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Chrysler Sebring Convertible

Published: 29 November 2006

America’s best-selling convertible arrives here a year from now – complete with right-hand drive layout, tax-friendly turbo diesel power, metal folding roof, sharpened dynamics and a £22k price.

Unveiled at this week’s Los Angeles motor show, the all-new Sebring will come with the choice of either a Volkswagen-sourced 2.0-litre 140bhp turbo diesel fourpot or Chrysler’s own 189bhp 2.7-litre V6 petrol engine, hooked up to six-cog automatic or manual boxes. Chrysler’s engineers claim that roof down, the new convertible is two and a half times stiffer than its predecessor, which is just as well as the previous model – which was sold in minute quantities here back in 2001 – had all the torsional rigidity of a wet bath sponge.

Particular attention has been paid to the new car’s packaging. Roof up, there’s room in the boot for four golf bags. Open up and the boot will still swallow two golf bags – vital accessories for would-be Sebring owners. That three-piece folding metal roof is fully automatic and can be activated using the car’s key fob. And as we’ve come to expect from Chrysler’s European offerings, the convertible will undergo suspension and steering upgrades to firm up its ride and sharpen its handling.

With prices ranging from £22-25,000 the Sebring Convertible will be hoping to attract potential Saab 9-3 and Audi A4 convertible buyers with its combination of exclusivity, attractive pricing and a long list of goodies. Expect standard specification to include powered leather seats, climate and cruise controls, an advanced infotainment system complete with 20 gigabyte hard drive, alloy wheels and metallic paint.

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars

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