2014 2nd gen Chrysler 200 has 9-speed auto with rotary dial

The all new second generation Chrysler 200 is set to debut at next week’s 2014 Detroit Motor Show, but thanks to a snafu at Chrysler’s PR department images and details of the new car have been accidentally unleashed onto the internet.

Updated (14 Jan, 2014): We’ve added even more photos and updated the article with confirmed details about the new 200.

Apart from the name, the new Chrysler 200 shares little with the unloved sedan that preceded it into showrooms. That car was a facelifted version of the ugly, unloved and underengineered Sebring. The new car is based on the not-exactly-successful Dodge Dart, which shares many of its oily bits with the Alfa Giulietta and Jeep Cherokee.

The new Chrysler 200 will come standard with a 137kW/235Nm 2.4-litre 4-cylinder Tigershark engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels. In US testing this combination is said to drink just 6.7L/100km. Those wanting more grunt can opt for Chrysler’s 220kW/355Nm 3.6-litre V6. All-wheel drive is optional and, like the system employed on the new Jeep Cherokee, is able to completely disengage the rear axle when not required, this reduces friction losses and improves fuel economy.

Instead of a regular gear shifter, the new Chrysler 200 will feature a rotary dial. We suspect it will operate in a similar manner to the one already employed on various Jaguar vehicles, although it will be smaller and won’t rise theatrically out of the centre tunnel when the car is started.

With only one truly successful sedan in its American range Fiat-Chrysler is hoping that the new 200 will be a smashing sales success. Given the divisive new smooth look that shares nothing in common with the more macho Chrysler 300, it’s not certain that the new 200 will reap the riches that its creators are hoping for.

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]