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The Chrysler 200 makes its Lancia Flavia debut in Frankfurt

The newest joint venture between the American Chrysler Group and Fiat was introduced at this week’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show as the Chrysler 200 Convertible turned Lancia Flavia Cabriolet was introduced in production form as expected – although the sedan version of the 200 will not be making the trip across the pond as a Lancia model.

The Lancia lineup is getting a pretty significant refresh with help from the Chrysler 200, 300 and Town & Country as those models are shipped to Europe to be marketed as the Flavia (200), Thema (300) and Grand Voyager (Town & Country). There were originally plans to market the Flavia as both the convertible and sedan version of the Chrysler 200, but Lancia has decided to stick with just the drop-top model as the company does not expect that the Flavia sedan would sell well without a diesel engine option. However, the management at Lancia and parent company Fiat SpA believe that the gas-only engine lineup of the Lancia Flavia Cabriolet will be enough to help this open-aired Chrysler sell well in the European market.

The new Lancia Flavia Cabriolet that made its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show bears a striking resemblance to the Chrysler 200 Convertible in the American market with the exception of the Lancia badges in place of the winged Chrysler logo. Under the hood, the only engine available at launch will be the 2.4L 4-cylinder which sends 175 horsepower to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. Considering that the 3.6L Pentastar V6 is in use in Europe, you would think that Lancia would also offer this far-more-powerful engine option but perhaps that mill will make its way into the Lancia Flavia Cabrio in the future – as it would certainly offer a more engaging driving experience for European drivers. The Chrysler 200 has proven itself to be a vast improvement over the Chrysler Sebring that it replaces, with improved ride and handling capacities along with a more refined interior and with 283hp, the new V6 makes for a fun drive. However, for the time being, Fiat believes that the 4-cylinder powered Lancia Flavia will be a popular choice with those consumers looking for an affordable luxury convertible.

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