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Chrysler 100 vs Dart Hatch

by David Zatz on

Chrysler 100C spy shot

For years, it seems, Chrysler followers have known about a car to be slotted below the Chrysler 200, popularly dubbed the 100 or 100C. Insiders told us it was to be a four-cylinder-only car, sold in hatchback form, most likely with a nine-speed automatic in the high range and a six-speed at the bottom end. Gadgets spotted inside were the usual Chrysler fare of adaptive cruise, forward collision warning, etc., with a new lane departure warning system.

Recently, though, updates to the Five Year Plan indicated that the Chrysler 100 was dead; at the same time, we were told that a Dart hatchback is planned; and Chrysler 100C mules continue to wander the highways.

There are a few conclusions one could draw, the most obvious being that the 100 is very much alive, or that the 100 has been replaced by a Dodge Dart hatchback in the United States and Canada, but will be sold, as originally styled, as a Lancia/Chrysler in the rest of the world, where premium small cars are more common and far more popular. It would be ironic if Chrysler dropped its plans for a higher end American-market small car just as BMW and Mercedes followed Buick into that market.

Update: The car is actually a Chrysler 200 mule, we are told, though the “design language” looks identical to current Chrysler styling, and we have been told that the new Chryslers will introduce a completely new look. It’s possible that the car is purely a mule, that is, not wearing any of the final sheet metal or fascias.

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