Chrysler has recovered quicker than most industry experts predicted. That has been based on a lot of new and much-improved models, as well as a rebounding auto market. Leading the charge with big increases versus the Sebring has been the Chrysler 200.
It was launched with the now-famous “Imported from Detroit” ad featuring Eminem. The 200 is a big improvement over the lackluster Sebring. After having some time spend with it though, we’ve concluded that it is no performance machine – far from it. Power from its 283-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is great but the suspension is an unwilling dance partner. Chrysler launched a 200S model before, and it is a cosmetic package that doesn’t change things up in a big way.
The Detroit show next month is set to launch a more hardcore (at least visually) version, called the 200 Super S. It is a package conceived by Chrysler’s Mopar performance division.
To us it is a more of a collection of parts than a standalone model. It is available in Stage One and Two guises. There is a new mesh grille, side sills, front lip spoiler and satin chrome trim on the grille surround, fog lights and side moldings. Gray or black 18-inch wheels and black 200 logos round out the changes. Stage Two offers up a cold-air intake and a cat-back exhaust, while swapping out the suspension for a coil-over setup that lowers ride height.
The Super S packages will arrive this Spring. Somehow we still aren’t convinced about the 200’s sporting credentials. The drive is pretty squishy on the standard car, so Mopar has its work cut out for itself. These packages and the lack of any true performance iteration a la SRT mean Chrysler isn’t serious about performance with the 200. That’s good, because most of us wouldn’t take it seriously. Maybe with the next-generation car guys….