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Future models - Chrysler - 200

Detroit show: Chrysler’s next 200 leaks

American beauty: The second-generation Chrysler 200 will be powered by either a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine or a 3.6-litre V6.

Leaked images of next-gen Chrysler 200 sedan show sleek design, high-tech cabin

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Chrysler logo9 Jan 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

CHRYSLER’S second-generation 200 mid-sizer has leaked ahead of its official debut at the Detroit motor show next week, revealing a sleek design charged with reinvigorating the American brand’s portfolio in its home market.

Images posted by US automotive website Jalopnik are believed to be official and show a completely redesigned model that carries a sweeping, coupe-like profile and design elements reminiscent of recent Audis.

The front-end features a much narrower grille and headlight design than the current model which is not available in Australia, as well as a sportier bumper with a large lower air intake and slim-line foglights.

The windscreen is more sharply raked and the sloping roofline at the rear gives the sedan a coupe look that car-makers including Volkswagen (CC) and Mercedes-Benz (CLS and the smaller CLA) have produced in recent years.

From the rear, the 2014 200 features a tail-light design and shape similar to that of the current Audi A5, while twin exhausts hint at a possible sports model.

Images of the cabin reveal a far more modern and high tech dash and instrument panel than the current model, with a huge tablet-like touchscreen dominating the centre stack, a more upward focussed ‘floating’ lower stack a la Volvo, a multi-function control and a new three-spoke steering wheel.

Engine choices are believed to include a 137kW/234Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder unit as well as a 220kW 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 that can also be found under the bonnet of the larger 300 sedan.

Built on the same platform that underpins Jeep’s new Cherokee and the Dodge Dart small sedan, the 200 will be built at Chrysler’s Sterling Heights, Michigan plant, following a $US1 billion investment in the facility by the US car-maker.

The current model 200 that is sold in the US is a facelifted version of the Sebring sedan that launched in early 2007, making it a seven-year old model.

Chrysler last offered a mid-size sedan in Australia in the form of the slow-selling Sebring in 2007 until it was discontinued in 2010. A two-door convertible version was available until it was given the chop in January 2013.

There is no word yet on whether Chrysler’s local arm will take the 200 for the Australian market, or indeed if it is going to be built in right-hand drive, but it would likely give the brand a boost beyond its current model line-up.

The US car-maker is currently a two-model only proposition in Australia, with the Grand Voyager people mover and the 300 large sedan that is experiencing a sales renaissance on the back of the new model that launched in mid-2012.

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