Chrysler has released the first full pictures of the 200 sedan, a new midsize offering that will replace the much-maligned Chrysler Sebring.
The upcoming launch of the Chrysler 200 marks a critical step in the planned revival of the Detroit automaker, which went through bankruptcy last year, emerging only with the help of a massive government bailout – which, in turn, was based on the U.S. maker’s effective takeover by Italy’s Fiat Automotive.
The once-popular Sebring largely crashed and burned following an ill-fated redesign a few years back. Though it can cost as much as $100 million to launch an all-new nameplate, Chrysler officials decided they needed to start fresh and initially planned to name the redesigned sedan Nassau, in honor of a popular concept vehicle.
But ultimately, they shifted gears and went with the Chrysler 200, a logical progression as the little brother of the brand’s full-size 300 sedan.
The new 200 will have a relatively short shelf-life, however, as it will be replaced, in several years, by a ground-up alternative sharing one of Fiat’s global platforms. But the 2011 200 gives a good indication of where the brand is now going.