Leaked specs and photos of the 2015 Chrysler 200 make me mad I can’t hate it anymore

I never thought I’d ever have another good word to say about the Chrysler 200. Then Chrysler goes and does something like this … and totally redeems the breed. Damn you, Chrysler. I loved having at least one new car to hate. And you’ve taken that away from me.

Anyway. What we see above are some leaked photos of the 2015 Chrysler 200, which will debut next week at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. I think you’ll agree; it’s a thing of beauty.

Some of my fellow automotive journalists have compared it to the Audi A7. I disagree. I think it looks more like a lux version of the Dodge Dart, which it is. While the exterior is absolutely impressive, it’s the rumored drivetrain bits that have my eyebrows raised.

The engine is rather standard fare for a compact Chrysler: a 2.4-liter TigerShark four-cylinder that makes 184 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. From there, customers can option the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that’s good for a V8-rivaling 295 hp and 262 lb-ft.

This is where it gets interesting. These engines will be mated to Chrysler’s new nine-speed auto, which will be shifted with a rotary dial. And from the new trans, power will be sent to all four wheels through a system called, according to World Car Fans, “innovative all-wheel drive”, that can – like the new Mercedes CLA45 AMG – disconnect the rear axle when it’s not needed for power or traction.

So to summarize: the next-gen Chrysler 200 will be stunning to behold, powerful, and technically savvy. Right.

Now, which new car can I hate on? Does Daewoo still sell cars? I sure hope so.

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