Well, the long wait is coming to a close: Chrysler just tweeted the first photos of the new 2011 Chrysler 200, which is apparently the new name for the redesigned Chrysler Sebring.
The images show details of the restyled front and rear of the core Sebring platform, with swept-back lights and a grille shaped very much like the Chrysler 200 concept car that wowed the crowd at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.
The rear lights too are close to the concept, but the center section of the Sebring remains, including the rear roof pillar. There appears to be a small chrome "200" logo in the triangular portion above the beltline and behind the door as well.
We'll bring you more details of the 2011 Chrysler 200 as we get them, but for now, feast your eyes on what is clearly a considerably better looking vehicle than the awkward and ill-proportioned Sebring launched for 2008--complete with hood strakes that were quietly removed for 2009.
The next big reveal for Chrysler will be the interior, which in the old car was particularly unpleasant and filled with hard plastic surfaces. Chrysler says the new 200 offers consumers "exceptional craftsmanship inside and out," so we're eagerly waiting to see what the cabin looks and feels like.
The company's press materails also say the 2011 Chrysler 200 provides "a refined and spirited driving experience, innovative technology," along with abundant standard safety features and "an extraordinary level of standard content." It all adds up, Chrysler concludes, to "a surprising value." Which would be everything the old car wasn't.
Over the course of this year, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that the Sebring name would be dumped: The label had come to epitomize rental-car cheapness and undesirability in the midsize segment.
But while rumors originally said Nassau would be the new name, in the end, Chrysler stuck with consistent model naming. The midsize 200 sedan sits logically below the full-size 300 sedan, whose own redesign is due any day now.
Chrysler released a flurry of 2011 product information today, in fact. Check out our stories on the:
And from earlier in the month:
Craftsmanship, Elegance and Value: Chrysler Brand Introduces the New 2011 Chrysler 200
September 14, 2010 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today released photos of the new 2011 Chrysler 200 mid-sized sedan. Offering consumers exceptional craftsmanship inside and out, a refined and spirited driving experience, innovative technology, an abundance of standard safety features and an extraordinary level of standard content, the 2011 Chrysler 200 is an exciting alternative for customers that want style and substance, all at a surprising value.
Virtually every system in the sedan is new or upgraded for 2011, giving the Chrysler 200 its own identity and space in the highly competitive mid-size sedan segment. Exterior and sheet metal upgrades include: front and rear fascias and fenders, grille featuring the new Chrysler brand winged badge, hood, rear decklid and exterior mirrors, new projector headlamps and fog lamps, new LED taillamps and a LED center high-mounted stop light.
The Chrysler 200 gets a new powertrain lineup featuring the 2.4-liter I-4 World Gas Engine mated to either a four- or six-speed automatic transaxle, or the new Pentastar V-6 engine which produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transaxle; improved ride and handling tuning which includes stiffened body mounts and softer ride rate, improved suspension geometry with a raised roll center, a new rear sway bar, and new tires and an extensively upgraded treatment for the reduction of noise, vibration and harshness including acoustic laminated glass for the windshield and front door windows.