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Chrysler 200C concept car - click above for high-res image gallery

Setting the Challenger and 300 aside, what Chrysler needs now most of all is a C/D segment car that moves more metal than the pitiful performance of its current offerings. According to Automotive News, Chrysler shifted just 133,626 of its Sebring and Dodge Avenger platform-mates, a number that pales in comparison to class leaders like the Toyota Camry (436,617) and Honda Accord (372,789). The constant clamor to put the 200C concept into production in some form has got Chrysler looking for ways to make that car a reality, but finding a platform that will play on Main Street is a thorny little chestnut.

Replacing the universally jeered Sebring and Dodge Avenger (and their Mitsubishi platform) by going rear-wheel drive is a possibility. The 200C show car sat on a shortened version of the LX platform, in theory inviting both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. Fiat's D-Evo platform, debuting with the replacement for Alfa Romeo's 159, is another possibility, but there are concerns it may not be flexible enough to grow to the size the 200C needs. Fiat's bid for General Motors' Opel unit brought with it speculation that the 200C could snag the Epsilon platform, but that's since fallen off the radar.

While a rear-drive Chrysler midsizer sporting the sharp exterior and interior design of the 200C and priced like a Fusion would be something distinctive, the sales case for such a departure from the class-norm of FWD remains yet to be convincingly argued. Tuned properly, such a vehicle could give much higher-zoot iron a run for its money, and performance enthusiasts likely would embrace such a model; though they may not actually buy one. Chrysler needs to close sales, not set internet chatrooms abuzz, so regardless of how it comes to market, the 200C must be more fully realized than the current Chrysler midsizers.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      And if *Mitsubishi* creates a crappy car platform, they aren't chastised for it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Everyone knows the only thing Mitsubishi consistently gets right is the Evo.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because Chrylser modified the Mitsubishi platofrm so much they call it something else all their own(JS not GS). And the rest of the car is not that great. The cars Mitsu builds on its version fo the platform are the Lancer and the Outlander (and the Evo) and those cars have good ratings.
        • 5 Years Ago
        At the end of the day, Mitsubishi had relatively little to do with the JS cars. There's some similarities, but the JS and the MMC GS cars aren't that closely related. The TL:DR is:

        - DCX under Herr Schrempp had designs on buying out Mitsubishi Motors. This would have been folded into Chrysler Group.
        - In preparation, DCX gutted the small- and medium-car platform teams at Chrysler group; the people responsible for the PL (Neon) and JA (cloud cars.)
        - The JA/JR platform was sold off along with the tooling to GAZ (Russian.) The Neon went god knows where.
        - Plans were to base the Neon and Cloud car replacements on the MMC GS (Lancer/Galant) platform.
        - For any number of reasons, the takeover of MMC failed, leaving Chrysler group with almost nothing.
        - Much of the work on adapting the GS platform had to be scrapped.
        -Chrysler Group had to scramble to get these cars finished; the money already wasted in the failed MMC bid along with the loss of talent at Chrysler Group left the Sebring/Avenger as half-hearted, "best we could do" failures.

        In short, the problems with the Chrysler sedans aren't Mitsubishi's fault.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Gary, the platform that Mitsubishi has developed is one of the best in the business for the given price point of cars. Problem is that Chrysler's design studs f-ed it all up, the guts of Caliber/Avenger/Sebring are on par with competition, problem is the interior/exterior styling in which Mitsubishi had no input. Mitsubishi developed Lancer and Outlander on the same platform which look a lot better than the Dodge/Chrysler counterparts.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ya know, I've run into more than my fair share of mitsubishi apologists who already get pissed and beligerent at the mere mention of crank-walking eclipses. I don't think they'll ever be ready to have an honest and sober conversation about their favored make.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anything they come up with, will be better than the current SebringAvenger.
      • 5 Years Ago
      133,626 too many.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes please and make the Caliber SRT4 engine available as an option.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The name Sebring is not recoverable, it should go away.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. 1st gen Sebrings were actually nice cars, but 2nd and current stuff just killed the name.

        What about bringing back Cirrus, New Yorker, Fifth Avenue?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Cirrus OK, but "New Yorker" and "Fifth Avenue" are far too frumpy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bring back LeBaron!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why not just replace the 300 with this? Let the 300 evolve as a more luxurious vehicle, with a pricetag to match.

      This styling would look awful with the long nose dictated by an Fiat D-platform FWD platforms. Witness the beak of the Brera or schnoz of the 159 to get an idea. Furthermore, at a Fusion price-point it would be folly to attempt to package the hardware, stability and traction control systems and design quality. Priced in the 300s current range however, the 200 could be seen as a player in the G37/TL category.

      a 100C, with styling designed around the limitations of FWD would be a better bet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm surprised no one commented that this is almost a dead ringer for the Infiniti G37 (which isn't a bad thing!)
      • 5 Years Ago
      if they dont go with rwd (and thats where my vote goes) I think they deffinatally should look past the camery/accord crowd, and aim towards audi and bmw, at least "fun" wise. If they have a decent offering with options that could make a sporty car for less than a 3 series per say. And I believe they could do it cheeply. even if they kept the fwd/awd platform based off the lancer they could do a decent intiror and design on the chrysler, use the phenoix v6 and a standard transmission or dsg-like auto with awd and market it as a audi, with 9/8ths the fun for 7/8ths the price, than take the caliber srt4 motor and throw it in the dodge, 300hp turbo 4 6 speed, instant evo/sti fighter. there is the fun back into the cars, maybe something simmilar to a lancer ralliart to bring in more sales, and just focus on design and quality for the lower end cars so they end up in driveways insted of enterprise parking lots. They need a halo car for the working man, and you gotta work really, really hard to afford a viper...or here is an idea, a sub-viper aimed at the gen coupe and possible upcoming toyotabru rwd coupe....
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car could potentially be a big hit. Leaving the exterior as is for the production model, AWD or RWD options, give it a good selections of engines (even a supercharged R-version), a nice interior, reasonable price and BAM! US-made Audi competitor.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I say build a production version of the 200C on a shortened LX/LY platform for the Chrysler brand and build a sporty FWD midsize sedan and coupe for Dodge (which is supposed to be more of an affordable mainstream brand) on Fiat's C-Evo platform (possibly resurrecting the "Intrepid" name; I know the previous Intrepid was a fullsize sedan, but Dodge has the Charger now; no reason this perfectly appropriate model name should waste away in the archives, though).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like a fleet-car darling already...

      Chrysler needs to be far more aggressive with their exterior styling if they want to attract new consumers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And what's wrong with this?
        • 5 Years Ago
        it looks way better than anything in the whole Toyota or Lexus line and for that matter anythign out of HOnda/Acura line as well.

        But this needed to go into roduction last year not in 5 years.

        i'd say make it RWD and have AWD as a very cheap option

        a 4 cylinder RWD, v6 RWD and then have AWD variants

        maybe for the mainstream 4 cylinder they can have an AWD system for only $400.00 - something that has 30% of the power going to the fronts all the time without much fancy electrnics (a 30:70 split all the time)
        and then you can have a second AWD option that can be as competitive as the rest of te market

        I mean subary's new Legacy has AWD standard and comes at $20k, so I see no reason why Chrystler couldn't keep the prce at $19.7k for RWD, and $20.2k for AWD

        now add to this the phoenix V6 with 300+HP and AWD and you have a legit contender

        i see this car as chrystler can be priced from $20 - $38k, the 38k better be full leather interior (even on plastic trims that cover doors and such they should add leather or somthing like that fake leather stuff BWM has)
        • 5 Years Ago
        IMO, with a front and rear fascia change, the above could qualify for a current model Mercedes. I don't know about you, but that is a pretty good looking car.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Apprarently the Europeans disagree with you. When the 200C was shown at the Geneva auto show it was well received. And this was before FIAT bought in to Chrysler.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The 200C looks like a CLS, did they have some left over Mercedes drawings in a file cabinet? :)
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