In 2004, Chrysler's fullsize offerings were the lamentable Concorde and 300M – a pair of bloated, plasticky barges that hadn't received significant attention since before the dawn of the new millennium. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Chrysler unveiled its new 300, which rode on the bones of a Mercedes-Benz E-Class and had the look of a Rolls-Royce with a thug-life upbringing. It was cool.
The 2015 200 is the automotive equivalent of an ugly duckling turning into a swan.
That coolness, though, never really found its way into the Sebring/200, a car that has been very nearly as poor as the Concorde and 300M that preceded the current 300. Now, though, Chrysler may have pulled off the same trick it used back in 2004 with the all-new 2015 200. Look at that car above – you're looking at the automotive equivalent of an ugly duckling turning into a swan.
No longer does the 200 look like a cursed rental car, it looks like something you'd actually want to drive. And while we're not able to render a verdict on just how good the behind-the-wheel experience is (yet), this Deep Dive should provide a helpful primer on just about everything relating to the new model. As always, check in later today for our coverage of the 2015 200 live from its debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, but be sure to get up to speed by following along below.
Riding on the same Alfa Romeo-derived compact-wide architecture as the Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee, the new 200 features a slightly shorter wheelbase at 108 inches (versus 108.9 in last year's model), yet it's slightly longer and just over an inch wider. So really, the footprint of the car isn't changing too much.
The old 200, with its weirdly proportioned greenhouse, chopped rear end, ungainly fascia and slab-sided profile is now just a memory, with this sleek, dare we say, sexy new look. The new 200 might just be the best-looking vehicle to come from Chrysler since someone decided that a new Challenger was a good idea. Ralph Gilles, senior VP of design, SRT CEO and lead designer of the 2005 300 agrees, telling Autoblog at a backgrounder event, "I've never felt such a significant challenge. This one is special in every way."
"I've never felt such a significant challenge. This one is special in every way." - Ralph Gilles
The profile is svelte, with a strong character line that runs the length of the car. Gone is its predecessor's awkward C-pillar and trunk lid, and in its place a plunging roofline that adds a real sense of drama to the 200's visuals. The front fascia is wide and stylish, with a small upper grille flanked by a pair of headlights that feature optional LED running lights (light tubes are standard). There are muscular creases on the hood as well, upping the style ante on Chrysler's family sedan. In back, full LED taillights are standard.
Chrysler is claiming the 200 was inspired by "classic American designs" like the Apple iPhone, Eames lounge chair and Airstream trailer. We don't see much Steve Jobs and Friends in its appearance, but what Chrysler has sculpted looks good to our eyes. There's something up, though. It's like Chrysler took the very best parts of the designs from other automakers and created a collage of these attributes in the 200. From the rear three-quarters, there's a clear resemblance to the Audi A7. The front fascia has Volkswagen CC overtones, while from the front three-quarters, we can see a bit of Tesla Model S. These aren't necessarily bad things, but if we had but one criticism, it's that we'd like to see a stronger individual identity in what is surely one of Chrysler's most important models (the midsize segment accounts for two million vehicles each year), especially as the new 200 is set to act as inspiration for some of the company's other upcoming designs.
We mentioned above that Chrysler hasn't changed the 200's footprint too much for 2015. The same can largely be said of the interior volume. In all fairness, there's slightly more overall space – 1.1 cubic feet more than the 100.3 cubic feet of the outgoing model, according to the EPA. There's also more space for front-seat occupants overall, with more hip and shoulder room, while leg and headroom are down negligibly. Those riding in the back, though, will be making sacrifices. There is more legroom, from 36.2 to 37.6 inches, but that plunging roofline shaves over an inch of headroom out of the backseats. We've already had a chance to get in and out of the car, and its 'four-door coupe' roofline means that ingress and egress is somewhat challenged, as is second-row headroom. Shoulder room is up .7 inches, however, while the change in hip space is negligible.
Chrysler hasn't dropped the ball on the new 200's interior.
It's nice to see the attention paid to the styling of the 200's exterior, but the old model's most offensive area was its cabin. Thankfully, it doesn't look like Chrysler has dropped the ball. Stylistically, it's much more modern and exciting. The flying-buttress center console, a staple of modern Volvo designs, fits in naturally on the 200, giving the cabin a clear, cockpit-like look. As a fun Easter egg, eagle-eyed readers will notice that Chrysler has embossed the Detroit skyline on the mat underneath the floating bridge (you can see it here).
Chrysler says it based its interior color and trim schemes on three very different cities. The basic black represents New York City, and can be had with either cloth or fabric seats, as well as satin chrome trim. It'll be available on the base LX, Limited and the top-of-the-line 200C models. Sausalito, CA was the basis for the black-and-beige interior and is available on LX and Limited models. Finally, good ole Detroit is the inspiration behind the Ambassador Blue-and-black scheme found on the sporty 200S you see in these images. It replaces the satin chrome of the lesser models with gloss black trim and a black headliner.
For those who need a bit more presence, there's also a Premium Group available for the 200C that adds the heated, two-tone steering wheel you can see in the gallery, as well as stylish real wood trim choices. Those veneer trims, in particular, look quite intriguing, with the bluish-silver wood having an almost metallic appearance.
The new 200's interior trims draw inspiration from New York, Sausalito and Detroit.
Form has not gotten in the way of function in this new sedan. The way the climate controls have been horizontally integrated looks cool and clever, and we imagine that they'll fall rather easily to hand for both drivers and passengers. Behind them sits Chrysler's rotary shifter and, disappointingly for fans of parking lot hooliganism, an electronic parking brake. Above all that is the customer's choice of a five-inch touchscreen or Chrysler Group's excellent 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen. Pro tip: splurge for the 8.4.
The other big-ticket item in the cabin is the standard five-inch or the optional seven-inch TFT display in the instrument cluster. Like other recent Chrysler Group products, the information displayed can be reconfigured to reflect the driver's wishes, offering at-a-glance access to infotainment, navigation and trip information. Those central controls are managed by the latest generation of Chrysler's multi-function steering wheel, which features the usual array of buttons for not just the display, but audio, phone and cruise control functions (you'll no doubt recognize this wheel from the new Cherokee). Push-button start is standard across the range.
A vast center cubby should give front-seat passengers plenty of room for stuff, while a pass-through means that customers will actually be able to feed cables into the shelf underneath the center stack (take notes, Volvo).
Chrysler's 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder and venerable 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 will provide thrust for the new sedan, with the base mill providing a preliminary estimate of 184 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque at 6,250 and 4,600 rpm, respectively. That's roughly the same amount of oomph it generates in both the Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Dart GT. For those who want a bit more performance in their 200, the 295-hp, 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 will be the engine of choice. With 262 lb-ft of torque available at 4,250 rpm (peak horsepower comes in at 6,350) and a redline of 6,400 rpm, the Pentastar should be able to haul the 3,473-pound 200 around without much difficulty. The performance of the V6 could be getting a boost, as well, as Chrysler has hinted that the engine may make power when the engine is fed premium fuel, although it isn't prepared to share any numbers as of this writing.
Both engines are mated to the Cherokee's nine-speed automatic, but it's where the power is funneled that is truly exciting. Yes, we just used "exciting" to describe a Chrysler 200. That's because in addition to the standard front-drive setup, the 200 will also be available with a trick all-wheel-drive system with rear axle disconnect to save fuel by reducing parasitic drag. Grips-at-all-corners traction comes standard when you select the six-cylinder option, and it will be available in both sporty 200S and top-of-the-line 200C trim. What's more, when in sport mode, the AWD system will shunt up to 60 percent of its torque to the rear axle, which we predict will be a boon for the car's sense of sportiness. (Sport mode, incidentally, also amps up throttle response, alters the transmission shift schedule and relaxes the stability control system).
Fuel economy figures aren't listed yet, but Chrysler has been touting at least 35 miles per gallon, with a ballpark improvement in fuel economy over the current model of 6 percent for the four-cylinder and 13 percent for the Pentastar V6. How it's planning on doing this is interesting, though.
All-wheel-drive models can send up to 60 percent of their torque to the rear axle.
The 200 doesn't feature stop/start technology, and neither of its engines are of the direct-injected variety. Instead, the 200 benefits from a highly aerodynamic body, with a coefficient of drag of just 0.27. For reference, the old 200 was a comparative brick, at 0.34. The new number is darn close to the 0.26 of the BMW i8, as well as approaching the aerodynamic bodies of the Toyota Prius (0.25) and the Tesla Model S (0.24). Chrysler tells us that more time was spent refining the 200's aerodynamics than any other car in the company's history.
Helping the 200 negotiate road imperfections will be a MacPherson strut setup in front and a multi-link independent rear, and Chrysler has promised sportier and more adept tuning than what's in the exiting vehicle. An electric steering rack will be the driver's primary interface, and it will require fewer turns lock-to-lock than the old car (just 2.67 vs. 2.89 last year). On paper, the brakes certainly seem adequate, with single-piston calipers at all four corners clamping down on 12-inch front rotors on 2.4-liter models and 13-inch fronts on V6 200s. Regardless of engine, 10.9-inch rotors are found out back.
Chrysler spent more time refining the 200's aerodynamics than any other car in the company's history.
Prices for the 2015 200 start at $21,700 plus $995 destination ($95 less than a comparable 2014) for the base 200 LX, which includes, um, not much. A four-speaker stereo, seventeen-inch steel wheels with wheel covers and a urethane steering wheel (with audio controls) is about all that's worth mentioning. The basic AM/FM stereo can be optioned out with an AM/FM media center that includes Bluetooth connectivity.
Really, retail customers are best off considering the 200 Limited as the actual base car. The five-inch touchscreen features an AM/FM media center, Bluetooth and a six-speaker stereo, while one-touch front windows add convenience and 17-inch wheels add a bit of style. Optional goodies include a moonroof, satellite radio, 18-inch wheels and a pair of option packages, the Convenience Group (leather-wrapped wheel, satellite radio, rear-view camera, power driver's seat and heated mirrors) and Comfort Group (dual-zone climate control, heated seats and steering wheel and remote start). Prices start at $23,255 for the 200 Limited.
Optioning up to the 200S will trim the black cloth seats in Ambassador Blue leather, while the driver's seat gets power articulation. The steering wheel also gets wrapped in leather on the 200S and features paddle shifters. Heated and folding side mirrors, a firmer suspension and 18-inch wheels are all standard on the sportiest 200. Options include the Pentastar V6 with all-wheel drive, a panoramic sunroof, HID headlights and 19-inch "hyper black" wheels. Packaged goodies include the Premium Lighting Group (HID headlights with LED running lights and LED fog lights) and a Navigation and Sound Group (8.4-inch display with navigation, Sirius Travel Link, 7-inch instrument cluster display). Prices for the 200S start at $24,495.
Finally, the top-of-the-line 200C starts at a reasonable $25,995, and will include standard heated leather seats, a power passenger's seat, a seven-inch display in the instrument cluster, standard rear-view camera, remote start, dual-zone climate control and 17-inch wheels. Optional goodies mirror the 200S, and include a V6, all-wheel drive, a panoramic sunroof and 19-inch wheels. Four different packages are present to really luxe up the driving experience - the SafetyTec Pack (adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, parking assist and rain-sensing wipers), Premium Group, Navigation and Sound Group and Premium Lighting Group.
Like the current 200, the 2015 model will be built at Chrysler's Sterling Heights, MI assembly plant as part of a previous $1 billion investment in the facility. Production models should start to arrive on dealer lots during the second quarter of 2014. We'll have more information soon, including live images from the 200's debut at today's Detroit Auto Show, so stay tuned.
Segment-first standard nine-speed automatic transmission, innovative all-wheel-drive system, choice of two engine options, fuel economy improvements of up to 13 percent and spirited ride and handling characteristics equal a driving experience customers will look forward to
- Innovative, world-class powertrain is the basis for the extraordinary driving experience and improved fuel economy in the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan
- All-new 2015 Chrysler 200 is the industry's first mid-size sedan with a standard nine- speed automatic transmission, contributing to an estimated fuel economy improvement of up to 13 percent
- First mid-size sedan with innovative all-wheel-drive system that delivers best-in-class efficiency
- Segment-exclusive, standard e-shift rotary knob connects driver and driveline with precision; enables available sport mode
- Modern, state-of-the-art engines power the Chrysler 200
- Standard 2.4-liter MultiAir®2 Tigershark I-4 producing 184 horsepower and 173 lb.-ft. of torque while contributing to estimated fuel economy improvements of 13 percent compared with the outgoing model
- Award-winning available 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine producing best-in-class 295 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque
- All-new 2015 Chrysler 200 is developed from Chrysler Group's Compact U.S.-wide (CUS-wide) platform – the basis for superior, smooth on-road performance
- Improved aerodynamics helps reduce noise, vibration and harshness while benefitting the fuel economy boost
Exquisite style meets exceptional performance. The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan leapfrogs expectations in the mid-size sedan segment for comfort, ride and handling. Engineered to provide premium driving dynamics, improved fuel economy, a quiet cabin and an enthusiastic driving experience, the all-new Chrysler 200 will surprise and delight drivers and passengers alike.
The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan represents an efficiency milestone, combining world- class engines with a groundbreaking standard nine-speed automatic transmission and available innovative new all-wheel-drive system that includes a "sport" driving mode and significantly reduces parasitic losses while delivering excellent performance in all driving conditions. With a world-class architecture and state-of-the-art technology, the new Chrysler 200 is engineered to exceed customer expectations in every category.
"Chrysler engineers used the latest technological advances combined with a passion for excellence when developing the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan," said Mitch Clauw, Vehicle Line Executive, C and D Segment Engineering - Chrysler Group LLC. "With an all-new body structure, a standard nine- speed transmission and an innovative all-wheel drive system, the 200 sedan has an amazing road presence and is so much fun to drive, we can't wait for our customers to get behind the wheel."
Engineered from the ground up
The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan was developed and engineered to exceed customer expectations for satisfaction, quality and reliability. FIAT Group architecture – complements of the award-winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta – is the basis for the underpinnings of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200. The Giulietta is renowned for satisfying the most demanding customers in terms of exceptional driving dynamics and agility, and that DNA carries over to the all-new Chrysler 200 sedan.
The Giulietta's proven modular architecture means many models can be built using the same basic underpinnings. The result is better quality and reliability, as well as lower costs and less development time and tooling. The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 is the third Chrysler Group vehicle in North America to utilize the Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) architecture.
The common, modular and interchangeable components allow for modularity of the wheelbase, front track, rear track, front overhang, length and width across vehicle lines. The front-wheel drive platform was engineered to accommodate compact or mid-size vehicles, cars, CUVs or SUVs, as well as front- wheel drive, all-wheel drive or 4x4 drivelines.
The all-new 2015 Chrysler's body structure has a high-strength steel content of approximately 60 percent, among the highest in the industry. Hot stamped-, high-strength- and ultra-high-strength steel are used to construct a strong, lightweight, solid vehicle architecture.
The Chrysler 200's chassis was engineered to deliver sporty European handling dynamics and steering precision with ride and comfort characteristics tuned for North American roads, resulting in excellent handling for the driver with maximum comfort for both the driver and passengers.
The exceptional balance of fun-to-drive dynamics, ride comfort, emergency handling and a quiet cabin is accomplished through the suspension bushing tuning and the exceptional body structure, including the front aluminum cradle, rear upper/under body structure reinforcement and superior suspension attachment stiffness.
The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 features the proven MacPherson strut front suspension, which is renowned for its packaging efficiency and lightweight. Chrysler engineers specifically tuned the front suspension geometry to minimize camber loss, resulting in more responsive steering and handling characteristics and a smooth ride with little to no road noise – all qualities drivers will appreciate.
The stiffness and low weight of the front suspension helps reduce typical rolling noise, keeping the road noise where it belongs – on the road and out of the 200's passenger cabin.
Many key front-suspension components improve ride quality, durability and safety.
Ride quality is improved, in part, thanks to the use of:
- Split dome anti-sway bar that optimizes the exchange of forces between the suspension and body, filtering out vibrations
- Telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers with high lateral stiffness
- Solid half-shafts throughout the range that help reduce weight and vibration
- Side load coil springs that optimize the thrust axis and help transfer loads on the shock absorber to improve comfort
- High-strength springs
Durability and perceived vehicle quality are improved in part by:
- Spring isolators interposed between the springs and their support bases to eliminate running noise
- One-piece cast-aluminum lower control arms to enhance durability
A third load path, which provides additional safety benefits for drivers and passengers, is created with attachments on the cast-aluminum, flat cross member that are strong enough to absorb loads in the event of an impact. The flat cross member enhances vehicle rigidity.
The 2015 Chrysler 200's front suspension cradle is constructed of high-pressure, die-cast aluminum, which is lighter than more conventional front cradle applications. The cradle also is stiff, helping stop the transmission of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) into the passenger compartment, contributing to the 200 sedan's quiet interior.
A twist blade multi-link independent rear suspension enables European handling capability for those drivers who love to lean into corners and the smooth ride North American drivers covet.
Many key components of the rear suspension improve vehicle handling, reduce road noise and improve durability:
- Handling performance is improved, in part, thanks to the use of:
- An aluminum cross member with an optimized weight/stiffness ratio that improves the reaction to lateral loads
- A stabilizer bar with torsional stiffness that delivers sporty handling
- Bushings with stiffness characteristics that are designed to maximize handling
- Road and running noise is reduced through the use of:
- Spring isolators between the springs and their support bases
- Bushings with low dynamic stiffening ratios that minimize the noise levels transmitted from the road
- Vehicle durability is improved with the use of:
- Steel springs with high fatigue durability that allow for weight containment
- Chrome guide rods enable very long durability even under extreme use conditions
The rear suspension cradle is purposely isolated from the body, to reduce the transmission of NVH into the passenger compartment.
The 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan's all-season tires provide exceptional grip and balanced performance and contribute to the vehicle's excellent ride comfort. The standard 17-inch and available 19-inch tires were picked with an emphasis on fuel efficiency. The Chrysler 200S model's standard 18-inch tire puts a priority on steering and handling.
Exceptional handling on the road and in all weather conditions
The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 provides a choice of two drivelines for exceptional driving dynamics in all road and weather conditions, standard front-wheel drive or Chrysler's available innovative all-wheel drive (AWD) system. The 2015 Chrysler 200 is the first mid-size sedan to feature complete rear-axle disconnect, which reduces energy loss to improve fuel efficiency. The rear-axle disconnect seamlessly switches between front- and all-wheel drive for full-time torque management and does not require input from the driver.
"The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 is a showcase of powertrain engineering," said Mircea Gradu, Vice President, Transmission, Powertrain, and Driveline Engineering - Chrysler Group LLC. "In addition to exhilarating performance, it delivers the deep satisfaction that comes with owning a dazzling car packed with pioneering technology."
The available all-wheel-drive system uniquely disconnects and reconnects the rear axle – automatically and seamlessly – as needed and at any speed.
On its own, the system accounts for a parasitic loss reduction of up to 80 percent compared with competitive part-time all-wheel-drive systems, which are limited by conventional technology.
The power transfer unit (PTU) and rear-drive module (RDM) are the lynchpins of the system, which proactively engage and then disengage depending on road and environmental conditions. This dramatically reduces spin losses.
As a result, 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 AWD is engaged, the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan benefits from improved traction and enhanced driving dynamics. Sensors gather vehicle data that compel sophisticated algorithms to smoothly distribute torque fore and aft as required.
System triggers range from road-surface changes to electronic stability control (ESC) activation. As much as 60 percent of available torque can be transferred to the rear wheels, contributing to a total driving experience that inspires confidence and ignites passion.
The experience is further intensified when sport mode is engaged, leveraging the AWD system's full capabilities, the benefits of ESC and the unique character of the available award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine.
Sport Mode activation is achieved via the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan's segment-exclusive, standard, E-shift rotary dial. The stylish, console-mounted shifter functions electronically.
In sport mode, the all-new 200 sedan's drivetrain is configured 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.
Most significantly, the shift schedule of the segment-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission is altered for firm, quick engagement – a level of responsiveness further intensified by paddle-shifter activation.
Segment-first nine-speed transmission, world-class engines
The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 is the world's first mid-size sedan to feature a nine-speed automatic transmission, which comes standard.
The benefits of the advanced-technology transmission are manifested in a range of characteristics as wide as its 9.81 ratio spread. Most noticeably, the addition of more gear ratios optimizes both fuel economy and performance by precisely matching the gear state to the most efficient engine operating condition.
Paired with the standard 2.4-liter MultiAir®2 Tigershark I-4 engine, the all-new Chrysler 200's fuel- economy improves by up to 13 percent in highway driving, compared with outgoing 4-cylinder engine in the previous model.
When equipped with the available award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, which delivers best-in- class 295 horsepower, the all-new 200 sedan's highway fuel economy improves nearly seven percent compared with the outgoing model.
The high-tech transmission dispenses power smoothly for elevated refinement. Such performance is made possible because the ratio steps between its gears are smaller than those of other transmissions.
The nine-speed's first-gear ratio of 4.71 accommodates the superior low-end torque required for more aggressive launch performance. Six-speed automatic transmissions – the segment norm – offer first- gear ratios closer to 4.0.
The transmission ratios for the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan are:
1st – 4.71
2nd – 2.84
3rd – 1.91
4th – 1.38
5th – 1.00
6th – 0.81
7th – 0.70
Precise shift schedules combine with the transmission's four overdrive ratios to reduce overall NVH levels.
Owners will appreciate an innovative rotary e-shift dial that replaces the traditional console shifter. The exclusive rotary e-shift enables intuitive operation with a direct and confident feel. The convenient, center-mounted, easy-to-understand and operate system provides total control of the sophisticated nine-speed transmission. This new design allows easy shifting and also yields space for more functional and usable storage in the center console.
Fully electronic, the standard nine-speed automatic transmissions features on-the-fly shift map changing, with manual shifting capability via the available paddle shifters. More than 20 individual shift maps for very specific conditions optimize shift quality and shift points for fuel economy, performance and drivability. The intelligent software takes into account variables, such as engine torque gradients, kick down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, hill detection, friction detection and downshift detection to determine the appropriate shift map. Additional parameters integrated into the control strategy include vehicle speed control, electronic stability control interaction and temperature. The result is automatic shifting ideally attuned to the performance requirements of almost any driving condition.
Internally, the transmission has four planetary gear sets, two of which are nested for economical packaging. The transmission weighs approximately 30 pounds less than a six-speed gearbox designed for a similar duty cycle.
Of its six shift elements, which comprise four multi-disc clutches and two dog clutches, only three are open at any time. With fewer open shift elements, drag losses due to multiple rotating parts are reduced, further improving fuel efficiency.
Tale of the Tigershark
Efficiency and refinement also are hallmarks of Chrysler Group's 16-valve, 2.4-liter Tigershark
I-4 engine with the MultiAir2 electro-hydraulic fully variable valve-lift system. The high-tech engine, which comes standard in the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200, churns out 184 horsepower and peak torque of 173 lb.-ft. at 4,600 rpm.
MultiAir technology, which is exclusive to Chrysler Group in North America, uses a column of oil in place of the traditional mechanical link between the camshaft and intake valves. The resulting precision maximizes intake manifold pressure, significantly reducing pumping losses.
MultiAir2 takes the innovation further by simultaneously controlling both valve opening and closing events to more effectively manage combustion quality. This ensures the appropriate, effective compression ratio and efficient internal exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) for improved fuel economy.
Refinement was a key consideration in the design of every Tigershark component, from its fully isolated aluminum head cover with integrated oil-separation system, to its high-pressure, die-cast aluminum block.
Sandwiched between the block and the steel oil pan is a lightweight, aluminum ladder frame with integral oil filter and oil cooler adapter. This lends additional structural rigidity.
The oil pan itself benefits from refinement. Acoustic material is sandwiched between its outer and inner stampings.
The Tigershark's polymer-coated piston skirts and tighter piston-to-bore tolerances contribute to reduced NVH. The cast-aluminum piston, combustion chamber and ports align with the MultiAir2 system for optimal combustion and fuel economy.
Cast-aluminum pistons with a compression ratio of 10:1 are designed specifically for the engine and MultiAir system.
Each bore is fitted with individual oil-squirters in the block that spray oil on the bottom of the pistons and bore walls to maintain cylinder-wall and piston temperatures. This feature also helps prevent hot spots that could lead to knock, while improving performance and fuel economy.
Fitted to the forged-steel crankshaft are new powder-forged-steel connecting rods that feature a full- floating piston pin with diamond-like carbon coating. This further reduces friction and improves fuel efficiency.
Vibration is minimized with the use of a balance shaft module. And to maintain adequate oiling at all engine speeds, the 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark features a two-stage oil-pressure relief system that reduces engine-oil pumping loads at low engine speeds for better fuel efficiency.
Other key features of the 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine include:
- 360-degree engine-to-transmission attachment
- Coil-on-plug ignition with dual precious-metal spark plugs
- Front-end accessory drive with automatic tensioning single-belt drive
- Similar to the Pentastar, the Tigershark delivers reduced operating costs because its cam drive, cam-phasing and valve-train components require no scheduled maintenance
Acclaimed for its power and refinement, the available 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine has been listed multiple times among Ward's 10 Best Engines. In the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200, it boasts best-in-class 295 horsepower and generates peak torque of 262 lb.-ft. at 4,250 rpm.
Its defining feature: individual exhaust-manifold runners integrated into the aluminum cylinder-head casting. This not only reduces weight and produces packaging benefits, it increases manufacturing efficiency.
To boost fuel efficiency and volumetric efficiency across the torque band, the celebrated Pentastar V-6 engine boasts variable-valve timing (VVT) with dual-independent cam phasing.
The 24-valve engine's 10.2:1 compression ratio also aids in lowering fuel consumption and improves performance while the variable-displacement oil pump further maximizes fuel efficiency by reducing parasitic losses. The pump is programmed to operate as needed, staying in low-pressure mode below 3,500 rpm, and then bumping up pressure as demand follows engine-speed.
The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine features a centrifugal oil separator that reduces operating costs by cutting oil consumption.
Its cam drive and valve-train components require no scheduled maintenance. A 60-degree, deep-skirt, die-cast-aluminum cylinder block with six-bolt main caps affords optimal stiffness for mitigation of NVH.
Additional features that benefit NVH control are:
- A structural windage tray to complement block stiffness
- A structural aluminum oil pan
- Direct-mounted alternator and air conditioning compressor that increases stiffness
- Select-fit pistons with polymer-graphite-coated piston skirts
- "Silent chain" timing drive with inverted teeth for minimal sprocket contact
- Contoured composite cylinder-head covers
- Glass-reinforced nylon composite intake manifold
Further enhancing the Pentastar driving experience is the specially designed intake manifold, which features low-rumble tuning.
The Pentastar's benefits extend beyond the 2015 Chrysler 200's engine compartment to the environment. A unique paper cartridge replaces the conventional spin-on oil filter and can be incinerated.
Since its introduction in model-year 2011, Chrysler Group has produced more than three million 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engines that have provided customers with billions of miles of reliable service and driving enjoyment.
Power steering system
The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan's steering system is designed and engineered for the best performance for the driver in sporty driving conditions, as well as excellent handling and reduced effort during parking maneuvers. With a 15.2:1 steering ratio, the 2015 Chrysler 200 is one of the fastest- steering vehicles in the mid-size sedan segment.
The all-new 200 employs standard electric power steering (EPS). All of the power assist is provided via an electric motor system rather than a traditional hydraulic system. Because the system is fully electronic, the driver experiences optimal steering effort at all vehicle speeds, and there is less noise and better fuel efficiency since there is no parasitic loss from a power steering pump.
The boost, or assist, is variable and speed sensitive, responding to sensors monitoring steering torque, steering wheel speed and angle and vehicle speed. The steering system is fully integrated with the vehicle's ESC system and helps to compensate in split-traction, torque steer and pull-drift (crowned road) situations.
NVH and passenger comfort
Drivers and passengers will enjoy conversations when traveling in the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 complements of the available acoustic windshield and side glass, dash construction with inner and outer acoustic pads, and premium NVH insulation.
The 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan offers outstanding heating and cooling performance, including heat up, cool down and defrost, as well as quiet performance.
Engineers used Computational Fluid Dynamics to deliver just the right amount of airflow through the ductwork. A variable displacement condenser continually matches the requested cooling load, which keeps the system stable and helps it operate quietly and efficiently. The central unit doors of the system are electronic; there are no cables, so drivers and passengers experience a more consistent feel when the system is on.
The air outlets are adjusted with rack-and-pinion vein adjusters, which make them both feel pleasant to the touch and give a consistent feel when they're repositioned. Models equipped with automatic temperature control also include a humidity sensor, which creates an automatic defog capability.
￼Customer-focused vehicle development
The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 was developed and engineered to exceed expectations for customer satisfaction, quality and reliability. Engineers used Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) to ensure the voice of the customer was captured during the vehicle development process. DFSS folds in voice of the customer data along with lessons learned to ensure every vehicle is of the highest quality possible.
All-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan delivers drivers a beautiful, well-crafted, smart sedan with exceptional driving dynamics and is loaded with features that will surprise and delight both drivers and passengers – it's everything a customer wants at a price they can afford.