2007 Chrysler Sebring Sedan

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Following the success of the 300C, Chrysler is debuting its all new 2007 Sebring mid-size sedan that will try to take on the likes of Honda Accord & Toyota Camry. Available with three engines, a 4cylinder 2.4, a 2.7 V6 & 3.5 V6, the Sebring will go on sale in the forth quarter.

The brand new Chrysler Sebring will have its European premiere at the London Motor Show on 18 July together with the new Dodge Nitro which will be shown in the UK for the first time. In Europe, the 2007 Sebring will compete against car like the Ford Mondeo and Toyota Avensis. It will be available in right-hand drive with diesel and petrol engines in the UK from the middle of next year.

I’m not so sure about the styling, but I’ll wait to see it in real life for my final thoughts. Judging from the pictures though, it seems as if Chrysler designers mixed American, Japanese and Euro themes into something that lacks the character of the 300C

For the specifics on what's inside the 2007 Sebring sedan, Chrysler released a mini interview with Scott Slagle, Senior Manager for Sebring Marketing.

Differences from current Sebring: It’s a brand new platform and it’s entirely new exterior, interior and everything under the skin. It’s got some exciting new power trains as well and a lot of technology built into the vehicle that was not in its predecessor.

The Sebring is partly based on 2003 Airflite, a concept car. What cues have been picked up? Most of the things picked up from the Airflite are mainly the exterior. You’ll see the raked grooves in the hood. You’ll see some of the character lines on the side of the vehicle. You’ll see a shorter rear deck lid that was part of the Airflite concept vehicle.

Interior? It has a really big presence to it. The textures of the materials used within the vehicle, just the appearance of the overall cabin, looks very luxurious and very inviting. There’s a lot of use of brushed chrome, chrome itself, just the tactile feeling of the knobs, so I think overall it’s going to offer a very inviting environment for people to drive in.

Seats are made of Yes Essentials ® fabric? It’s an exclusive for Chrysler. There’s a unique chemical that’s actually woven into the material that repels pretty much any type of stain, like ketchup, mustard, soda, coffee. You can even take a permanent Sharpee marker, mark the seat and it’ll all come out. It’s also odor-repellant…and helps reduce static electricity.

New technology: We’ll be launching with this vehicle a system, we’re calling “My Gig,” developed in conjunction with Harmon/Kardon. It includes a navigation system, it has a 20 gig hard drive built into it, it has a USB port, as well as mp3 plug, so you can plug in your iPod or other mp3 player. It has voice-activated navigation, it has voice-activated Bluetooth technology for your cell phones, so it’s all hands-free communication. It has a music juke box so you can organize your music on your system as well as video playback capability when the vehicle is in the “park” position as well as photos. So you can actually store photos of your family, loved ones, pet, or whatever so you can have a slide show on the screen.

What are the Sebring’s main competitors and how will it stand out? There are two dominant players in the segment: Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. This vehicle, we think, stacks up pretty darned well against them. We think we have a better mouse trap here than the other cars. We think we offer more style, more craftsmanship more technology, more performance, more value, in sense more overall vehicle than you get with other players in the marketplace. If you look at the success the Chrysler 300 brought out, that was really the first phase of what we call the Renaissance of the Chrysler passenger car and the Sebring represents the second phase of that. We brought one car out and this is the next one to reinforce the improvements we made from a build standpoint, a design standpoint, and a styling standpoint, so I think all of those cultivate into a very, very strong product statement.

Who will be attracted to the new Sebring: Probably an even split between male and female. Their age is probably somewhere in the high 30’s to mid 50’s. Our research shows it’s hard-working people, hard-working Americans and they worked hard for their accomplishments and they’d like their vehicle to be some type of expression of what they’ve managed to accomplish over the course of their life. Some of the research we’ve done from a pricing standpoint is that people perceive this vehicle to be a much more expensive vehicle than it actually is. That’s a real value story. Not because it’s a low price but because we’re getting a tremendous amount of content into this vehicle at a certain price point and it comes through very clearly in the research we’ve been doing.

The Sebring will have the new World Engine. Elaborate on the car’s power train: It’s a 2.4 liter engine with 172 horsepower, so it will be one of the top four performing four-cylinder engines in the market place. The fuel economy in the vehicle, hasn’t been certified yet, but will be shortly—we anticipate it to be extremely on the high end of the segment as far as both city and highway driving. In addition to that particular engine we have a 2.7 liter V6. Again, good fuel economy. It produces 190 horsepower. It’s a value story so when you see the vehicle when the pricing’s announced, you’ll see our vehicle actually will be priced very similar to four-cylinder versions from other manufacturer. Of course for people who want more performance, we’ll be offering a 3.5 liter V6 with the six-speed automatic transmission.

Safety equipment: It has a full complement of safety features, many of which are standard, including driver and passenger front air bags, side curtain air bags, side thorax seat air bags, as well as anti-lock brakes.

When will the Sebring be available? It’ll be available to retail market in the fourth quarter of this year. Production begins at the very end of August. We’ve got big hopes for this car.

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