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William Maley

Chrysler News: Gilles: Next 200 To Redefine Chrysler Design Language

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By William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

January 18, 2013

When the next Chrysler 200 is introduced in 2014, its design will signal a change for the brand.

“The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don’t reflect where we’re headed. What I can safely say is we are deviating from where we are today, completely. It’s a very different feeling (and) look," said Chrysler chief designer, Ralph Gilles.

Gilles didn't go into detail about the direction the styling will go for the 200 and ultimately the Chrysler brand.

“Saad (Chehab, Chrysler brand president and CEO) and Sergio (Marchionne, Chrysler CEO) both were very instrumental in finding the new mission of the car – new branding. I think it’s going to be a beautiful and relevant vehicle,” Gilles said.

Other things the next 200 will have is a new nine-speed automatic and use Fiat's CUSW platform that currently underpins the Dodge Dart.

Source: WardsAuto

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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Interesting but this seems to tell me they are shooting themselves in the foot by clearly stating just how different the car will be. Guess they wanted to kill off any residual value in the current 200's.

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Yeah, I can pick up a used 2012 200 with a few ticks over 30,000 miles for $12k. There wasn't much "residual value" in the current Sebring/200 to begin with, so no worries there.

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Agreed my amphibious friend.

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>>“The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don’t reflect where we’re headed. What I can safely say is we are deviating from where we are today, completely."<<

This sort of corporate commentary always amazes me. All I ever read out of the above is 'Our current stuff is a mistake, trust me that we'll get it right the next time'.

You just don't DO this sort of thing intentionally in commerce.

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The 300 has become an icon through the last two generations. Dude HAS to know that, therefore, I choose to believe he is merely preparing the public for a vastly different styling future, not "exactly" dissing the current theme.

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^ You don't have to "prepare" the public, you just unleash it withOUT addressing the strongly implied inadequacies of the current product.

Auto executives spend FAR too much time preparing press releases over things no one would think about otherwise.

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Whatever the new 200 is, I hope they continue to offer a drop-top as when it comes to wanting a comfortable 4-place convertible that has good cargo room and isn't a muscle car this is the only American game in town. Always (secretly) liked the top-trim Limited hardtop convertibles, and with the refinements made from Sebring to 200 and the rock bottom prices on the used market I see it as a great value for a second car or a road trip cruiser.

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>>“The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don’t reflect where we’re headed. What I can safely say is we are deviating from where we are today, completely."<<

This sort of corporate commentary always amazes me. All I ever read out of the above is 'Our current stuff is a mistake, trust me that we'll get it right the next time'.

You just don't DO this sort of thing intentionally in commerce.

In this situation that phrase can be given with a straight face. They are trying to erase the Daimler/Cerberus era. Any other time, and your assessment is spot on.

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>>“The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don’t reflect where we’re headed. What I can safely say is we are deviating from where we are today, completely."<<

This sort of corporate commentary always amazes me. All I ever read out of the above is 'Our current stuff is a mistake, trust me that we'll get it right the next time'.

You just don't DO this sort of thing intentionally in commerce.

I really like the current 300, I don't know that they can go in another direction with it and not alienate the current customer base.

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>>“The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don’t reflect where we’re headed. What I can safely say is we are deviating from where we are today, completely."<<

This sort of corporate commentary always amazes me. All I ever read out of the above is 'Our current stuff is a mistake, trust me that we'll get it right the next time'.

You just don't DO this sort of thing intentionally in commerce.

I really like the current 300, I don't know that they can go in another direction with it and not alienate the current customer base.

I agree Drew, I think if they deviate from the current 300 DNA too much, they will loose the folks who are buying the auto's.

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It will be interesting to see where they go next....I really like the 300 as it is now, like the Charger and Challenger quite a bit also...hefty, sizeable, RWD, V8 available...everything i like in a car...

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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>>"I agree Drew, I think if they deviate from the current 300 DNA too much, they will loose the folks who are buying the auto's."<<

Correct- the implication is that the 200 'is in need of' a major revision.... but clearly the 300 is not. Conflicted message there.

Again IMO; you can address the future, well & good, but the current need not be so addressed (from a PR standpoint).

thedriver : I don't know that the 'Daimler/Cerebus' ownership period is on many people's 'front radar' today.

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I don't think the next-gen 200 will deviate too much from the current Chrysler formula. They'll exchange a few creases for a few more organic lines, and clean some of the small details up a bit.

Look at the 200C concept as a starting point and go from there.

Edited by black-knight

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But the implementation is that they are going to radically change their auto DNA to go in the direction they feel they need to go. This could hurt more than help Chrysler if they are not careful.

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That kinda burns me.... interior aside, how hard would it have been for Chrysler to build the 200c concept as is? THAT car would have sold and would have been a premium vehicle to wear the Chrysler name. It would have allowed Chrysler to drop the lower end 300C and push transaction prices higher though volume would be lower.

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Maybe the new 200 will be on a smaller RWD platform to be shared with an unnamed Dodge and the new 'Cuda. That would kick ass.

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I sure hope they don't style it so blandly like the Dart. Also a V6 should still be offered according to Chrysler from a smaller displacement version of the current 3.6 with 4 cylinder gas mileage.

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I sure hope they don't style it so blandly like the Dart. Also a V6 should still be offered according to Chrysler from a smaller displacement version of the current 3.6 with 4 cylinder gas mileage.

I disagree with you on your comment about the dart, it is anything but bland. I find it to be one of the more stylish compacts out there, far better than anything Honda, Toyota, Nissan has and competes well with GM and better than Ford products.

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    • By William Maley
      Chrysler isn’t the first, let alone the tenth automaker you would think of building a hybrid vehicle. Yet, they stunned the world last year as they introduced a plug-in hybrid version of the new Pacifica minivan. It currently holds the title of being the only full-size hybrid minivan sold in the world. On paper, the Pacifica Hybrid makes a good case for itself. Being able to travel up to 33 miles on electric power alone and returning a combined fuel economy figure of 83 MPGe. But how does it fare in the real world?
      The Pacifica Hybrid’s powertrain is comprised of a modified version of the 3.6L V6 that runs on the Atkinson cycle for improved efficiency; two electric motors and a 16-kW lithium-ion battery pack. Total output stands at 260 horsepower. Even though the Pacifica Hybrid is about 600 pounds more than the standard model, it doesn’t feel like it. The instant torque from the electric motors moves the van at a very brisk rate when leaving a stop. The gas engine will kick on when the battery is depleted or when more power is needed such as merging onto a highway. The transition between electric and hybrid power is barely noticeable. When the gas engine is on, it has more than enough power to get you moving on your way. An odd omission from the Pacifica Hybrid is being able to switch between electric and hybrid modes like you can do in other PHEVs. The van will automatically do it. This is a bit disappointing as some drivers would like to conserve battery when driving on a highway for example. The key numbers to be aware of are 33 miles and 84 MPGe on electric power, and 32 MPG when running on hybrid power. During my week, I was able to go about 34 miles on electric power alone and saw an average of 32 MPG for the week. Considering how big and heavy this van is, these numbers are quite impressive. Recharging times for the Pacifica Hybrid are 2 hours when plugged into a 240V outlet, or 16 hours for a 120V outlet. FCA is right on the money for the 120V time as it took around 16 hours for the van to be fully recharged.  There isn’t any difference between how the Pacifica Hybrid rides and handles to the standard Pacifica. Both exhibit a smooth ride, no matter the road surface. Going around a corner is not a big deal as body roll is kept very much in check. There are only a few things that separate the Pacifica Hybrid from the standard model. Aside from the charging door, the hybrid gets a different grille and wheel design. While the Pacifica Hybrid is designed to carry families, you would think differently after sitting inside. Our Platinum tester was kitted out with leather on the seats, contrasting stitching, and an abundance of soft-touch materials. This interior gives certain luxury cars a run for their money. No matter where you’re sitting in the Pacifica Hybrid, there is plenty of head and legroom on offer. Comfort is also a major plus point as all of the seats provide excellent support for long trips. One downside to the hybrid powertrain is the loss of the Stow n’ Go seats for the second row. That space is taken up by the large battery pack. At least you can remove the second-row seats, but be prepared to have another person help you as they are heavy. At least the third-row seats do fold into the floor. There isn’t anything different with the 8.4-inch UConnect system aside from the usual screens you would expect on hybrid such as a power diagram. This system is very simple to operate, but the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto leaves us slightly disappointed. Thankfully, this will be addressed with the 2018 model year as both become standard across the Pacifica lineup. We also had the chance to try out UConnect Access. This smartphone application allows you to check on how much charge is left on the battery, set up a charging schedule, trip information, remote lock and start, and vehicle location. While it is nice to have a key information within easy reach, it takes a long time for the application to pull it. We found on average that it took a good minute or two before updated information would arrive. For all of this tech, it comes at a price. The base Pacifica Hybrid Premium rings up at $41,995. Our Platinum tester came to $47,885 with an optional panoramic sunroof. That’s a lot of cash for a minivan, even one with a hybrid powertrain. But with the Platinum, you’re getting everything - navigation, rear-seat entertainment system, heated and ventilated front seats, and a ton of safety equipment. There is also the $7,500 federal tax credit and other incentives from various states that might sway some folks. But those only come into play when it comes time to do taxes. Disclaimer: Chrysler Provided the Pacifica Hybrid, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Chrysler
      Model: Pacifica Hybrid
      Trim: Platinum
      Engine: 3.6L V6 eHybrid System
      Driveline: eFlite EVT,  Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 260 @ N/A (Combined)
      Torque @ RPM: N/A
      Fuel Economy: Gas + Electric Combined, Gas Combined - 84 MPGe, 32 MPG
      Curb Weight: 4,987 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Windsor, Ontario
      Base Price: $44,995
      As Tested Price: $47,885 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Tri-Pane Panaromic Sunroof - $1,795
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