Chicago Auto Show: 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible

Article by Christian A., on February 10, 2011

Set to arrive in showrooms this spring is the 2011 Chrysler 200 convertible that is on display at the Chicago Auto Show. It will be offered with either a body-color painted steel retractable hardtop or a cloth soft top. In the US, the 200 will be available in three trim levels: the Touring, the Limited and the Convertible S model.

And for Europe, the 200 convertible will be re-badged as a Lancia. Similar to its sedan counterpart, which was introduced last October, the base convertible trim model features a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine.

Buyers may also specify for the car to be powered by a 283hp Pentastar V-6 engine, which is an option. Both options are matched to a reworked six-speed transmission. The 200 replaces the Chrysler Sebring. In a statement, Chrysler brand CEO Olivier Francois said that the 200 Convertible is the fourth new vehicle presented in the last three months.

It comes after the debuts of the new 2011 Chrysler 200 sedan and 2011 Town & Country minivan in Los Angeles and the introduction of the all-new flagship Chrysler 300 in Detroit. Francois also said that Chrysler product lineup is new for 2011 “starting in Chicago.” The convertible 200 is priced from $27,195, including shipping.

In the US, the 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible comes in three variants: the 200 Convertible Touring, 200 Convertible Limited and 200 Convertible S (late availability). Each of them boasts of safety, style and innovative features as well as an open-air driving experience at a surprisingly low cost. The initial Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price or MSRP of the Chrysler 200 Convertible Touring model is $26,445 excluding the destination cost of $750.

The initial Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price or MSRP of the Chrysler 200 Convertible Limited model is $31,240 without the destination cost of $750. There are approximately half a million convertibles and coupes sold in the US every year.

The latest 2011 earned its distinct position as an exciting choice for those who want just the right size for a convertible with 4 seats to accommodate adults and enough space in the trunk even if the top is dropped.

2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible has various color options like Bright Silver Metallic, Tungsten Silver Metallic Clear Coat (late availability), Bright White Pearl Coat, Black, Blackberry Pearl Coat, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat and Sapphire Crystal Metallic Clear Coat. The new 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible will come to US dealerships in spring 2011. This and the sedan are manufactured at Sterling Heights, Mich. Assembly Plant. Its sleek finish, beautifully crafted interior and modern exterior design are some of its highly attractive qualities.

Convertible fanatics that long for the excitement and freedom of a drop top but like the versatility of a car that can adapt to all seasons have finally found the vehicle to meet their needs. The new 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible provides four adult passengers with comfortable seating and sufficient space for cargo even if the top is down.

Consumers can choose from a retractable hardtop or soft top. The latest 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible is sophisticated and elegant. Its exterior, which consists of a fresh design aesthetic, new sheet metal, polished and clean surfaces as well as exquisite lines, carries on the new design trend for Chrysler.

Press Release

Chrysler 200 Convertible

Chrysler introduces the new 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible, offering consumers an open-air driving experience featuring elegant craftsmanship inside and out, a fun, yet refined driving experience, innovative technology, an abundance of standard safety features and an extraordinary level of standard content. The 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible is an exciting alternative for customers who want the benefits of a coupe and the true open-air freedom of a convertible, all at a surprising value.

Redesigned and re-engineered for 2011, the Chrysler 200 Convertible is unique in the standard specialty segment as a true mid-sized convertible that comfortably seats 4 adults and has enough room in the trunk, even when the power top is dropped. Consumers can choose from two automatically latching tops, a body-color painted steel, retractable hard top, or a cloth soft top, both of which can drop with the press of a button on the key fob.

With a new exterior design, refined ride and handling characteristics complements of an upgraded suspension, an efficient new powertrain, safety features that are all standard on every model, and a beautifully crafted all-new interior, the 200 Convertible stands alone in the segment for customers who crave the wind in their hair and sun on their face.

"The sky is the limit with the new Chrysler 200 Convertible, delivering customers stylish design with purpose and the most interior space in the segment, comfortably seating four adults and providing ample cargo space in the trunk, even when the top is down," said Olivier Francois, CEO - Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "The new 200 Convertible offers superb driving dynamics, a new exterior design, an all-new, beautifully-crafted interior and an abundance of standard features."

The new exterior design and sheet metal upgrades for 2011 include: front and rear fascias and fenders, grille featuring the new Chrysler brand winged badge, new hood, LED light pipe accents in front headlamps, rear deck lid and exterior mirrors, new projector headlamps and fog lamps, new LED taillamps and an LED center high-mounted stoplight.

The 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible provides drivers a fun, confident, handling performance in all driving situations, whether it's commuting to work or a weekend adventure on scenic roads. Virtually every part of the suspension has been retuned or redesigned for 2011, including 22 of 28 suspension bushings. The suspension geometry was completely re-engineered. The track is an inch wider, tire width has been increased from 215 to 225 mm and the Chrysler 200 has been lowered 12 mm in the front and 6 mm in the rear for a lower, wider, more substantial stance.

Customers will drive with confidence in the Chrysler 200 Convertible and experience less body roll, reduced vehicle shake on uneven road surfaces, improved isolation on rough roads, better steering precision, response and feel and increased grip with new premium tires.

A new and improved powertrain lineup also contributes to the new 200 Convertible's driving experience. The 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible is offered with the available new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine which provides an exhilarating driving experience that offers customers the best of both worlds - outstanding V-6 horsepower and exceptional fuel economy. The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and is mated to the 62TE six-speed transmission. Fuel economy is rated at 19 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. The proven 2.4-liter World Gas Engine, has been recalibrated and is now mated to a six-speed transmission for a fun and fuel-efficient driving experience. The 200 Convertible powered by the 2.4-liter I-4 engine produces 173 horsepower and 166 lb.-ft. of torque and has an EPA fuel economy rating of 18 miles per gallon (mpg) city and 29 mpg highway.

The all-new interior for 2011 allows customers to step into a level of craftsmanship, content and comfort that is world-class. The all-new one-piece instrument panel, bezels, gauge face and Chrysler steering wheel transform the driver's seat into an elegant atmosphere. Upgraded seats with a new design that incorporates more cushion material and revised spring geometry, as well as new leather and cloth seating materials and six-way power driver and front-passenger seats envelop the driver and passenger. Designers developed the new 2011 Chrysler 200 with new "soft touch" armrests and instrument panel and new, premium interior finishes for touch points that are not only pleasing to the touch, but also to the eye. New heating and cooling outlets in the instrument panel offer improved design and functionality and complete the beautifully detailed interior.

The new Chrysler 200 Convertible offers customers innovative features to keep them connected and make the drive something to look forward to. Features include new ambient interior lighting and a new Chrysler brand steering-wheel with integrated controls that allow the driver to operate the radio, cruise control, handsfree phone and other vehicle functions while keeping their hands on the wheel. Drivers stay connected with an available media center with voice command that is easy to use and offers SIRIUS Satellite Radio, a 30 gigabyte HDD/CD/DVD/MP3 radio with SIRIUS Travel Link, which provides real-time information.

With every available safety and security feature standard in the new 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible, consumers receive peace of mind at a price they can afford. The 200 Convertible's standard safety features include: advanced multi-stage front passenger air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags, electronic stability control (ESC) with brake assist and traction control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), Brake Override, active front-seat head restraints, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) child seat anchor system, remote keyless illuminated entry, SentryKey engine immobilizer and security alarm.

The 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible is available in three different configurations in the United States - the Chrysler 200 Convertible Touring model, 200 Convertible Limited model and the 200 Convertible S (late availability) model. All are packed with style, safety, innovative features and a dynamic, open-air driving experience at a surprising value.

The Chrysler 200 Convertible Touring model has a starting U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $26,445 excluding $750 destination.

The Chrysler 200 Convertible Limited model has a starting U.S. MSRP of $31,240 excluding $750 destination.

The standard specialty segment averages roughly a half million coupes and convertibles sold in the United States each year. The new 2011 Chrysler 200 is uniquely positioned as an exciting alternative for customers that want a true mid-sized convertible that comfortably seats 4 adults and has enough room in the trunk, even when the top is dropped.

The 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible is available in the following exterior colors: Blackberry Pearl Coat, Bright Silver Metallic, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Bright White Pearl Coat, Black, Sapphire Crystal Metallic Clear Coat or Tungsten Silver Metallic Clear Coat (late availability).

The new 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible will arrive in U.S. dealerships in spring 2011. The Chrysler 200 Convertible and sedan are built at the Sterling Heights, Mich. Assembly Plant.

Sleek, Modern Exterior Design, Beautifully Crafted Interior - the Sky is the Limit

Convertible lovers who seek the fun and open-air freedom of a drop top, but want the practicality of a car for all seasons and appreciate the sleek styling of a coupe have the answer to their needs with the new 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible. The 200 Convertible provides comfortable seating for four adult passengers and ample cargo space, even with the top down. Consumers can choose either a cloth soft top or retractable hardtop.

Sophistication and elegance are embodied in the new 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible. With a new design aesthetic, new sheet metal, clean and sleek surfaces, and exquisite lines, the exterior of the vehicle continues the new design direction for the Chrysler brand.

"Attainable elegance was at the forefront when designing the new Chrysler 200 Convertible," said Brandon Faurote, Head of Chrysler Design - Chrysler Group LLC. "With its new interior featuring fluid surfaces that are soft to the touch and sensuous lines inside and out, current and potential customers will be impressed with the overall craftsmanship the new 200 Convertible delivers."

The new design is immediately noticeable with the new, sculpted front fascia and hood. The sculpted fascia features Chrysler brand's new, distinctive grille, inspired by the iconic Chrysler 300, with a liquid chrome finish and the new signature winged badge. A new hood, front fascia and fender are united by new signature projector headlamps that carry a unique graphic shape and an LED positioning light-pipe, giving the vehicle a stylishly fluid look that is elegant as well as efficient. The new, more sculpted lower fascia highlights the new projector fog lamps with bright blade accents. Inspired by an airplane wing over a jet engine, represented by the fog lamps, the bright blades add a dramatic detail to the lower fascia and tie in beautifully to the blades of the upper grille.

The Chrysler 200 Convertible exterior enhancements continue with a new rear deck lid that holds a chrome light bar visually connected to the new LED taillamps. Completing the transformation of the new 200 Convertible is a new rear fascia with an integrated accent color valence panel that carries dual chrome exhaust tips. A bright sculptural blade that echos the appearance of the front design details, elegantly finishes the top of the valance. The new exterior mirrors have a family look to the all-new Chrysler 300 mirrors.

Also new for 2011 is a new, elegant, multi-spoke 18-in. aluminum wheel with polished face/painted pockets and beautifully-detailed center cap with the Chrysler wing. Additionally, the side view appearance is enhanced by lowering the ride height of the vehicle 12 millimeters in the front and 6 mm in the rear, which helps with aerodynamics and handling as well. Form and function continue to work harmoniously together, particularly in the rear three-quarter view, by widening the track for a more planted, solid look and better handling characteristics.

Maximizing interior comfort on the all-new interior of the 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible is a host of amenities that include a new, richly-decorated instrument panel, new, larger gauge faces and chrome bezels. A newly designed Chrysler brand steering wheel with top grain leather and integrated controls for audio, phone and speed control, transforms the driver's seat into an elegant and premium atmosphere.

Expert craftsmanship with a clean, modern flair can be seen in the new soft-touch armrests and sculpted one-piece instrument panel. New finishes for touch points are pleasing to the senses. Customers will notice sleek and modern design lines throughout the interior, highlighted by a flowing feature line that is carried along the passenger-side instrument panel. The modern, elegant design theme flows into the new door trim panels, minimizing decorative trim and instead focusing upon beautifully designed and crafted materials.

Integrated into the center stack is Chrysler brand's signature clock that has been reinterpreted with classic and modern angles and nestled in chrome. This unique execution is carried to the chrome-detailed air vents that offer improved design and functionality.

The design execution from the instrument panel flows to the center console which provides increased storage and illuminated cup holders.

The newly designed seats have been upgraded with new leather and cloth materials. Increased cushion and revised spring geometry envelopes occupants, providing comfort and support that is perfect for all driving situations, whether it be taking curves on mountain roads or taking a leisurely Sunday drive.

The 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible is available in the following exterior colors: Blackberry Pearl Coat, Bright Silver Metallic, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Bright White Pearl Coat, Black, Sapphire Crystal Metallic Clear Coat or Tungsten Silver Metallic Clear Coat (late availability).

For 2011, the cloth soft top is available in Pebble Beige or Black. The retractable hardtop, body color.

Interior choices for the 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible are Black or Black with Light Frost Beige, both are available in cloth or leather.

From the ground up, the new 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible has been redesigned and upgraded to deliver great American design and engineering, with a value proposition that exceeds expectations. The new chassis architecture delivers world-class performance handling, braking and precision steering, with maximum grip and control. The new powertrains offer outstanding V-6 horsepower and exceptional fuel economy. The 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible is an exciting alternative providing customers elegant design and a beautifully crafted, spacious interior that comfortably seats four adults.

"The new Chrysler 200 Convertible benefits from the recently introduced, re-engineered 200 sedan," said Ben Winter, Vehicle Line Executive - Chrysler Group LLC. "We applied the same principles we used with the sedan to re-engineer the 200 Convertible. The result is the new Chrysler 200 Convertible, a car that delivers a fun, refined, responsive driving experience with ample interior space and a style unmatched in the segment."

The Chrysler 200 Convertible gets a new powertrain lineup for 2011, with the choice of the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, that produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and offers 19 mpg city and 29 mpg highway fuel economy, or the proven 2.4-liter World Gas Engine, which produces 173 horsepower and 166 lb.-ft. of torque and has an EPA fuel economy rating of 18 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. Both engines are mated to the 62TE six-speed automatic transmission.

A confident, fun driving experience is the result of major suspension upgrades

The 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible features an improved driving experience across the board, with almost every system in the suspension being redesigned or retuned, including 22 of the 28 suspension bushings. The changes result in noticeable improvements in ride, routine handling and if needed, emergency maneuvers.

Ride handling was upgraded to world-class levels by improving body control, reducing vehicle shake and improving isolation. Improvements include:

Suspension dampers were retuned using advanced damper valving technology, providing more body control without degrading ride comfort
Redesigning the front suspension cradle isolators, reducing vehicle shake on uneven road surfaces and providing a more solid feeling to the vehicle
Redesigning the front suspension strut mounts, resulting in improved isolation and reduced impact noise on rough road surfaces
Handling characteristics of the new 200 Convertible were re-engineered, enabling drivers to have an exhilarating driving experience under normal driving conditions.

The steering feels more responsive and precise, there's more stability when changing lanes, less body roll and more steering sensitivity, giving the driver confidence and control
The 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible was lowered 12 mm in the front and 6 mm in the rear, improving steering response
The steering gear was retuned, the torsion bar and intermediate shaft isolator rates were increased, resulting in a more precise steering feel
The geometry was modified to increasing rear roll-steer, improving lane change stability
Spring rates and the size of the front and rear stabilizer bar diameters were increased, reducing body roll and increasing steering sensitivity
Steering precision and durability were improved by retuning the rear suspension link bushings
Rear suspension bushings, including the toe, camber and spring links, incorporate larger bushings and ball joints for increased lateral stiffness
New design for the rear knuckles and larger diameter bushings increased the roll center height, camber gain and roll understeer resulting in improved steering and cornering response
Engineers also addressed handling during emergency maneuvers.

Better capability when cornering and more precise steering and stability
Revising springs and stabilizer bars, geometry changes and bushing changes improve the steering precision and stability during emergency handling maneuvers
New, premium tires provide increased grip and cornering capability, that result in improved stopping distance and emergency handling performance
On both soft and hard tops, the easy-to-use power convertible top folds in three sections and automatically latches. Owners can drop the top with a switch on the instrument panel, or with the press of the button on the key fob. The soft top takes about 27 seconds to raise or retract, while the hard top takes 30 seconds. A standard automatic hard tonneau cover neatly conceals the top stowage area when the convertible top is down. When either the hard or soft top is stowed, the trunk offers plenty of easily-accessible cargo space.

"Smart Glass" protects the top weather strips and window seals in the 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible. The system works by lowering the windows slightly whenever the convertible top is lowered or when the doors are opened or closed. When the door handle is pulled, the 200 Convertible's Smart Glass lowers the window 0.4 inches, which allows the door to open without resistance or damage to the window or top weather strips. The window remains in this slightly lower position until the door is closed, at which point the glass rises completely to fully close the gap.

The 200 Convertible's all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine delivers world-class refinement and efficiency. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is an all-new design, featuring dual overhead camshafts (DOHC), aluminum exhaust manifolds, polymer-coated piston skirts, forged connecting rods and a high-pressure die-cast aluminum cylinder block in a 60-degree configuration.

Refinement was a key objective for every component during the design phase of the engine and was achieved by using advanced computer-aided engineering techniques. Structurally, intake and exhaust areas of the engine are designed to deliver low levels of overall sound and achieve specific audible sound quality goals that exceed discerning customer requirements.

The 3.6-liter V-6 engine design features DOHC and high-flow intake and exhaust ports, that in combination with variable-valve timing via dual independent cam phasing, allow optimum volumetric and combustion efficiency over the full speed and load range. This results in an exceptional, flat torque curve along with high specific power. The engine's torque exceeds 90 percent of its peak value from 1,600 to 6,400 rpm, providing customers outstanding drivability and responsiveness.

Designed to be environmentally responsible, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine features lead-free engine construction and an environmentally-friendly oil filter system with recyclable oil-filter element and no-spill removable feature. In addition, an integrated oil cooler is used to help protect the environment via incineration of the filter element. The use of long-life spark plugs and a high-energy coil-on-plug ignition system maximizes component life and helps reduce cost of ownership.

The all-new 3.6-liter V-6 engine delivers 283 horsepower (210 kW) at 6,350 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. (353 N•m) of torque at 4,400 rpm. The 200 Convertible Pentastar engine is rated by the EPA at 19 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

The all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is manufactured at Chrysler Group LLC's Trenton South Engine Plant in Trenton, Mich.

The proven 2.4-liter I-4 World Gas Engine delivers value, power and fuel efficiency. The 2.4-liter, I-4, 16-valve, aluminum block engine features dual variable valve timing, intake manifold flow control valves, acoustic cylinder head covers, dual counter-rotating balance shafts and an acoustic oil pan. This engine produces 173 horsepower (129 kW) and 166 lb.-ft. (225 N•m) of torque.

The 2.4-liter I-4 World Gas Engine is constructed with a high-pressure, die-cast aluminum block with cast-in-place iron liners, sand-cast aluminum ladder frame and aluminum cylinder head.

The 2011 200 Convertible features a new three-point engine mount system for the 2.4-liter World Gas Engine, resulting in reduced noise, vibration and harshness, and improved sound and isolation.

The 2.4-liter I-4 World Gas Engine is manufactured at Chrysler Group LLC's GEMA Engine Plant in Dundee, Mich.

The 62TE six-speed automatic transaxle was developed by building on the capability of Chrysler Group's four-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed automatic transaxle added two new primary gear ratios and a secondary ratio for optimized passing performance at highway speeds. The six-speed automatic transaxle provides quicker standing-start acceleration than a four- or five-speed transaxle because of a numerically higher first-gear ratio. A more robust differential with increased torque capacity enhances launch performance by requiring less torque management, electronically limiting the torque that is available during the initial stages of standing-start acceleration. Smaller steps between ratios also make for a smoother, quieter ride, as the engine speed doesn't change as often with each shift. In addition, more ratio choices, more appropriate ratios for quicker acceleration and a lower overall top gear ratio provide a quiet ride and improved fuel economy at highway speeds. The gear ratios of the six-speed transmission allow the engine to work more efficiently at lower speeds, providing the foundation for a spirited driving experience.

The 62TE six-speed automatic transmission is manufactured at Chrysler Group LLC's Kokomo Transmission Plant in Kokomo, Ind.

Strong acceleration characteristics combined with more fuel efficiency on the highway are two of the main attributes of Chrysler Group's newest transmission, the six-speed C636 Dual Dry Clutch Transmission (DDCT). The new, transverse-mounted gearbox will be available in the 2011 model year on the Chrysler 200 Touring models equipped with the 2.4-liter World Gas Engine (late availability).

The DDCT is the first powertrain application in a Chrysler Group vehicle as a result of the company's partnership with Fiat. It is designed specifically for lighter vehicle applications and is a first for Chrysler Group passenger cars.

Electro-hydraulically activated, the DDCT six-speed is expected to improve fuel efficiency.

Unlike traditional six-speed transmissions, the dual dry clutch transmission eliminates the torque converter and pumping losses associated with wet clutch transmissions.

The DDCT essentially is designed to operate much like a manual transmission, with two clutch discs driven independently by a common flywheel assembly. Odd numbered gears (1, 3 and 5) are located on one shaft assembly while even gears (2, 4 and 6) are on the other. Two gearboxes running in parallel, each with its own clutch, allows for the selection and engagement of subsequent gears, while the previous gear is still engaged. Gear changes are gradual rather than abrupt, ensuring a continuous delivery of engine torque and traction. Simply put, the gear is anticipated and pre-selected. As one clutch is opened, the other is closed, allowing shifting without torque interruption, resulting in quicker acceleration and near seamless shifting.

Additionally, with the lay-shaft arrangement of gears, there is flexibility to optimize gear selections for peak performance and fuel economy.

Smoother shifts, due to ideal gear spacing, are immediately noticeable to the driver. Ratios have been ideally spaced to help provide a smooth transition in-between gear changes. Using an ideal set of gears, the transition from first to sixth is smooth, with virtually none of the torque transfer generally associated with gear shifts in traditional automatic transmissions.

Precise shifting and a reduction of engine rpm's are key benefits that result in lower emissions. The use of a six-speed automatic also allows the driver a broad range of shifting behaviors, from enthusiasts looking for sporty performance, to commuters looking for optimal fuel efficiency.

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