EARLIER this year, Fiat czar and new Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed that a replacement for the ageing Sebring will arrive later this year, potentially with a new name.
“We’ve rolled up our sleeves and have torn apart that architecture,” Marchionne said at the time.
“You’ll see a completely different animal. We’re having a discussion about what name this animal should have. The jury is still out.”
According to the Detroit Free Press this week, Chrysler dealers and company insiders have confirmed Nassau as the new model's moniker - taken from the 2007 five-door concept of the same name.
It seems Chrysler and Marchionne are keen to distance themselves from the Sebring badge - a name with little to no cachet in the market.
“If you look at the Sebring and benchmark it against the competition, it’s not where it needs to be,” Marchionne said at the Detroit Motor Show.
It remains to be seen if the production model will bear any similarities to the concept, itself based on the rear-wheel-drive 300C platform.
While Marchionne offered little in the way of details, reports last year suggested the Sebring could move to Fiat's D-Evo platform - a stretched version of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta's C-Evo platform - maintaining its front-wheel-drive layout.
Earlier reports pointed to a possible 200C-based model to replace the Sebring, although the higher cost of a rear-wheel-drive layout could hinder the new model's pricing and placement. Its design, however, may still find inspiration in the stylish concept.
Chrysler is expected to offer the new model with a 2.4 litre petrol engine, utilising Fiat's Multiair valve-timing technology, along with a dual-clutch transmission.
Another Chrysler Group model scheduled for replacement in the next 12 months is the Dodge Avenger. While little has been revealed on the new model (or whether it too will get a new name), previous reports suggested it would debut on a rear-wheel-drive platform as a sportier alternative to the Sebring.