Since Fiat took full ownership of Chrysler on January 1, 2014 it seems that the best of both automakers has been exhibited in three mutual automotive collaboration projects. The Dodge Dart and compact Jeep Cherokee were the first two offerings to roll off the assembly line on the same identical Fiat based platform as the sporty Alfa Romeo Giulietta Hatchback. The third to utilize this successful infrastructure will be the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200. The 200 is an affordable mid-sized sedan that is expected to offer standard features that are comparable with a full-sized luxury sedan, with a focus on safety. This multi-vehicle platform has been used successfully by the Honda Motor Company with their Civic compact sedan, CR-V, Accord mid-sized sedan, and Pilot mid-large crossover.
The floor pan and structural elements of the three vehicles are virtually identical despite varying wheel base specifications for each, with the Giulietta being the shortest and the Jeep Cherokee being the longest. Chrysler engineers and designers will not say exactly what the limitations are but they are convinced that the same platform can sustain even longer body configurations in the future. Commonality between multiple car lines will allow Fiat-Chrysler to offer vehicles with top-tier standard technological, audio, communication, connectivity, and safety features to consumers at lower prices. It also allows the car maker added flexibility. With three separate assembly plants currently in production, the 200 plant in a suburb of Detroit, the Cherokee in Toledo, Ohio and the Dart in Belvedere, Illinois, units could overlap from one plant to another should one model outsell the others by a vast margin. A great degree of planning and forethought has been invested into this strategy which is expected to pay dividends in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The 2015 Chrysler 200 will benefit from many of the high-end features which Jeep Cherokee owners have grown to expect. Keyless ignition and entry, air conditioning, cruise control, 17-inch wheels, USB/iPod integration, auxiliary audio input, and a 5-inch LCD touchscreen are all standard on the base LX model.
Standard safety features include antilock brakes, electronic stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, and front knee airbags on both sides. An optional rear view camera, blind spot safety warning system, lane departure warning and prevention system, a forward collision alert with mitigated braking system, automatic cruise control system, and class exclusive parking assist system are also available as optional equipment.
The 2015 Chrysler 200 also features class leading power from the optional 295-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine. Standard fare for the 200 is a 2.4-liter TigerShark multiair four-cylinder that delivers 184-horsepower. Both engines are mated with a new nine-speed automatic transmission with optional steering wheel mounted paddle shifters (on the S model). The V6 engine option is also available with all-wheel drive inspired by the Cherokee.