Right after Chrysler had its annual dealer preview in Las Vegas, Nevada, information about the Pentastar’s upcoming models began leaking out. We found out that the next-generation Chrysler 200, which is likely to be released in 2014, would be equipped with an all-new nine-speed automatic that transmission-maker ZF is presently developing. The next 200 would also be available with both I-4 and V-6 powerplants. According to The Wall Street Journal, this four-banger could displace 2.4 liters and the six-cylinder will be even bigger. It’s likely that the 2.4-liter will be the same Tigershark engine used in the 2013 Dodge Dart that features Fiat’s MultiAir technology. When the 2.4-liter Tigershark is used in the Dart, it can achieve an output of 184 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. The next 200 will probably be built on the same CUSW platform that the Dodge uses too. It’s expected that the previously mentioned V-6 would be the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 of Chrysler. It delivers 283 hp and 260 lb-ft in the present 200. The WSJ report also revealed that the 2014 200′s I-4 mated to the nine-speed can return 38 mpg on the highway.
The Dart is capable of returning 36 mpg highway when it’s equipped with a 2.0-liter I-4 and six-speed manual. However, the WSJ didn’t give specific details on the bodystyles that will be available. What we know is that when the new 200 starts selling in the start of 2014, it would still be offered with the usual sedan and convertible styles. It would also be offered in a new two-door coupe version to compete with the Honda Accord coupe. The next-generation Chrysler 200 will be the lone midsize sedan offered since the Dodge Avenger will be discontinued after the existing generation. Chrysler is relying on features like premium ambient lighting and quilted leather to lure customers away from midsize favorites like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Ford Fusion.
The WSJ also said that Chrysler seeks to double the sales of the 200 with the new model. Last year, only 87,033 samples were sold. Infiniti is working on a new entry-level, front-wheel drive compact that’s based on the Etherea Concept and built on Mercedes-Benz‘s MFA architecture. It appears that Infiniti is serious about competing in the rising compact market as it has previously announced that it is set to start production of a new compact in 2014. Infiniti may be thinking about offering a range of compact models that will be built on the MFA platform. Aside from the upcoming sedan, there may also be a coupe variant and a C-segment crossover entry. Magna Steyr in Austria will build the new entry-level compact. More details are expected to be released within the next two years. Presently, Mercedes-Benz has five different models that are based on its MFA platform, demonstrating its versatility. This indicates that Infiniti could use this platform for more compact models. So far, Infiniti hasn’t confirmed this report yet. It’s likely that the luxury brand will only make its decision after seeing how its new compact model is received.