Sebring: Two Tops, Two Continents

March 7, 2007

Chrysler intends to launch the new Sebring convertible in Europe about the same time it debuts in the home, North American market, part of the company’s effort to grow long-modest worldwide sales.

With the Sebring, Chrysler is set to joint the fast-growing list of makers offering a hardtop convertible with the debut of its 2008 Sebring. But the automaker is taking the unusual – if not entirely novel – approach of offering the mid-size model with three different open-top alternatives.

The retractable, body-color hardtop, which automatically lifts up and folds itself away, will clearly be the most expensive option (though the automaker has yet to announce formal pricing). It will be operable from a button inside the cabin or by an optional, remote keyfob. For those more budget-minded, there will also be cloth and vinyl-top variants, once the Sebring blows into showrooms later this year.

Like the latest-generation Sebring sedan, the new convertible is larger than the car it replaces, with an added three inches in length, two in width and 3.5 in height. That places it more directly into the mid-size segment, while also giving some much-needed additional legroom for rear-seat passengers. Even with the roof rolled back, Chrysler claims the Sebring convertible will stuff two full-size golf bags in the trunk.

As with the sedan, convertible customers will have three powertrain options to choose from, including a 3.5-liter V-6, a 2.7-liter flex-fuel V-6, and a 2.4-liter in-line four.--TCC Team

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