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    Spying: Chrysler Takes The 200 For A Drive In The Nighttime


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    December 13, 2013

    Chrysler thought it would be a good idea to drive an uncovered 200 for a late-night photoshoot. What they weren't expecting is spy photographer crashing their photoshoot and bringing us our first good look at the next 200.

    The new 200 is a massive improvement over the current model. There is a four-door coupe roofline that appears to have been lifted from the Audi A7 or Volkswagen CC. The front is quite different from recent Chrysler designs with a narrow grille and slim headlights. The back end is very reminiscent of the A7.

    We also get a peek into the interior which looks somewhat familiar to the Dodge Dart with an oversized gauge cluster and similar center stack layout. There is a rotary knob which could be connected to a nine-speed transmission that has been rumored.

    Luckily, we don't have to wait long for Chrysler to spill the beans on the 200 as its expected to debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month.

    Source: Autoblog

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    I would have to say I think this is one of the nicest looking 200's they have ever done. Interior is interesting, not a huge fan but what looks like a nice and great improvement over past versions.

    I do have to say what gives with the dinky screen on the nav/radio. That is a joke.

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    Chrysler often gives 2 screen size options. This could be the smaller one.

    I have to say, I like the look. It moves the car up a lot in the looks department and it's finally not a gaping mouth design.

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    I like the new front end design, nice to see not everyone is going for massive headlights and grills. The roof shape has gone from squished roof line to much more graceful A7/CC roof line. This looks to be a massive step up from the current car and a return to handsome midsize Chryslers.

    I like the interior from what I can see, that unit is obviously either for a base model 200 or a placeholder. It'll get the 8.4 inch unit, at least higher trim models.

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    The Verano and lower end Regal (maybe even higher end Regal) are going to be the natural competition for this car. I see people online comparing it to the Fusion... but I get the impression that this is a smaller vehicle.... not Fusion sized. Chrysler may be taking a "content over size" tack with this car. It doesn't need to be the largest in the segment, but it needs to be posher inside than a normal mid-size.

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    I suppose they may have been trying to look like an A7 knockoff but the side glass really just looks like a current gen Avalon or a 2010 Mazda6 (which is better looking than this). There's some M45 in there also.

    The front end and greenhouse don't flow together totally. Front end design doesn't quite mesh to the rest of the car IMO. It's like they are trying to make an early 000's 300M front end to the rest of the car that is not the same.

    Overall it's still an improvement over what is there now.

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    I agree... the nicest 200 ever... but it looks too much like a shrunken A7. Too much copying and emulating today.

    Give us with something bold and original. Lets start with an LED taillight that is distinct... maybe incorporates a Chrysler Pentastar or part of the Chrysler "Wing" on each side.

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    They've brought it up to current fashion, but not beyond, based on these photos taken on the run in the dark of a black car.

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    It looks good, but in a Hyundai way, feels like a bunch of other design elements from other cars are combined.

    Way better than the current offering, but it is a very crowded segment to attempt to become a sales leader in. Look what happened to the Dart.

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    I am sad to see the 2014 Dart's shrunken color palette. I thought the baby blue and citrus color were awesome. Now they're back to white, blue, red, whatever.

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    It looks good, but in a Hyundai way, feels like a bunch of other design elements from other cars are combined. Way better than the current offering, but it is a very crowded segment to attempt to become a sales leader in. Look what happened to the Dart.

    The 200 shouldn't be a sales leader. I'm guessing (and hoping) that Chrysler is not aiming for Camry or even Fusion like sales volumes for this car... that is Dodge's job. Let it be the smaller, posher, mid-size car that sells on content rather than cheap subsidized leasing. They'll sell fewer of them, but at a higher transaction price and a higher margin.

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    It looks good, but in a Hyundai way, feels like a bunch of other design elements from other cars are combined. Way better than the current offering, but it is a very crowded segment to attempt to become a sales leader in. Look what happened to the Dart.

    The 200 shouldn't be a sales leader. I'm guessing (and hoping) that Chrysler is not aiming for Camry or even Fusion like sales volumes for this car... that is Dodge's job. Let it be the smaller, posher, mid-size car that sells on content rather than cheap subsidized leasing. They'll sell fewer of them, but at a higher transaction price and a higher margin.

    With the Avenger being a dead end fleet model as it is now, they are going to have to do a lot of work at Dodge if they hope to compete with the midsize Big 3 (Altima, Accord, Camry) and Ford..

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    Well yea, the replacement for the avenger has to be a Grand Cherokee level of good.

    From a couple sources I've read the Avenger replacement could be a RWD model, but I can't see that happening...to achieve mass market midsize mediocrity in NA it has to be FWD.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    Well, historically, Chrysler hasn't stuck with any set of cues for any long period of time. BMW, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz, and GM are the only makers I can think of that have adhered to any kind of longterm, recognizable feature set.

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    I do think Jeep tends to hold some continuity.

    Dodge Dart is sort of like Neon II.

    I think Dodge and Chrysler had sort of charted a new boat when they moved into bed with Mercedes, and then that fell apart. They had big success with cab forward. Chrysler's problem I think is not really having a lot of memorable blockbuster models.

    GM you know has several, Ford even has a few. A VW Golf is a VW Golf.

    I think a good question here is do people prefer this in the spy photos or the last 200 concept? Both are alright, but I can see why Chrysler moved to the longer greenhouse as it is trendy right now.

    chrysler-200c-ev-01.jpg

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    My understanding is that (1) Dodge isn't getting a version of this 200 and (2) the RWD Avenger replacement depends upon the new RWD platform Marchionne wants to develop for Alfa Romeo. However, it remains to be seen if Fiat can get the financing for that new platform as it currently can't access Chrysler funds.

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      Press Release is on Page 2


      The Chrysler Portal concept is designed to keep the driver and passengers connected – to each other, to the vehicle and to the surrounding world.
      Starting with today’s widespread use of the Internet and social media for communication and information, the FCA User Experience (UX) team, and an internal UX Tiger team from the Panasonic Automotive Advanced Engineering function, jointly picked a blend of emerging and future technologies to engage the next generation of vehicle users.
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      Tapping the Panasonic Cognitive Infotainment (PCI) platform as the foundation of the UX feature set, the Chrysler User Experience team matched future consumer needs (life, finances and new technology) to those new technology solutions now exhibited in the Portal concept.
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      The hub of this technology is the mobile phone. The Chrysler Portal concept is engineered to seamlessly detect and connect with passengers’ mobile devices, expanding the social canvas.
      Recognition and user authentication is the next level of personalization and a primary driving factor for the user experience. Facial recognition and voice biometric technologies work together to provide a seamless personalization experience. As a result, all passengers can set up individual and group settings for an enjoyable, customized experience. For example, facial recognition tells the Chrysler Portal who is in the vehicle and how to automatically configure preferred settings, such as music, lighting, vehicle temperature, heated or cooled seats, etc. Internet cloud-based technologies, combined with facial and voice recognition, keep those preferred settings in sync should a passenger move to another seat.
      Accessing technology inside the vehicle is naturally intuitive using a blend of voice controls with familiar touch controls. With an array of microphones inside the Portal concept, voice control is available to all occupants. Advanced speech software can identify who is speaking to accurately determine an action, such as which display screen to access. Embedded interior and connected portable device cameras also facilitate conversations and interactions.
      Want to play music tailored for an individual, such as a child? Simply say, “Play Johnny’s ‘Naptime Favorites’ playlist.” Personalized audio zones enable each passenger to listen to their own content isolated to their seat without the need for headphones. 
      Facial recognition enables the Chrysler Portal concept to track the driver’s directional gaze, as a result, the intensity of the high-mount display screen can automatically dim or increase to help reduce eye strain. If the driver is looking at a specific location on the display and a critical notification occurs, such as an oncoming emergency vehicle, a message pop-up in the area where the driver is looking helps reduce reaction time.
      Turn road trips into social memories
      Social media plays a large role in the lives of many Millennials. In the Chrysler Portal concept, sharing content between passengers is as easy as a swipe to the right. A personal tablet or mobile device becomes a community display screen via a docking station in the Chrysler Portal’s headliner, making it easily viewable by second- and third-row passengers. Media such as music, images and videos from personal devices can be shared with a simple upward swipe to the display screen. The community display is ideal for road trips with family and friends. At a glance, infographics show the progress of the vehicle to the trip destination. 
      The Chrysler Portal concept also takes into consideration each passenger’s media preferences and enables them to contribute to the road trip experience. Using predictive intelligence, passenger preferences can be merged to create an overall community setting that can help the group find destinations and plan the best route, select a restaurant, and play music and videos everyone can enjoy. 
      Once a route is set, it can be added to the community display so all passengers can monitor the trip’s progress. At the lunch break, passengers can use the technology in the Chrysler Portal concept to order from a quick service restaurant via voice or touchscreen without rolling down the window or leaving the vehicle, a real convenience in inclement weather. If someone is not sure what to order, the system’s intelligence can offer suggestions based on the passenger’s personal settings. With ecommerce, there is no need for cash or a credit card as the payment can be securely transacted from the vehicle while in transit.
      Once at the destination, interior and exterior cameras can capture the moment with a selfie, which is then automatically downloaded to everyone’s personal device and can be shared via social media.
      Affordable, upgradeable technology designed to be added as needed
      Keeping the user experience affordable, the Chrysler Portal concept’s in-vehicle technology is designed to be adaptable and upgradeable. Cost-conscious consumers are able to decide what technology they want to add and when they want to integrate it into their vehicle, such as adding technologies to meet the ongoing needs of a new family.  For example, the vehicle’s short-range wireless network enables parents to connect a baby monitor camera to a seat, with the image appearing on the high-mount display.
      Another way consumers could integrate their personal devices is by using the Chrysler Portal Concept Companion App. Once downloaded to a mobile device, the companion app has the ability to customize vehicle lighting, control vehicle and home settings, lock/unlock doors and operate other functions from any location. 
      Advanced driving assistance
      A key element of the Chrysler Portal concept’s user experience is the graphic-rich, high-quality information available to the driver.
      The hub of this information is the high-mount display, located above where a traditional instrument panel would be placed. Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) technology in the display makes the screen brighter and sharper. The technology embedded in the Chrysler Portal collects a wide spectrum of visual, sensor-based and infrastructure data; organizes and configures the information for display; and tailors the presentation to keep the driver’s attention on the highest priority functions.
      The display, which spans nearly the entire length of the instrument panel, is positioned higher intentionally for greater visibility and to aid the driver keeping his/her eyes on the road. Maintaining visibility with the horizon helps reduce the possibility of motion sickness while interacting with the 3-D graphics, especially if Level 3 autonomous driving mode is engaged.
      The length of the screen enables three zones of information. The first section of the screen, located in front of the driver, offers traditional vehicle information, such as speed. The middle section displays a 360-degree situational awareness view, such as surrounding vehicles, GPS information and points of interest, and can be viewed by other vehicle occupants. The third section can be used for media sharing, status updates of passengers, such as their seat temperature, music or videos being played and a view of them.
      During Level 3 autonomous driving, the display communicates the status of the vehicle and the surrounding environment. Should the vehicle come to a stop or perform a quick maneuver, the viewable display makes it clear to all occupants the status of the vehicle.
      The Chrysler Portal concept is constantly using Vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication that enables the vehicle to “talk” with the public infrastructure, Internet, and other vehicles via an array of sensors. For example, if an approaching ambulance is out of sight, V2X systems will notify the vehicle that the ambulance is approaching. Graphics on the high-mount display will communicate the oncoming ambulance by simulating its approach and direction, and the audio system will provide cues that the vehicle is approaching.
    • By William Maley
      Back in May, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made a startling announcement. The two would partner on building 100 specially prepared Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans with Google's autonomous driving technologies to be used for testing. Today, Waymo (the offshoot of Google's self-driving program) and FCA revealed what the van would look like.
      Yes, the van looks a little bit goofy with sensors sticking out on the front fenders and under the grille, along with massive radar dome. Other changes include major modifications to the chassis, electrical system, powertrain, and structure. Considering this took around six months, it is quite the achievement.
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months. They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer of Waymo in a statement.
      The vans will join Waymo's test fleet early next year.
      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
      Press Release is on Page 2


      CA Delivers 100 Uniquely Built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans to Waymo for Self-driving Test Fleet
      Waymo and FCA reveal first look at fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan Program kickoff to full vehicle assembly completed by technical teams in six months December 19, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and FCA announced today that production of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans uniquely built to enable fully self-driving operations has been completed. The vehicles are currently being outfitted with Waymo’s fully self-driving technology, including a purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems, and will join Waymo’s self-driving test fleet in early 2017. Waymo and FCA also revealed today the first images of the fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicle. 
       
      This first-of-its kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan thereby leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo’s fully self-driving technology.
       
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo. “They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”
       
      Waymo and FCA co-located part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the overall development process. In addition, extensive testing was carried out at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona, as well as Waymo test sites in California.
       
      “As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part of our daily lives.”
       
      Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 1.2 million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Waymo better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Back in May, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made a startling announcement. The two would partner on building 100 specially prepared Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans with Google's autonomous driving technologies to be used for testing. Today, Waymo (the offshoot of Google's self-driving program) and FCA revealed what the van would look like.
      Yes, the van looks a little bit goofy with sensors sticking out on the front fenders and under the grille, along with massive radar dome. Other changes include major modifications to the chassis, electrical system, powertrain, and structure. Considering this took around six months, it is quite the achievement.
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months. They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer of Waymo in a statement.
      The vans will join Waymo's test fleet early next year.
      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
      Press Release is on Page 2


      CA Delivers 100 Uniquely Built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans to Waymo for Self-driving Test Fleet
      Waymo and FCA reveal first look at fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan Program kickoff to full vehicle assembly completed by technical teams in six months December 19, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and FCA announced today that production of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans uniquely built to enable fully self-driving operations has been completed. The vehicles are currently being outfitted with Waymo’s fully self-driving technology, including a purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems, and will join Waymo’s self-driving test fleet in early 2017. Waymo and FCA also revealed today the first images of the fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicle. 
       
      This first-of-its kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan thereby leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo’s fully self-driving technology.
       
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo. “They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”
       
      Waymo and FCA co-located part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the overall development process. In addition, extensive testing was carried out at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona, as well as Waymo test sites in California.
       
      “As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part of our daily lives.”
       
      Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 1.2 million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Waymo better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.
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