Long a back marker in the mid-size sedan segment, Chrysler will look to challenge for fuel economy supremacy against the likes of the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord when it debuts an all-new 200 sedan next year.
Exactly how Chrysler aims to do that is through a plan to offer cars with an increasing number of transmission gears. The new 200 will be the first Chrysler product to make use of a 9-speed automatic and is expected to deliver 38 mpg on the highway, just one mile per gallon ahead of the 2013 Altima.
According to sources Chrysler is spending $2 billion to revamp the 200, which is also expected to gain an upgraded interior with quilted leather and ambient lighting. Powertrains will continue to be a 2.4-lite 4-cylinder and a larger V6.
The mechanically-similar Dodge Avenger is, however, reported to be axed, while the new 200 will hit dealers in the first quarter of 2014 and ompany officials have said they expect sales to double the current model.
The news comes from a meeting of Chrysler dealers in Las Vegas where company CEO Sergio Marchionne previewed the automaker’s future lineup. A total of 2,600 dealers were in attendance as well as up to 80 percent of its dealers from Europe, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. In total, 66 new models were previewed.
Ranking high among the other new vehicles discussed were the Chrysler 100, based on the Dodge Dart platform, not to mention the Fiat 500L 4-door, a Jeep Liberty replacement, two new Fiat-based RAM commercial vans, as well as a new baby Jeep.
More than half a dozen all-new models are expected to arrive within the next 18 months.
Speaking at the dealer preview Marchionne commented that the new models, “represent our firepower for the years to come.”
[Source: The Wall Street Journal]