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Chrysler's new 200 convertible will reach showrooms by spring.

The lackluster Chrysler Sebring Convertible is about to get a wee bit more stylish replacement.  The maker has officially released the first pictures of an all-new Chrysler 200 Convertible, which will go into production later this year.

Versions of both the 200 sedan and ragtop will make their debut, meanwhile, under the Lancia badge, in March, at the annual Geneva Motor Show.

Significantly redesigned, the 200 sedan was launched last year.  (Click Here for TheDetroitBureau.com’s review.) But the maker was holding back on word of the convertible until an upcoming auto show preview.  At least that’s what it had planned until photos were unofficially leaked out to some Web outlets.

That forced Chrysler to put out an official press release – and to trigger an angry outburst by photographer Webb Bland, who declared it “infuriating,” on his Facebook page, that “five weeks of careful planning and logistics (were) destroyed in an instant…by one lone, misguided idiot.”

For those who care more about the sheet metal than the back story, Chrysler’s 200 Convertible will share most of the changes made, inside and out, to the 200 sedan.  That includes revised sheet metal and a largely all-new interior.  The instrument panel is a new one-piece design that is not only more visually appealing but, says Chrysler, it should also improve quality and reduce undesirable squeaks and rattles.

The powertrain choices, as with the sedan, will include the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which is mated to a 6-speed automatic, or a 2.4-liter inline-four.

Set for launch this coming spring, the Chrysler 200 Convertible will carry over one key feature from the old, unloved Sebring: buyers will have the choice of either a folding hardtop or a less expensive cloth convertible top.  Either package will allow the driver to roll the top down remotely using the wireless keyfob.

Chrysler’s Italian partner, Fiat, intends to reveal a rebadged version of the 200 at the General Motor Show, in early March.  Available in both convertible and sedan body styles, it will be sold through the maker’s Lancia brand.

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