What It Is: Chrysler’s follow-up to its aging 200 sedan, seen here completely uncovered during what looks like a nighttime photo- or commercial shoot. We don’t see rapper Eminem anywhere in the photos, so maybe Chrysler’s Made In Detroit ad campaign is using fresh celebrities. Regardless, the 200 itself looks massively improved. We’ve previously spotted the 200 out testing wearing a heap of camouflage, but this is the first time the car has been seen in the buff.
Platform: As we’ve known for some time, the 200 will utilize a version of the Dodge Dart’s Compact U.S. Wide architecture, itself adapted from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta’s bones. We must admit that after seeing camouflaged 200 mules earlier this year, we were concerned that the 200 was going to look a lot like a rebadged Dart, but these spy photos have proven us wrong. Although there are traces of the Dart’s roofline and general shape in the 200’s profile, the key styling elements—including grille, headlights, taillights, front and rear fascias—are unique.
Those pieces also add up to quite a handsome-looking whole, with the 200 taking on an almost Audi A7–like teardrop shape, graceful body lines, and surprisingly Maserati Ghibli–like taillight detailing. The car’s front end doesn’t stand out as much as does the rest of the car, though, appearing slightly anonymous, with a drooping grille similar to the Lincoln MKZ’s and somewhat amorphous headlights. But overall, for a brand without a clear and distinct design language (the 300, T&C, and outgoing 200 share only Chrysler’s winged badge), the 2015 200 at least is cohesive-looking, possibly setting the stage for a more uniform aesthetic in the future. Of course, final judgment rests on our seeing the real deal at next month’s Detroit auto show.
Our spy photographers previously captured the car’s interior, and the 200’s innards look to be just as classy as its clothes. Critically, it’s also not simply a re-covered Dart interior, and it features niceties like fancier gauges, a new steering wheel, wood trim, an electronic parking brake, and Chrysler’s rotary knob shifter that debuted in the Ram 1500.
Powertrain: As we noted in our previous 200 spy photos story, we expect the sedan to inherit the Dart’s optional 184-hp 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine as its base powerplant, while the uplevel offering will be one of Chrysler’s Pentastar V-6s: the ubiquitous 292-hp 3.6-liter unit used in a variety of Chrysler products or the smaller-displacement, 271-hp 3.2-liter variant that debuted in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The automaker’s upcoming nine-speed automatic, sourced from ZF, should be the sole transmission choice, and although front-drive will be standard, all-wheel drive could be offered again as an option as it was on the 200’s Sebring predecessor.
Thanks to: Car and Driver