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Tony O'Kane | Jun 24, 2009

RECENT REPORTS suggest that the newly re-organised Chrysler is giving serious consideration to bringing the stunning 200C concept to market as a RWD replacement for the poorly performing Sebring and Avenger product lines - a move that would undoubtedly have Pentastar fans everywhere jumping for joy.

The Sebring and Avenger aren't long for this world, with production set to cease at Chrysler's Sterling Heights plant by the end of 2010.

Various ideas for their replacements have been floated, ranging from Fiat or even Opel-platformed mid-size FWD sedans, but word around Detroit is that the company favours an all-American car based on a shortened version of the 300C's LX platform. chrysler_200c_c_01

The 200C plug-in hybrid concept that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year utilised a cut-down LX platform, and, as a concept, appeared to be not all that far from being a roadworthy vehicle.

The hybrid powertrain and electric drive motors would likely make way for Fiat-sourced inline fours or Chrysler's own Pentastar V6, however the 200C's rear-wheel-drive layout would probably stay.

The styling is fresh and modern and should Chrysler put the 200C's shapely bodywork into volume production, it'll likely be one of the best-looking American cars on sale.

chrysler_200c_c_02

After the Sebring and Avenger depart, Chrylser will be in desperate need of a volume-selling mid-sized sedan, and if it can bring to market a low-cost RWD production version of the 200C concept, odds are it will give Chrylser sales a real shot in the arm - and a dynamic advantage over its mostly FWD opposition.

But there are a couple of hurdles that may need to be overcome. Cost may become an issue, with the RWD LX platform potentially costing more than an equal-sized FWD platform.

Is the unique selling point of having the only domestically-produced RWD mid-size sedan worth the expense, or will Chrysler capitulate and replace the Sebring/Avenger with another front-driver? We should find out soon enough.

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