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2015 200: new pics? new gizmos?

by David Zatz on

Chrysler 200

Christopher Chrouch spotted what appears to be a Chrysler 200 on a shakedown run, as the new midsize car is being prepared for its early-2014 launch. Heavily camouflaged, the car retains much of the C200 concept’s shape; but key elements, including the grille and tail-lights, have been carefully hidden.

Larry Vellequette of respected trade weekly Automotive News wrote that the mid-sized sedan will have a nine-speed automatic controlled by a shift knob — a device that has gained critical accolades in the Ram 1500 and 2014 Cherokee, and is far easier to use than the frustrating “no position memory” shifter in 300, Charger, and Grand Cherokee.

Mr. Vellequette wrote that sources said the car would have a stop-start system and active grill shutters to enhance fuel mileage; the engines will be the newly revised 2.4 four and the usual 3.6 liter Pentastar V6.  While sources have told Allpar that the 3.2 V6 would be available, this may no longer be the plan.

Allpar sources have suggested that the 200 will have all wheel drive, though this may be a late arrival. Some expect the 200 to include the new Cherokee’s self-parking features as an option. The car will almost certainly have UConnect Access, rear park assist/camera, cross path detection, and lane change protection..

Word from inside Chrysler is that the “UF” coded 200 has been much easier to develop than the Jeep Cherokee, without last-minute problems holding up development or production. This is not surprising, given that Cherokee is much further away from the basic Dodge Dart design than 200, due to a strengthened body and special drivetrain which reportedly was responsible for most of the problems.

The plant has been dramatically expanded, presumably to accommodate the next-generation Dodge Journey as well as 200 and perhaps a future rear wheel drive Avenger née Barracuda.

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