CHRYSLER NEW CAR MODEL GUIDE
winged badge of Chrysler decorates the
prow of a variety of vehicles this year.
Chrysler's 2008 collection includes stately
sports touring sedans, a drop-top convertible,
racy two-seat sports coupes and roadsters,
a large crossover utility vehicle (CUV),
a grand-size sport utility vehicle (SUV)
and elegant minivans. Newsmakers in Chrysler's
line include the Sebring with a new definition
of the classic American convertible, and
the Town & Country minivan for a new
generation featuring three clever designs
for cabin seats.
Chrysler's flagship series of large-scale
sedans shows refreshed exteriors and revamped
cabins with a new instrument panel. Three
engines motivate the 300 sedans through
trims of the base 300, Touring, Limited
and 300C. The cushy, leather-trimmed 300C
totes a high-tech rendition of Chrysler's
fabled HEMI engine. The 5.7-liter V8 makes
340 horsepower through an electronic automatic
five-speed transmission with Chrysler's
AutoStick shifter. Its multi-displacement
system (MDS) switches to four-cylinder
mode when high power is not needed. Chrysler
sets the 300 sedans for rear-wheel-drive
(RWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction.
Sirius Backseat TV and Boston Acoustics
Matrix Surround Sound audio are also new
options for this year.
The initials of SRT Street and
Racing Technology mark the high-performance
vehicles for Chrysler. For the 300C SRT8,
a 6.1-liter HEMI V8 with output reaching
425 horsepower is available. Special exterior
modifications mark this one, like revamped
front fascia with brake-cooling ducts
and air dam or the rear decklid spoiler.
Its suspension tunes for tight sport work
and the brakes score four-piston Brembo
calipers. The cockpit contains special
sport bolstered bucket seats with suede
inserts and power-adjustable pedals, plus
an optional Kicker audio kit with 322-watt
amp. Curtain-style air bags are available,
as are the new 20-inch aluminum wheels.
The Sebring, Chrysler's mid-size sedan,
scored a complete make-over in 2007 with
three powertrain choices. This year, Chrysler
adds the Sebring Limited AWD edition powered
by a 3.5-liter V6 for 235 horsepower through
a six-speed automatic with AutoStick and
standard electronic stability program
(ESP) skid controls. The Sebring LX is
a price-leader entry edition, toting a
2.4-liter, four-in-line with 173 horsepower
and a four-speed automatic transaxle.
An optional 2.7-liter, V6 flex-fuel (E85-compatible)
engine earns up to 28 mpg. Sebring's airy
cabin sparks with stylish appointments
in two-tone highlights.
Chrysler's mid-size Sebring Convertible
offers a slick new design for 2008, bringing
three choices for the power retractable
roof vinyl, cloth or steel. No
other convertible has so many options
for its lid. The Sebring as a drop-top
splits into three versions, the entry-model
Sebring Convertible, the upscale Touring
edition and a deluxe Limited. Each model
adds exterior trim elements and interior
equipment, as well as a different powertrain.
An optional Harmon/Kardon audio system
has a dashboard touch-screen interface
to control a 20-GB hard drive for music
and video storage.
Chrysler's minivans debut new designs
for 2008, featuring a two-inch wheelbase
stretch with bold exterior lines and three
different three-row seat arrangements.
The Town & Country offers three available
trims, the LX, Touring and Limited. The
plans include a second-row bench with
fold-in-the-floor, third-row seat, inventive
Stow 'n Go with second and third tier
seats folding into floor stow bins. A
new Swivel 'n Go plan with second-row
seats rotating to face the rear bench
and a collapsible table in place between
the two rows is also available. Powertrains
culminate at a new 4.0-liter V6 with a
six-speed auto shifter, worth 240 horsepower.
Chrysler's full-size SUV comes with two
engine options and lots of cabin gear.
The top engine is the ultra-strong 5.7-liter
HEMI V8 with 335 horsepower and MDS to
save fuel. The alternate V8 is a new 4.7-liter
plant producing 303 horsepower and offering
an E85-compatible variation. There is
only the Limited trim Aspen available,
but it does offer choices for RWD traction
or full-time AWD with optional low range.
Safety equipment shows standard anti-lock
brake system (ABS) plus non-skid ESP and
curtain-style side air bags with Electronic
Roll Mitigation (ERM).
Chrysler's spirited two-seater is a RWD
sports coupe blending slick American car
styling with chassis and parts from Germany
via Mercedes. The collection includes
a hardtop coupe and open-top roadster
in two trims, the Crossfire and Limited.
Crossfire's engine is a single-cam 3.2-liter
V6 good for 215 horsepower. Noteworthy
mechanical tools are anti-lock brakes
(ABS), all-speed traction control (TCS)
and the non-skid ESP device. Standard
safety equipment include knee air bags
for both seats and a new tire pressure
monitoring system (TPMS).
Chrysler coined a descriptive tag for
Pacifica, the car-based CUV, calling it
a Sport Tourer. For 2008, Pacifica offers
two powertrain choices with FWD or on-demand
AWD traction. The base engine is a 3.8-liter
V6 netting 200 horsepower with a four-speed
automatic and Chrysler's AutoStick. The
optional 4.0-liter V6 generates 253 horsepower
and links to a six-speed automatic. Revised
trims offered are the LX, Touring and
Limited. An optional Entertainment Group
package installs a six-disc CD/DVD changer
with an 8-inch video screen behind the
driver's seat plus a video remote control
unit. The Light Sandstone Metallic is
Pacifica's latest paint choice.
Chrysler's five-door wagon comes in three
versions for 2008, with two powertrain
choices. Models include a base PT Cruiser
LX, the Cruiser Touring and deluxe Limited.
The first two draw from a twin-cam, 2.4-liter
in-line-four set at 150 horsepower. The
Limited pushes a turbo 2.4-liter four
tuned for high output. High-rise seats
and voluminous space with access through
four wide doors plus the flip-up rear
gate are also available. Seat-mounted
side air bags are now standard on all
The ragtop derivative of the PT Cruiser
looks like the lid of the conventional
model was pried off and a shapely roll
bar added to arch across the cockpit like
the curvy handle of a basket. This open-sky
edition gets a power convertible soft
top with rear glass window wired with
an electric defroster. One well-equipped
version for 2008, the PT Cruiser Convertible
pulls from a 2.4-liter, four-in-line plant
rated at 150 horsepower. Seat-mounted
side air bags are stock, and a TPMS is
also aboard. Cool body paints like Sunset
Crystal and Deep Water Blue prevail.
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