Vehicles clustered behind the Chrysler badge from Chrysler in 2006 include two convertibles, racy two-seat sports coupes and roadsters, a crossover SUV and elegant minivans, plus stately sports touring sedans in the 300 series. And there are two high-powered performance models emerging
from Chrysler's sporty SRT group.
Chrysler 300 Series
Titled under a numeric label, Chrysler's flagship series of large-scale sedans ride on a platform developed through parent DaimlerChrysler and share some components with a sedan by Mercedes-Benz plus two cars from Dodge. Three engines are available to power the sedans through four trims tagged as base 300, 300 Touring, luxurious 300 Limited and flagship 300C. Cushy 300C, with leather seats and simulated tortoise shell trim, totes a high-tech rendition of Chrysler's fabled HEMI engine with hemispheric combustion chambers. The 5.7-liter V8 makes 340 hp through an electronic automatic five-speed transmission teamed with Chrysler's AutoStick. It comes with a multi-displacement system (MDS) that can switch to fuel-saving four-cylinder mode when all of that power is not needed. Chrysler adds another option to the 300 line with an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system for the top two powertrains.
Chrysler 300C SRT8
initials of SRT - signifying "Street and
Racing Technology" - mark high-performance
vehicles for Chrysler, while the digit tacked
at the tail indicates the number of cylinders
in the engine. In the case of new 300C SRT8, that
means a substantial 6.1-liter HEMI V8 stuffed
below the big hood with output reaching 425 hp.
Special exterior modifications are revamped front
fascia with brake-cooling ducts and air dam or
the rear decklid spoiler.
Its suspension tunes for tight sport work and brakes score four-piston Brembo calipers. The cockpit contains special sport bolstered bucket seats with suede inserts and power-adjustable pedals, plus an optional 13-speaker Kicker audio kit with knock-your-ears-off 322-watt amplifier.
Chrysler's spirited two-seater debuted in 2004 as a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) sports coupe blending slick American car styling with chassis and parts from Germany via Mercedes. Original issues stocked a six-pack aluminum plant with a notchy six-speed manual gearbox or optional five-speed automatic and Chrysler's AutoStick selective shifter. In 2005, the collection expanded with open-top roadster editions. Both the coupe and roadster repeat in 2006 with two trims each -- Crossfire and Limited.
Limited models reflect a monochromatic paint treatment and carry luxury gear. Crossfire's engine is a single-cam 3.2-liter V6 good for 215 hp. Noteworthy mechanical tools aboard include power-assisted disc brakes tied to anti-lock (ABS) and all-speed traction control (TCS) systems, even a non-skid device called electronic stability program (ESP). Crossfire's retractable tail spoiler deploys above 60 mph to exert more aerodynamic force on rear tires.
Chrysler Crossfire SRT6
This is a swift performance variation of the Crossfire coupe or roadster stocking a hand-built V6 engine with supercharger added to push the power numbers way up to 330 hp. That's enough strength to propel this car from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds. Exterior adornments range from chin-spoiler fascia up front to a fixed wing spoiler on the tail. Sport bolstered buckets with suede inserts line the two-seat cockpit as special analog gauges drop into the instrument cluster.
Chrysler's big crossover wagon has lots of doors
- a pair of portals on flanks plus a liftgate
at the tail. Inside there are up to three rows
of seats with individual buckets for rows one
and two and a split bench in back that cradles
two comfortably or three in a pinch. In the '06
line, Chrysler shows three versions of Pacifica
with V6 powertrains in place and front-wheel-drive
(FWD) or on-demand AWD traction. The base Pacifica
installs seats for five on two rows while the
Pacifica Touring offers space for six people configured
in 2+2+2 layout.
model Pacifica Limited comes with luxury goods
- new equipment for 2006 ranges from BeltAlert
signals for front driver and passenger seats to
enlarged exterior rearview mirrors, larger glovebox
and stereo audio package with AM/FM/DVD for CDs,
CDs with MP3 files or DVDs.
Chrysler PT Cruiser
The wild five-door wagon from Chrysler appears in four versions for 2006 with two powertrain choices. Models include the base PT Cruiser, Cruiser Touring, Limited and GT. Base Cruiser, Cruiser Touring and Limited pull from a twin-cam 2.4-liter in-line-four set at 150 hp. The GT pushes a turbo 2.4-liter four tuned for high output, with this year's edition bumping up by 10 points to make 230 hp. All models show revised exterior styling with new fascia and a body-color spoiler capping the roof. The cabin is also fresh with new seat trim and fabric choices plus a revamped instrument panel. Marine Blue and Magnesium are two new exterior paint choices for the 2006 Cruiser collection.
PT Cruiser Convertible
The ragtop derivative of PT Cruiser looks like
the lid of a conventional Cruiser was pried off
and a shapely roll bar added to arch across the
2+2 cock-pit like the curvy handle of a basket.
This open-sky edition gets a power convertible
soft top with a rear glass window wired with an
electric defroster. Entry Touring model pulls
from a 2.4-liter four-in-line plant rated at 150
hp. Cruiser Convertible GT stocks the high output
turbo four bumped up to 230 hp. Both models also
score exterior and interior modifications made
to 2006 hardtop Cruisers.
The convertible treatment for Sebring rates as
the most popular drop-top in America. It presents
four trims for 2006 - entry-issue Sebring, GTC,
Touring and luxurious Limited. Sebring as a convertible
supports either an economical 2.4-liter four-cylinder
engine or Chrysler's lively 2.7-liter V6 worth
200 hp. The GTC comes with two-tone ultrahide
bucket seats. Sebring Touring trim has leather
seats with suede inserts and a leather-wrapped
steering wheel, while Limited applies premium
leather to seats and offers Chrysler's Autostick
Chrysler's mid-size sedan under the Sebring name shares the front-end styling of Sebring Convertible including similar fascia and grille. Model designations for 2006 extend to trims labeled as Sebring, Touring, Limited and new TSi. Base Sebring stocks a twin-cam 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 150 hp with a four-speed automatic transaxle, while the Touring plus Limited and TSi draw from a 2.7-liter V6 pegged at 200 hp. Sebring TSi gets the Autostick and a sport-tuned suspension, with exterior modifications like a ground effects package and low-profile tail spoiler plus 17-inch performance tires.
Chrysler's minivans in deluxe treatment come in standard-length and extended-wheelbase editions. Inside, the cabin shows seats in three rows with appointments like sycamore wood trim in the center dash stack highlighted by satin silver accents. Safety gear includes curtain-style air bags stretching the length of the cabin above all outboard seats and an inflatable air bag positioned forward of the driver's knees. And Chrysler's inventive Stow 'n Go seat plan works here with second and third tier seats folding into the flat floor and storage bins set below each chair in upright position. Top-of-the-line Limited caps this series and transforms the all-too-common minivan into a fancy people-hauler.