Car Review - 2015 Chrysler 200S AWD By Henny Hemmes
By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel
...it is quite easy to take the 200S to triple digits
STAFFORD, VA. It is already a year ago, that the new Chrysler 200
celebrated its world premiere at the Detroit Auto Show. The new styling
immediately attracted many of my colleagues, including myself. With the new
face, the 200 showed the different design direction that the company had
taken. And it was about time!
Gone was the dull presence of the outgoing 200 and its earlier predecessor,
During the unveiling, I stayed away from the big crowd and watch from the Mercedes display area. Then I saw a familiar looking man quite close to me. I was confused, he should not be here.. or should he… wasn’t he with Chrysler design…? “Do you like it..?” pointing at Chrysler 200 on the turn table in the distance. “Sure, it is very nice, but I will go back later to look at the interior.” Then it realized that I was talking to Klaus Busse, who had started some 10 years ago with Chrysler as head of interior design and who was appointed Vice president interior design of the Chrysler Group last spring He smiled and said: “Let me know….” Busse is a fun guy. I recently read a story about how he likes to incorporate small elements in vehicles, that point at well-know images. He calls those ‘Easter eggs’ and they remain little secrets which the buyers should discover on their own.
But when I had my test drive with the 200S AWD, I saw an example before I even realized is was such a hidden feature: the rubber mat with the outline of Detroit’s riverside in the small storage bin in the center console.
I started my drive with the 200S AWD in November in Virginia. I knew that I had to go south on the I-95 from the airport to Stafford. But that Saturday afternoon the weather was lousy and the area was full of traffic jams. The navigation system constantly asked me if I wanted a little detour and guided me on different country and through some unknown places along local roads.
Our Chicago Bureau Chief Larry Nutson has already covered details of the 2015 Chrysler 200 models, like sizes and fuel economy, therefore, I will simply stick to the driving experience.
Luckily, I could fully enjoy the test drive with the 200 S during the next day. Chrysler uses the stretched architecture of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, that is well prepared for all-wheel drive and the optional 3.6-liter V6 24-valve VVT-engine with 295 hp and 262 pound feet of torque.
This fling does not mean that the 200S isn’t fun to drive. It is! Admitted the electric power steering could give more feed-back in tight bends, but it works fast and precise.
The ride is firm but comfortable, even with the low-profile 18-inch rubber. With standard all-wheel drive that is incorporated in the specially tuned sport suspension, the 200S offers sporty handling, but do not expect a Sports car in the true sense of its name.
Overall the 200S offers a confident drive with excellent stability, also at forbidden speed.
Customers who chose the S because of its sporty character, will have to keep an eye on the odometer, as it is quite easy to take the 200S to triple digits unnoticed.