2014 DETROIT AUTO SHOW

2015 Chrysler 200 spied; photos surface

The redesigned 200 will receive almost all of Chrysler's latest fuel-saving technologies, including stop-start, active grille shutters, electric steering, electronic parking brake and LED lighting, according to sources.

Photo credit: KGP
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DETROIT -- The first undisguised images of Chrysler Group's redesigned Chrysler 200 emerged today after spy photographers caught what appears to be a marketing shoot for the upcoming mid-sized sedan.

The photos were shot this week on the West Coast of the United States. Automotive News is under an embargo for precise information about the vehicle, which is scheduled to be revealed at the 2014 Detroit auto show. A Chrysler spokeswoman had no comment about the photos.

Automotive News reported in November that the next-generation 200 will have little in common with the current version.

The front-wheel-drive, mid-sized sedan will share the Fiat-derived CUSW platform with the Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee. It will also share the Cherokee's nine-speed automatic transmission.

The redesigned 200 will receive almost all of Chrysler's latest fuel-saving technologies, including stop-start, active grille shutters, electric steering, electronic parking brake and LED lighting, according to sources.

The car will be powered by Chrysler's 3.6-liter V-6 engine or its 2.4-liter inline-four, according to a company source. Its interior will feature a rotary-dial gear shifter, similar to those introduced first on the 2014 Ram 1500 and later on the 2014 Cherokee.

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in October that the next-generation 200 would go into production in the second quarter of 2014.

Through November, U.S. sales of the 200 were nearly flat this year, up just 432 units at 116,828.

The 200 is a key product for Chrysler dealers because the mid-sized sedan segment is so large, and the current 200 is a minor player compared with vehicles such as the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Still, sales of the 200 are much better than they were. Volume took off in the spring of 2011 after the reworked and renamed 200 was featured in a landmark Super Bowl commercial with rapper Eminem, a Detroit native.

The popular commercial introduced a new tag line for the Chrysler brand -- Imported from Detroit -- and focused on the now-bankrupt city’s comeback.

The 2015 200 was originally scheduled to debut late this year, but its development was delayed slightly to allow further refinements, Chrysler executives said this year.

Chrysler has not said publicly whether it will produce a convertible version of the redesigned car, as it does with the current 200.

You can reach Larry P. Vellequette at lvellequette@crain.com.


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