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L.A. Auto Show: Chrysler overhauls its Sebring, renames it the 200

November 18, 2010 |  3:17 pm unveiled its new 200 sedan Thursday. The four-door five-seater, formerly known as the Sebring, has been overhauled and, as a result, renamed to make the car more of a little brother to Chrysler's flagship, the 300.

"I must confess that we didn't start with a new name," said Chrysler President and CEO Olivier Francois. "We just started dissecting the car piece by piece with a very simple assignment to the engineers: Whatever lives up to Chrysler's expectations ... we keep. Everything that doesn't, we drop."

Everything but the roofline and the doors were changed. The 200 has a completely new front end, new hood, new grille, new LED headlamps, new front facia, new fog lamps and a new wheel design.

Inside, there are softer touch points throughout. Under the hood, there is a new six-speed transmission and an all-new suspension. Most significantly, the flagship S model, pictured above, is powered with an all-new Pentastar V-6 engine that makes 283 horsepower and gets 29 miles per gallon highway. 

That's when "we drove it and we just realized that we were not driving the same car," Francois said. "So we realized we could change the name and we adopted this 200 for one very simple reason. With this name, we start a new nomenclature. We have a 300. We have a 200. So we may have other hundreds below or above."

The Chrysler 200 starts at $19,995, is going into production now and will be available in December.


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-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: Chrysler 200. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times