The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 is a complete overhaul not only in terms of design, but also technologically over its predecessor. Following a series of leaks, today, Chrysler disclosed full information about its new mid-size sedan, which gets a segment-first standard 9-speed automatic transmission, an available all-wheel-drive system and a choice of two engines, with fuel economy improvements of up to 13 percent.
Based on the CUS-wide modular platform that is derived from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the 2015 Chrysler 200 is offered with a standard 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark four-cylinder gasoline engine producing 184 horsepower and 173 lb-ft (234 Nm) of torque at 4,600 rpm. Paired with the 9-speed auto, the engine is up to 13 percent more economical in highway driving compared with the outgoing 4-cylinder unit in the previous model.
There’s also an available 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine with 295 hp and 262 lb-ft (355 Nm) of torque at 4,250 rpm, which is 7 percent more fuel-efficient than the outgoing model thanks to the 9-speed auto.
The new sedan is also available with a new all-wheel-drive system that can automatically disconnect and connect the rear axle as needed and at any speed. Chrysler says the AWD system accounts for a parasitic loss reduction of up to 80 percent compared with competitive part-time all-wheel-drive systems. That’s because components that would normally contribute to the greatest parasitic loss (driveshaft, ring/pinion, input clutch plates, servo-hydraulic pump assembly and planetary gear sets) are all stationary when the vehicle is in front-wheel drive.
When all-wheel drive is engaged, as much as 60 percent of available torque can be transferred to the rear wheels, with the sport mode adding further excitement for those who love to drive fast. The sport mode is activated via the E-shift rotary dial mounted on the center console. The shifter configures the drivetrain to deliver all-wheel-drive when needed, with torque biased toward the rear. It also modifies the ESC's yaw response for more dynamic handling, while seamlessly adjusting the Pentastar V-6 engine’s pedal map for livelier performance feel. Sport mode also alters the shift schedule of the 9-speed automatic gearbox for firm, quick changes.
Chrysler says the new 200 is significantly quieter inside thanks to improved aerodynamics which also help reduce vibration and harshness. Ride quality is also said to be improved.
The 2015 Chrysler 200 starts from $21,700 plus $995 destination for the base LX model, which is $95 less than a comparable 2014 model. Deliveries are expected to commence in the second quarter of this year. Stay tuned for live photos of the 2015 Chrysler 200 from the Detroit Auto Show.
By Dan Mihalascu