By Patrick Rall
The Chrysler Group issued a statement yesterday explaining that the production of the 2014 Chrysler 200 and 2014 Dodge Avenger would end in December so that the company can begin preparing the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant to build two new vehicles – the 2015 Chrysler 200 and a currently unnamed midsized sedan that will replace the Dodge Avenger.
It has been speculated for some time that the Dodge Avenger would be killed off when the next generation Chrysler 200 was introduced but this is the first time that it has been officially suggested that there would still be a midsized Dodge sedan. It has been assumed up to this point that the Avenger would be killed off so that the company would only offer one midsized sedan but yesterday’s announcement loosely confirms that there will be a Dodge alternative to the 2015 Chrysler 200.
The 2015 Chrysler 200 and the new Dodge midsized sedan will be built on the same CUSW platform that carries the new Dodge Dart and the new Jeep Cherokee. We can expect the next 200 and the new Dodge sedan to be bigger than the Dart and possibly bigger than the current 200 and Avenger. The midsized segment has seen a shift to the bigger side of things which is well represented by the likes of the Ford Fusion, the Mazda6, the Hyundai Sonata and the Kia Optima. The Dodge Dart is slightly larger than the major players in the compact market (Cruze, Focus, Elantra) so to help differentiate the new 200 and mystery Dodge sedan from the new Dart – these new midsized sedans could follow the bigger design theme displayed by those models mentioned above. Luckily, the Dodge Charger is so much bigger than the Dart and the current Avenger/200, Chrysler can add quite a bit of size to their new midsized entries without stepping on the Charger’s toes.
We can expect that the next generation Chrysler 200 and Dodge midsized sedan will come with either an efficiency-minded 4-cylinder engine (possibly the 2.4L TigerShark from the Dodge Dart lineup) along with a range topping Pentastar V6. There is also the possibility that both of these new sedans will feature the new 3.2L Pentastar V6 rather than the 3.6L mill at work in the current 200 and Avenger – or the 3.2L will serve as the base engine while the 3.6L option would be a performance minded option.
With production of the 2015 Chrysler 200 and Dodge midsized sedan slated to start sometime during 2014 after retooling of the plant beginning in December – it shouldn’t be long before we know more about these new sedans. Chrysler could use the LA Auto Show later this year or perhaps the Detroit show next January to debut this car with production beginning early in 2014.
Source: Automotive News