Chrysler "Contemplates" RWD Sebring Replacement

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The saga of Chrysler’s Sebring/Avenger replacement has been the proverbial long and winding road. After losing its project chief and “contemplating” stuffing the whole development thing for an Altima rebadge, Chrysler’s “Project D” is finally starting to get some traction. Only it isn’t. Automotive News [sub] reports that Chrysler’s “something better than the world’s worst car for the mid-size segment” (as Farago put it) is going to look like the 200C concept. As and when, of course. But what about the actual car bits?

ChryCo was hoping to jump on the Epsilon II bandwagon, but with the Fiat/Opel deal DOA, that ain’t happening. And AN reports that “Chrysler executives are concerned that even a stretched version of [Fiat’s forthcoming 159] D-Evo platform might not be wide enough for North America.”

Chrysler’s cunning plan? The mythical “shortened LX platform” that reportedly underpinned the 200C concept. Or not.

“Sources say Chrysler is interested in the shortened LX platform and would not necessarily build the concept as shown. Also, the D-Evo suspension would likely be used on the LX platform. Although the concept car was rear-drive, executives have said they could possibly build a front-drive version.”

Huh? It’s hard to tell what’s more pathetic, Chrysler’s abject flailing or AN’s straight-up (with a twist) reporting on the debacle.

Prospective engines for the 200C? Keep dreaming. Project D(OA) isn’t even at square one. Again. Still.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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4 of 27 comments
  • Superbadd75 Superbadd75 on Jun 22, 2009

    All of the major players in that segment are FWD, so making the car FWD isn't a big deal to me. Play the music your intended audience wants to hear. If they make the same mistakes in translating the 200C to production as they did with the Sebring, then that will simply prove that Chrysler doesn't care, and is just going through the motions.

  • CommanderFish CommanderFish on Jun 23, 2009

    Something to keep in mind... Sebring replacement != Avenger replacement. They're trying to repair the absolutely smashed reputation of the Chrysler brand and trying to bring it back upscale. The dealers are getting merged into all brands at 1 dealership so they don't have to sell entry-level Chryslers and the brand can go back to its sort-of luxury roots. The next Avenger is your Camry/Accord competitor, the next Sebring (200, whatever) will probably be more of a 9-5, S80 or RL competitor.

  • John Horner John Horner on Jun 23, 2009

    "The advanced oil filter system eliminates oil spills and contains an incinerable filter element instead of the typical spin-on filters, which are disposed of in landfill sites; the filter is conveniently located on top of the engine. The use of long-life spark plugs, regular gasoline, and a high-energy coil-on-plug ignition system also helps to reduce cost of ownership." This is all pretty standard technology on lots of modern engines. GM's Ecotec-4 uses cartridge filters as do many European designs. Iridium long-life spark plugs are the norm today. Ditto for coil-on-plug ignition. Interestingly enough, Fiat has access to the GM "High Feature" V-6 engines thanks to its former joint venture with GM. I have no idea what the contractual arrangements are post-divorce, but it isn't beyond comprehension to imagine versions of the GM V-6 engine designs ending up in future Chrysler products. As GM kills divisions and products its volume is never going to get back where it was just a year or two ago. Hence there is probably engine capacity to be had. GM and Chrsyler also have common shareholders now :).

  • Windswords Windswords on Jun 23, 2009

    "... it isn’t beyond comprehension to imagine versions of the GM V-6 engine designs ending up in future Chrysler products." Why would you want to buy a GM V6 for your company if you can make the equivalent engine for $300 cheaper a copy? Not to mention you just built a new state of the art factory in MI to build them with.