What the new fighting strategy means is that the Avenger and Sebring may lose their top trim levels while some of the features that had defined them are shifted into what were previously the mid-range models, reports The Detroit News. The "Fight Back" moniker for the program seems to indicate the targeted competition are the carmakers that haven't been severly hurt by the fuel price rise and economic downturn - primarily the more efficient Asian mid-size sedans, though the Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion also rank among the likely suspects.
Other key changes to the top trims - for the Avenger, the R/T spec and for the Sebring, the Limited - include the elimination of the 3.5L V6 from each car's range, leaving only a more efficient four-cylinder. Fuel efficiency on the highway would improve by as much as 4mpg to 30mpg with the change, a gain of 15%, which is something that can't be scoffed at with the 2015 CAFE standards looming in the background.
Combining the higher levels of interior features, including navigation, upholstery and entertainment options with the more efficient powertrain makes for a more attractive package at a significantly improved value, but it's still a gamble as to whether Chrysler's cars can shake their image and persuade buyers looking primarily at companies like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan to stop into their showrooms.