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Preview: 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible


2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

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Chrysler hopes to recharge its convertible sales by offering thee distinct models of its new 2008 Sebring convertible, which is being unveiled at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The new Sebring will come with a choice of three different power tops: a hard top, a traditional canvas top, or a less expensive vinyl top. All three tops can be lowered or raised by using a button on the key fob. The latches on the Karmann-built tops lock in place automatically when the tops are raised, as does a tonneau cover when the tops are lowered.

 

The Sebring’s trunk has grown so it can be used to carry bags or other types of cargo even when the top is stowed. Even when the top is down, the Sebring will be able to carry two golf bags, Chrysler promises.

Chrysler plans to offer three different engine options in the Sebring convertible for U.S. customers. The base engine is a 173-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which deliver 23 miles per gallon in city and 31 miles per gallon in highway driving.

 

Chrysler also will offer a 2.7-liter, flexible-fuel V-6 engine with 189 horsepower. The top 3.5-liter V-6 engine has 235 horsepower and is matched up with a new six-speed automatic for fuel economy of 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Chrysler will offer a diesel version and right-hand-drive convertibles for markets outside North America.

 

2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

Enlarge Photo
The 2008 Sebring Convertible borrows its style from the new Chrysler Sebring sedan built off the same platform. Familiar Chrysler cues molded into the convertible design include the eggcrate grille and a sculptured hood, a winged medallion badge, and large quad headlamps that wrap around to the side of the vehicle.

To increase interior room, Chrysler stretched the car’s wheelbase by 2.9 inches. The Sebring Convertible is also 3.5 inches taller and more than two inches wider than the vehicle it replaces. It also is three inches longer than the sedan. The interior has room for the driver and three passengers, and seats have been raised 2.5 inches for better visibility.

 

Safety gear includes anti-lock braking and stability control. The Sebring Convertible also has been equipped with a new integrated seatbelt system that connects all belts to the seats. The system makes the belts more comfortable for the driver and passengers, and makes it much easier for passengers to get in and out of the rear seat, Chrysler says.

 

Other features include a locking glovebox, a center floor console with dual storage bins, and a sliding armrest that moves three inches to provide a more comfortable position for all drivers. For entertainment, there’s MyGIG, an entertainment/navigation system that features a 20-gigabyte hard drive, and Sirius satellite radio. A heated/cooled cupholder, stain-resistant seat fabric, and a seat-back with a map pocket for storage have been designed into the cabin.

 

Pricing has not been announced. The new Sebring Convertible arrives in showrooms in the spring.

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