Chrysler officially unveiled the Chrysler 200 sedan on October 12, 2010. A convertible is still to come, but it is unclear whether it will retain the Sebring name or move to the Chrysler 200 name and styling. The Chrysler 200 will, like the 2010 Sebring and 2011 Dodge Avenger, come with a 2.4-liter I-4 World Gas Engine mated to either a four-speed or six-speed automatic transaxle, or the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transaxle. Compared with the 2010 Sebring and Avenger, the 2011 Chrysler 200 has stiffened body mounts and softer ride rate, improved suspension geometry with a raised roll center, a new rear sway bar, and new tires and an extensively upgraded treatment for the reduction of noise, vibration and harshness including acoustic laminated glass for the windshield and front door windows. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic – which, to simplify, is essentially an automatically shifted manual transmission – is due for late availability is an option on the Limited model with the four cylinder engine only. A flex-fuel 3.6 liter V6 is to be optional on all but LX models, and standard on the Chrysler 200 S. The base price, including destination, will be $19,995, but Chrysler estimates that only 5% of customers will take that “downmarket” option. The Touring model raises the stakes to $21,995, and the Limited starts at $24,495. The base model comes with four-speed automatic, four-cylinder engine, 17 inch steel wheels, four speaker stereo, air conditioning, manual driver’s seat, and no options; most buyers will probably opt for the better-equipped Touring or Limited, described below. That said, even the LX has four-wheel antilock disc brakes, cruise control, stabilizer bars front and rear, and a 525 amp battery. With a more refined and spirited driving experience than the Sebring, innovative technology, an abundance of standard safety features and an extraordinary level of standard content, the 2011 Chrysler 200 is virtually all new or upgraded for 2011. The base Chrysler 200 LX will come with a four-speed automatic, four-cylinder engine, 17 inch steel wheels, four speaker stereo, air conditioning, manual driver’s seat, and no options. This is a low-margin item that dealers are not likely to be able to negotiate much on. The Chrysler 200 Touring, assumed to be the best seller, will feature the four-cylinder engine with a six speed automatic and optional V6; aluminum wheels; six speaker stereo; eight-way power driver seat; advanced trip computer; automatic climate control; automatic headlights; LED tail lamps; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter; satellite radio; individual tire pressure display; universal garage door opener; tilt/telescope steering wheel; alarm; ambient LED lighting; side airbags (curtain and thorax); new suspension; ABS; and stability control. The top-end Chrysler 200 Limited will include the same features, and add 18 inch aluminum wheels, hard-drive media center (430), heated leather seats, UConnect and iPod connector, fog lamps, bright mirrors/handles, express up/down key fob, and remote start. Exterior and sheet metal upgrades from the Sebring include the front and rear fascias and fenders, grille and badge, hood, rear decklid and exterior mirrors, projector headlamps and fog lamps, LED taillamps, and LED center high-mounted brake light. The new Pentastar V-6 engine produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque; it is hooked up to a six-speed automatic transaxle Interior updates include a new instrument panel, bezels and gauge face, upgraded seats with a new design that incorporates more cushion material and revised spring geometry as well as new leather and cloth seating materials, new “soft touch” door trim panels, new “soft touch” armrests and dash and new heating and cooling outlets in the instrument panel with improved design and functionality. Most buyers will probably get the four-cylinder, a newly retuned World Engine which should provide more low-end torque. We have no word on whether a MultiAir version will be ready yet; that would allow for similar or higher horsepower ratings with better torque. We don’t know whether both engines will get Chrysler’s smooth six-speed automatic, or whether one will get Fiat’s efficient dual-clutch automatic – a transmission which echoes one that was ready for Chrysler years ago, but was held back by the pennypinching Daimler acolytes. Most likely, the V6 will stay with the six-speed and the four cylinder, much as we hate to say it, will stay with the four speed. The convertible is due to be produced in February 2011, and it appears that the hardtop version will continue. It also appears that it will indeed be called “Chrysler 200 Convertible” as the Los Angeles Auto Show announcement refers to it that way.