Detroit Preview: Mopar modifies Chrysler 200 with press release

Chrysler 200 Super S by Mopar

Chrysler’s 200 enjoys a not-quite-SEMA makeover for this year’s Detroit Auto Show.

With the Iowa Caucus behind us and Detroit’s auto show just around the corner, Chrysler’s aftermarket performance division – Mopar – attempts to inject itself into the national discussion with a couple of modified Chrysler products. The first, a high-performance take on the Dodge Charger, was profiled here earlier. The second, a mild-performance take on Chrysler’s 200, has also been announced. Notably, with what is dubbed the Chrysler 200 Super S by Mopar the descriptive runs longer than the number of substantive modifications.

You’ll remember the Chrysler 200 as one of the most resonant subjects – second only to Aaron Rodgers – of last year’s Super Bowl. With Eminem serving as front man, the newish 200 was derived from a donor Sebring, the legacy of Chysler’s abject failure in the midsize segment. And while the 200 represented a significant remake of a failed franchise, with enhancements to powertrain, platform and interior, you can’t disguise a pig with lipstick; ultimately, it’s little more than a prettier pig.

To create its 200 Super S the folks at Mopar presumably dropped Mary Kay and went instead to Max Factor. What Chrysler describes as “the extensive list of high-quality Mopar parts” is intended to enhance the performance and appearance of the Chrysler 200.

Stage One is largely cosmetic, and includes a large chin spoiler (we’ll call it the Leno), satin chrome fog light trim, grille surround and mesh in the upper and lower grilles. Body sides feature new side sills, belt molding, black chrome “200” badges and your choice of gray or ‘hyper’ black 18-inch ‘S’ alloys. In back, the trunk lid gains a spoiler, satin chrome light bar and a matte black lower diffuser with attached exhaust openings.  The rearmost modifications assume the new 200 actually passes other midsize sedans on the road; it certainly hasn’t passed them in sales.

Thankfully, Stage Two adds some actual hardware. A coil-over suspension, we’re told, lowers the 200’s center of gravity, while a cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust will arouse attention from the visually impaired. For those interested, the package will be available on the Chrysler 200S later in 2012.

Chrysler’s platform team has not kept it a secret: Despite the number of credible mods made to the Sebring to create its 200, this is but a stopgap measure before the introduction of an Alfa-based platform to Chrysler’s U.S. model mix. In the interim we can enjoy the 200 Super S by Mopar, while wondering if Eminem – in this year’s Super Bowl – will be covering Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl.