Leaks aren’t typically a good thing when it comes to convertibles, but it appears the unofficial release of 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible press photos last week may have helped push the automaker to unleash additional information on its new midsize convertible.
Look familiar? It should, provided you’ve laid eyes on either the new 2011 200 sedan or the outgoing Sebring Convertible. Unsurprisingly, the 200 Convertible is based heavily off the latter, although the car has been extensively overhauled for the 2011 model year. Gone are the awkward hood strakes and clumsy front fascia, replaced instead with a cleaner hood stamping, smoothed bumper fascia, larger grille, and projector beam headlamps. Out back, slender tail lamps, and a new bumper fascia echo those used on the 200 sedan.
The remainder of the 200 Convertible’s exterior, however, is carried over from the Sebring, as are two roof options. Although the vinyl soft top option is no more, the 2011 200 Convertible will still be offered with either a power-folding cloth soft top, or a retractable folding steel hard top.
Revisions permeate beneath the sheet metal, however. As is the case with its four-door sibling, the 200 Convertible’s remodeled interior is perhaps the most substantial improvement over its Sebring predecessor. A new gauge cluster and instrument panel helps spruce up the cabin, and designers have labored to replace most of the despised rock-hard plastic panels with soft-touch materials.
Don’t, however, mistake this for a simple cosmetic reinvention. Chrysler notes its engineers have retuned the 200 Convertible’s suspension to deliver an improved ride quality, while simultaneously blessing the car with a number of powertrain upgrades. A six-speed automatic, for instance, becomes the sole transmission offering, and can be mated to either the base 2.4-liter I-4 or Chrysler’s new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6.
Do these revisions allow the 200 Convertible to leapfrog its competition? We’ll have an answer for you when we drive the car later this week, but certainly, this makeover will help dealers sell the car on something other than its price tag. Expect finalized pricing for the 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible to be released shortly before the car reaches dealerships later this year.