Chrysler Group is racing against time as it seeks to improve its lineup before a fleet of new Fiat-based vehicles arrives in 2012. Chrysler is working to install new features and equipment into 15 reworked vehicles. Chrysler has made it a point to focus on areas where it tested poorly in consumer surveys.
So far, Chrysler has revealed that it will add equipment, such as a Fiat dual-clutch, six-speed transmission and a new Chrysler V-6 that will improve fuel economy and driving dynamics.
It also intends to update its interiors. These vehicles are expected to be on sale by the first quarter of next year.
Chrysler's engineers are reportedly stressed out over the urgency of these upgrades. Another challenge that Chrysler faces is how it will inform consumers about these changes.
As an example, Chrysler has divulged that the Chrysler Sebring mid-sized sedan will get new front and rear styling, a new interior and a revised suspension for improved ride and handling.
A Fiat-engineered dual-clutch transmission will first feature on the Sebring. It will also have Chrysler's new Pentastar V-6 engine. The car will start production in the fourth quarter at its Sterling Heights, Mich., plant.