring Convertible maintain traction by applying the brakes and in some cases closing the throttle to minimize wheel spin during acceleration.

Body structure and other Sebring convertible details

When developing the new Sebring Convertible’s body structure, Chrysler Group engineers took extensive measures to make sure that the drop of the top doesn’t mean a drop in the overall driving experience.“We’ve engineered the Chrysler Sebring Convertible to have an extremely rigid body structure,” said Larry Lyons, Vice President—Front-wheel-drive Product Team. “For drivers, that means they’ll have a quiet, comfortable ride, excellent performance and a solid feel with no cowl shake, whether the top is up or down.”

spider glass

High-strength steels, reinforcements and braces used throughout the body structure contribute to the improvements. These include:

  • Reinforcements in the convertible’s rear bulkhead, behind the rear seats and in the sills provide the stiffness that the roof structure and rear structural ring provide in the sedan body
  • Adhesive-bonded, high-strength steel tubes in each sill and two sets of cross braces bolted to the underbody add strength
  • High-strength steel tubes mounted in each sill structure enhance body strength and stiffness
  • A roll-formed, high-strength beam welded to the body structure under the rear seat improves side-impact performance
  • Dual-phase steel used in the rear rails, tunnel reinforcement and sills adds body stiffness

This new Sebring Convertible’s body structure is substantially stiffer than its predecessor in bending and torsion—especially in bending—due to very large sills. In fact, Sebring Convertible’s new front-wheel-drive architecture and three-box vehicle design contribute to a body that is 245 percent stiffer in torsion and 145 percent stiffer in bending than the previous generation of convertibles. These refinements also make the new Sebring Convertible structure stiffer than other convertibles on the market that cost thousands of dollars more.

The convertible tops

Sebring is the world’s first car line to offer three different convertible tops: vinyl, cloth or, for the first time on Sebring, a retractable metal hard top. For soft-top convertible devotees, the vinyl and cloth tops deliver a traditional convertible look when the top is up. For buyers looking for a coupe with convertible functionality, the retractable hard top provides a sleek, coupe-like appearance.

Both the hard-top and soft-top mechanisms have die-cast aluminum frames. To give it strength with less weight, the soft top includes a magnesium front header. The three-layer soft tops include a headliner backed with foam and Mylar®, which helps contribute to the Sebring Convertible’s quiet interior. The headliner also hides the insulation pad that is positioned between the outer cloth or vinyl canopy and the roof bows. The top’s steel outer panels are painted body color. Weather stripping between the panels provides additional sealing to keep the wind, road and powertrain noise outside the vehicle.

frank ewasyshyn

The convertible top system on both hard and soft tops is the same, so the tops fold in a similar fashion. The two rear rails are aluminum, but the front rail is steel, as are some of the inner rear panel reinforcements. The steel top provides strength when the top is locked in the raised position. When the top is stowed, each section locks in place to the one below it to prevent damage or noise.

On both soft and hard tops, the easy-to-use convertible top folds in three sections. Forget leaning over to latch or unlatch the convertible top—manual roof-top latches are a thing of the past, replaced with convenient automatic latching. Owners also can drop the top with a switch on the instrument panel, or with the press of the button on the key fob. The soft top takes about 24 seconds to raise or retract, while the hard top takes about 29 seconds, both very competitive times in the segment. A standard automatic hard tonneau cover neatly conceals the top stowage area when the convertible top is down. When either the hard or soft top is stowed, the trunk will still hold two easily accessible sets of golf clubs or other cargo.

The 2008 Sebring Convertible also features “Smart Glass,” which protects the top weather strips and window seals. The system works by lowering the windows slightly whenever the convertible top is lowered or when the doors are opened or closed. When the door handle is pulled, Chrysler Sebring Convertible’s Smart Glass lowers the window 0.4 inches, which prevents the glass from “hanging up” on the top or upper window seals and allows the door to open without resistance or damage to the window or top weather strips. The window remains in this slightly lower position until the door is closed, at which point the glass rises completely to fully close the gap.

The Sebring also has an optional factory-installed rear windscreen that makes the convertible as comfortable as driving in a sedan with a sunroof. The windscreen cuts down on turbulence and wind noise created by the faster moving air traveling over the windshield when it encounters slower moving air inside the vehicle. The windscreen also makes the heating and air conditioning system more effective on cool and hot days to provide comfortable top-down operation, no matter what the weather.

building a sebring

“We extensively tested the convertible and the windscreen in our Auburn Hills AeroAcoustic Wind Tunnel and achieved some very dramatic results,” said Dennis Krozek, Chief Engineer—Chrysler Sebring Convertible. “With both the top and the windows down, the windscreen reduces buffeting and wind noise by approximately 11 to 12 decibels. With the top down but the windows up, the windscreen reduced buffeting and wind noise by about 5 decibels.”

The windscreen features four folding sections with a plastic frame and mesh material. It fits into notches molded in the rear quarter trim and covers the rear seat. When not in use, the windscreen conveniently folds and stores in the trunk, leaving plenty of room for two golf bags or similarly sized lifestyle equipment.

New features

Innovative new features include the cutting-edge MyGIG navigation/infotainment system, a heated/cooled cupholder, YES® Essentials stain-resistant seat fabric and the ability to drop the convertible top and all four windows with the push of a button on the key fob.

MyGIG features a 6.5-inch TFT display with a touch-screen panel that can support 65,000 colors; it follows voice-activated commands and includes many new features for music, sound, movies and personalized picture displays, including:

  • A 20 gigabyte hard disc drive that includes Music Juke Box for organizing music and pictures on the hard drive
  • Universal Serial Bus (USB) provides both MP3 connectivity and downloading of WMA, MP3 and JPEG files onto the hard drive
  • Gracenote® database installed on the hard drive, which provides song identification, including composer, artist and title
  • Playlist creation capability to provide easy access to files
  • Voice memo recording, which allows a message up to 3 minutes long to be recorded using the microphone integrated into the rearview mirror
  • Radio screen, which can display movies (when vehicle is not in motion)
  • SIRIUS® Satellite Radio
  • UConnect™ Hands-free Communication System that uses Bluetooth® technology to provide voice-activated wireless communication between the occupants’ compatible cell phones and the Sebring Convertible’s onboard receiver. The hands-free option promotes safety, freedom, value and flexibility

Production

Production of the 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible begins in the first quarter of 2007 at the Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant. Sebring Convertible’s four cylinder is made in Dundee, Mich. The V-6 engines are built at the Kenosha (Wis.) Engine Plant.

Design and styling features; interior design

The 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible shares many traits with the sedan sibling. Forward of the A-pillar, they share many components, including the signature grille and ribbed hood. Large quad headlamps wrap around to the side of the vehicle, where the Sebring Convertible’s profile takes on a shape all its own. The Limited model’s chrome exterior door handles and optional chrome-clad wheels elevate the convertible’s style.

All 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible models will be available in Inferno Red Tinted Pearl Coat, Linen Gold Pearl Coat, Marathon Blue Pearl Coat, Modern Blue Pearl Coat, Silver Steel Metallic Clear Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Pearl Coat and Stone White Clear Coat.

For the first time, the Chrysler Sebring Convertible offers three convertible top options: a standard Black vinyl top on Sebring Convertible and Touring models; an available Black or Taupe cloth top on Touring models; an available Pebble Beige cloth top on Touring models; and a first for Chrysler, an available body-color painted steel retractable hard top on all models equipped with a V-6 engine.

The 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible’s vinyl and cloth soft tops are much more refined than those offered by the competition. The top’s three-layer construction, serviceable rear glass window and electric defroster make for comfortable driving, regardless of the weather outside.

The retractable hard top provides a sleek, integrated, coupe-like appearance, perfect for drivers who love the idea of a convertible, but until now may have shied away because it didn’t seem practical for everyday driving. Top that with a standard power hard tonneau cover on all models, and the Sebring Convertible provides an elegant, streamlined appearance to boot, whether the top is up or down.

Sebring Convertible’s finely crafted interior features soft surfaces, rich grains and selective gloss levels. Soft surfaces on several interior touch points, including the instrument panel cover and door arm rests, complement the convertible’s luxurious interior. The instrument panel features a Pebble grain, which is applied to the top cover, top pad, passenger bezel and cluster bezel for a uniform look.

The Sebring Convertible’s interior theme was inspired by the Chrysler uplifted winged badge motif. A large shield-like graphic on the instrument panel forms a soft chevron shape reminiscent of the Chrysler signature grille. With the Chrysler signature analog clock as the centerpiece, the decorative bezel parallels the Chrysler winged badge. This design theme completes the philosophy of harmonizing the exterior and interior design as one.  

A three-pod cluster gauge adds a dimensional and sculptural quality to the interior. Increasing the amount of plan-view curvature of the instrument panel gives the interior a more sculptural feel with a concentrated focus on the center stack. Sebring Convertible’s instrument panel also includes a locking glove box that can secure important documents and small items, especially important when the driver wants to park the car with the top down. The center floor console features dual storage bins and a sliding armrest that moves 3 inches to provide a comfortable position for all drivers. A standard tilt and telescoping steering column allows the driver to better adjust their seating position.

sebring convertible interior - 2008 cars

Chrysler Sebring Convertible’s doors include door map pocket inserts, while the back of the passenger seat includes a map pocket for storing maps, papers or magazines. Two cup holders can accommodate 12-oz. cans, 20-oz. bottles or large fast-food beverage cups for the front seat occupants. Rear seat passengers also have plenty of leg and head room. Sebring Convertible’s rear seat provides a competitive 37.6 inches of leg room. Arm rests and bottle holders are placed in the rear quarter trim panel for the convenience and comfort of rear seat passengers.

Chrysler Sebring Convertible buyers can choose from three different interior upholstery options: Harrison and Wallace II cloth, easy-clean YES Essentials™ Camden and Racine premium cloth, Torino leather trim on the Touring model or Royale leather trim on the Limited model. YES Essentials seat fabric is unique to Sebring in the convertible segment. This antimicrobial and anti-static material repels and releases stains, making it extremely easy to clean, keeping Sebring Convertible’s interior free from stains and odors.

All 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible models feature a two-tone interior theme with dark and lighter shades of Khaki or Gray (or a cream and beige combination for Limited with leather) on the instrument panel and door trim. Interior accents include alloy silver and chrome on the Sebring Convertible model, satin silver and chrome on the Touring model and satin silver, chrome and tortoise shell on the Limited model.

2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible Features

Standard equipment includes side seat-mounted thorax air bags, anti-lock brakes, Tire Pressure Monitoring system, automatic latching vinyl convertible top, hard tonneau, remote keyless entry, tilt/telescoping steering column, power windows, locks and mirrors, AM/FM/CD radio with MP3 connectivity and play capability, rear window defroster, speed control, locking glove box, passenger seat back map pocket, an electroluminescent cluster with outside temperature display, clock, sliding front center armrest, an upper and lower bin in the center console and a second power outlet. On the exterior, the Chrysler Sebring Convertible model features standard black heated power mirrors, quad headlamps with off-time delay, bright beltline molding and 16-inch tires with wheel covers.

Options include remote start with auto up/down windows, six-disc CD/DVD/MP3 radio with six speakers, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, UConnect Hands-free Communication System with electrochromic mirror, daytime running lamps, smoker’s group, engine block heater, cast-aluminum wheels, remote start and a Travel Convenience Group (which includes six-way power driver’s seat, YES Essentials fabric, driver’s seat lumbar adjuster, cargo net, cabin air filtration system and theft alarm). The 2.7 V6 is also optional; it comes with painted/heated outside power mirrors, automatic retracting top that retracts with the press of a button on the key fob, automatic window down on the key fob, wide body-side molding, illuminated vanity mirrors and a six-speaker sound system. Options with the V6 include a retractable hard top, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with traction control, remote start, six-disc CD/DVD/MP3 radio with six speakers, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, UConnect Hands-free Communication System, premium Boston Acoustics Sound System, daytime-running lamps, engine block heater and a Travel Convenience Group (which includes heated/cooled cupholder, electrochromic mirror, travel computer, Electronic Vehicle Information Center, cargo net, cabin air filtration system, YES Essentials seat fabric, theft alarm and power driver’s seat with lumbar adjuster).

The 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible Touring model adds a standard 2.7-liter V-6 engine coupled with a four-speed automatic transaxle. Additional standard equipment includes leather-trimmed seats, power six-way driver seat with driver manual lumbar adjuster, travel computer, Electronic Vehicle Information Center, Tire Pressure Monitoring display, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, brushed aluminum accents, soft front console arm rest, leather shifter knob and chrome interior door handles; and fog lamps, automatic headlamps and 17-inch tires with aluminum wheels.

Options on the Touring model, beyond the options available on the Sebring Convertible model, include MyGIG and an Electronic Convenience Group (which includes heated seats, single-zone automatic temperature control, automatic headlamps, cabin air filtration system, remote start, Universal Garage Door Opener, electrochromic rear-view mirror and theft alarm).

The Limited includes a cloth convertible top, premium Boston Acoustics sound system, tortoise shell accents on the steering wheel, instrument panel and doors, chrome exterior door handles, Satin Silver door handles and PRNDL bezel, cabin air filtration system, bright sill scuff pad, electrochromic mirror, theft alarm and trunk cargo net. Standard exterior equipment on the Limited model includes fog lamps and 18-inch tires with chromed aluminum wheels.

Options on the Chrysler Sebring Convertible Limited model, in addition to the options available on the Sebring Convertible and Sebring Convertible Touring models, include the 3.5 V6, a Luxury Group (which includes heated seats, heated/cooled cupholder and windscreen) and an Electronic Convenience Group (which includes single-zone automatic temperature control, automatic headlamps, remote start and Universal Garage Door Opener).

Safety

Safety features include standard front-seat-mounted side air bags, multi-stage front air bags, seat-integrated safety belts, Sentry Key® Engine Immobilizer and Tire Pressure Monitoring on all models. Standard anti-lock brakes and available Electronic Stability Program with Traction Control provide directional control in bad weather.

Standard advanced multi-stage driver and passenger front air bags provide nearly instantaneous occupant protection by matching air bag output to crash severity
Standard front-seat-mounted side air bags deploy for enhanced thorax protection during a side impact.

Low-risk Deployment Air Bags use unique shape, venting, folding patterns, advance inflators or a combination of these four technologies to position and inflate the restraint properly for a belted passenger while also meeting federal safety requirements for out-of-position, small occupants and rear-facing infant seats. Children 12 and younger should always be seated in the back seat, correctly using an infant- or child-restraint system, or have the seat belt positioned correctly for their age and weight.

BeltAlert provides an audible and visual warning to alert drivers when their seat belt is unfastened. Brake/Park Interlock prevents an automatic transmission or transaxle from being shifted out of Park until the brake pedal is applied. Constant Force Retractors (CFR) distributes force or load exerted on a seat belt, and then gradually releases the seat-belt webbing in a controlled manner. Crumple Zones compress during an accident to absorb energy from an impact, decreasing transfer of that energy to the occupants. The Energy-absorbing Steering Column utilizes two hydroformed coaxial tubes that can move relative to each other to allow the column to move forward for enhanced energy-absorption during a crash. The power-adjust steering column employs a calibrated bending element that deforms during column stroke for optimal energy management.

The Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS) makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and reach occupants in the event of an accident by turning on the interior lighting and unlocking the doors after air-bag deployment. it also shuts off the flow of fuel to the engine
Available HomeLink Universal Home Security System Transceiver stores three separate transmitter radio-frequency codes to operate garage-door openers, security gates, security lighting or other radio-controlled devices

Other security devices include:

  • Inside Emergency Trunk Release with a glow-in-the-dark release handle, can be activated in the event of an adult or child being inadvertently trapped inside the trunk
  • Interior Head-impact Protection includes interior pillars above the beltline and instrument panel including areas around windshield and rear window headers, roof and side-rail structures, and shoulder-belt turning loops specifically designed to limit head-impact force
  • Knee Bolsters in the lower instrument panel and the glove-box door are designed to properly position the occupant, enabling the air bags to work effectively
  • Seat-belt Pretensioners immediately remove slack in the seat belts in a collision situation, thereby reducing the forward movement of the occupants’ heads and torsos
  • Sentry Key® Engine Immobilizer utilizes an engine key that has an embedded transponder with a pre-programmed security key code to shut the engine off after a fewseconds if the correct key is not inserted.

convertible safety

Cool tech stuff

The trip computer lets owners can personalize their settings, such as having the lights flash and horn honk when locking and unlocking the vehicle; it also shows the compass/outside temperature, average fuel economy, distance to empty, trip elapsed time, and tire pressure.

All radios feature an audio input jack for easy connection to any MP3 player.

The optional MyGIG multimedia navigation, audio, entertainment and communication system uses a touch screen and includes a hard drive for storing music, photos and voice messages. The 20 gigabyte storage allows for hard drive based navigation, photoo storage, and the ability to store music from CDs or a USB drive. The jukebox has industry-first Gracenote® music-file management to add song, artist and album information to music files. The system includes space for approximately 1,600 songs, more than 100 hours of music. JPEG photos can be downloaded and viewed on the thin-film-transistor display. A photo can be used as the radio background. Movies can be played on the navigation screen when the transmission is in Park. MyGIG supports real-time traffic (through satellite radio) and can provide re-route navigation based on current traffic patterns.

The base audio system has four speakers and CD playback and can be upgraded to six speakers. A six-speaker Boston Acoustics system with six-channel amplifier is optional. An optional radio head—available with either of the six-speaker systems—features an integrated six-disc CD/DVD changer that can play back CDs with MP3 and WMA files.

The UConnect Hands-free Communication System is available on all Sebring Convertible models sold in North America as a stand-alone options and as part of the MyGIG system. UConnect uses Bluetooth® to integrate compatible mobile phones with the vehicle’s onboard receiver. UConnect features include:

  • Voice dialing: voice commands may be used to digit-dial the phone or access pre-stored voice tags
  • Audio address book: 32 names, four numbers per name, for a total of 128 phone numbers can be stored in the system
  • Emergency calls and towing assistance: voice command dials 911 or towing assistance
  • Audio-system mute: mutes the microphone for privacy
  • Call transfer: allows the customer to transfer a call from the vehicle’s system to the mobile phone
  • Three language options: provides English, French and Spanish language capabilities
  • Multi-phone recognition: can recognize as many as seven phones that can be used within one Sebring Convertible system

Manufacturing

The 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible will be built alongside the Chrysler Sebring Sedan. "We are seeing a great deal of success at the Sterling Heights facility due to the commitment of our plant employees," said Frank Ewasyshyn, Executive Vice President—Manufacturing. “Their willingness to support and foster a small-team workplace model has delivered a successful second-vehicle launch.”

Sterling Heights (both assembly and stampling plants) was retooled beginning in March 2006 to build multiple models on one line, a $500 million investment to improve quality, productivity, and ergonomics.

“The assembly operation now has the capability to build multiple upper bodies and multiple vehicle families or architectures, which gives us the flexibility to add new models or ’cross-load‘ models from other plants in order to better meet the dynamics of the market,” said Fred Goedtel, Vice President — Small/Premium/Family Vehicle Assembly. 

SHAP can build three models while piloting a fourth. “The Sterling Stamping Plant can weld and assemble more than one product on the same line. These new capabilities will support the company’s pursuit of product leadership by providing flexibility and efficiently managing increased distinction between the Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge brands,” said Goedtel.

The FMS approach allows Chrysler to efficiently build lower-volume vehicles that take advantage of market niche, and to quickly shift production between different models within a single plant or among multiple plants.

FMS is being implemented product by product and plant by plant across the Chrysler Group, along with empowered teams and an increased emphasis on supporting assembly line operators.

At the core of the new manufacturing process at Sterling Heights Assembly is a body shop comprised of 620 new robots instead of vehicle-specific heavy tooling. Only the robots' end effectors, or "hands," need to change in order to build the different models. That tool change is done automatically, within the time it takes to cycle from one vehicle to the next. A fourth model can also be piloted—or test-built—at the same time, helping reduce the time needed to make new-model changeovers. The Trim, Chassis and Final (TCF) areas received a new glass cell, windshield decking, chassis insertion loop system, fluid fill equipment and rolls-test machines. Each of these improved processes has contributed favorably to the plant's overall productivity and efficiency efforts.

“Smart Manufacturing” increasing the flexibility of the SHAP workforce, while fostering greater creativity and innovation from plant employees. This model is being implemented throughout the Chrysler Group's Manufacturing organization in conjunction with the UAW. In addition to extensive training, the new workplace model promotes employee involvement in all facets in the design and processing of the work stations. These changes provide a better work environment for employees and give increased support to assembly line team members while improving the Safety, Quality, Delivery, Cost and Morale.

Chrysler Group is Sterling Heights’ second-largest employer and has more than 4,500 employees working in two plants. The 3 million square-foot Sterling Heights Assembly Plant occupies 286 acres. Chrysler Group provides $150 million in annual wages and more than $5 million in taxable income to the state of Michigan.

Sterling Heights Assembly Plant opened in 1953 as a jet engine factory. The plant was purchased by Chrysler Corporation in 1983. Sterling Stamping is 2.7 million square feet and employs 2,500 people.  

Unlike the Sebring Sedan, where over half the cars sold are Touring editions, the Sebring Convertible is mainly split between the Touring and Limited, with a small minority of sales going to the Base model.

Specifications

Specifications are largely identical to the Chrysler Sebring sedan. Here are some exceptions:

  • Engines and gas mileage: see our table at the top of this page.
  • Transmissions: 2.4 engine gets 40TES, 2.7 gets 41TES, 3.5 gets 62TE
  • All vehicles are front wheel drive only. Towing is limited to 1,000 pounds - and not recommended with the four cylinder.
  • The 2006 model had 90 cubic feet of interior space plus 11 cubic feet of cargo volume. This version has 100 cubic feet of interior space plus 11 cubic feet of cargo volume.
Measurement 2008-20?? 2001-2006
Wheelbase 108.9 (2765) 106
Track, Front 61.8 (1570) 60.2
Track, Rear 61.8 (1570) 60.2
Length 193.8 (4922) 193.7
Width 71.5 (1816) 69.4
Height 58.5 (1485) 55.0
CdA 8.2  
Cd 0.34 .346 - .351
Front Head Room 39/37 38.7 / 37.0
Leg Room 42.4/33.5 42.4 / 35.2
Shoulder Room 56.4 /48.5 56.3 / 48.9
Hip Room 53.3 /44.2 52.2/44.7
Seat Travel 10.2 (260)  
Turning diameter 36.5 feet 36.2 feet
Gas (gallons/liters) 16.9 (64.4) 16.0
Weight 3742 - 3959 lb 3,357 - 3,448
2.4 horsepower 173 150
2.4 torque 166 160
2.4 gas mileage 23/31 22/31
2.7 horsepower 189 200
2.7 torque 191 190
2.7 gas mileage 20/28 21/28

Who makes it? Who designed it?

The Sebring Convertible is based either on a lengthened Caliber or on a modified Galant platform, depending on who you ask and when you ask. Most of the engineering is indeed from Chrysler, with nitpicking from Mercedes. Suppliers include AutoLiv (airbags and steering wheel), Visteon (former Ford parts division; eight-channel amplifier), Alpine (base radio), Siemens (MyGIG), Akebono (calipers), ), Karmann (convertible top), Intier (door cassette modules), Android (exhaust transmission module), LDM (fascias), PPG (glass), GKN (half-shafts), Integrated Mfg & Assembly (exterior mirrors), Gentex (interior mirrors), Monroe (shocks), TRW (suspension modules), Meridian (tail-lamps), Bridgestone/Firestone (tires), Brose (window regulators), Bosch (wiper modules), and EWD (wiring). Faurecia supplied the console, door panels, exhaust, front end module, instrument panel, and seating. Wheels were provided by Aluminum Superior Industries, Alcoa, Dicastal, and Meritor; wheel and tire assembly was done by Android.

Allpar’s 2008 Sebring Convertible car review

2007 Chrysler Sebring sedan / 2001-2006 Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Sebring / 2007 Dodge Avenger

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