The Chrysler 200 somehow became a decent family sedan after Fiat’s 2009 takeover of the Chrysler Corporation, salvaging the comically bad Chrysler Sebring’s remnants and turning them into something that real people with actual income might want to buy.
The next Chrysler 200 midsize sedan won’t have to deal with such an uphill battle. And by the looks of it from the spy shots we have of the 2015 Chrysler 200, it may be one of the more stunning cars in its class, in a good way this time.
Seen here testing somewhere near Chrysler’s Auburn Hills headquarters, the 2015 Chrysler 200 looks to be a slightly larger car than the outgoing version, with longer overhangs and curvier, four-door coupe styling. Its headlights look like they will curve upward, and its sides have gentle ripples in them, both masking the perceptual height of the doors and giving the curvy new Chrysler 200 some style to keep up with the Ford Fusion, Mazda6, and Kia Optima in the looks department. Let’s face it, even though there’s not much of the 2015 Chrysler 200 yet exposed, we can already tell this thing ain’t going to be a wallflower.
Riding on a lengthened version of the architecture that underpins the Dodge Dart, the next Chrysler 200 is expected to adopt the same engines as the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which include a base 2.4-liter “Tigershark” four-cylinder with 184 horsepower and a new 271-horsepower, 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6. Both will come paired to the new nine-speed automatic transmission that’s standard in the Jeep Cherokee. We don’t yet know if a manual transmission will be available in a more basic model, or whether a basic car will even be available.
Chrysler is killing off the Dodge Avenger–the 200′s platform mate–to draw more differentiation between the brands. The Dart will become the go-to car for those looking for an entry-level Chrysler product.
Expect to see the 2015 Chrysler 200 in the sheetmetal sometime around January’s Detroit Auto Show, with production of the car starting in March or April of 2014. If it’s anything like the recent string of products we’ve driven from Auburn Hills, expect it to be a winner. We’ll keep you covered as we learn more.