Bright Silver Metallic Clearcoat (no charge); Quick Order Package 27V ($1,795 --includes standard equipment, 3.6-liter V6 flexible-fuel engine, 160-amp alternator; dual bright exhaust tips, engine oil cooler); Power Express Open/Close Sunroof ($845); Standard Media Center 430N With Navigation Added ($395 -- includes Garmin touchscreen navigation).
Naturally aspirated port-injected V6, flex-fuel
DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
283 @ 6,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
260 @ 4,400
Six-speed automatic with console shifter
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
The 200 likes a fair amount of wheelspin on launch. Upshifts all occurred at indicated redline and were smooth but not particularly fast. Fourth gear ratio dropped engine out of power band. Gobs of torque-induced nibble/wiggle coming through the steering wheel, but not "torque steer." I'm at a loss to explain the plummeting trap speed from 92.5 mph to 88.9 by fourth quarter-mile pass. Heat soak in a naturally aspirated engine?
Medium-soft pedal, moderate dive, some ABS pulse and buzz. Consistent stopping distances showed little fade, but from the experience of the 200 Convertible test a week ago (scored rotors), I chose not to attempt more than four stops. These rotors survived the braking test and only faded slightly after four quarter-mile runs.
Skid pad: With ESC off, good balance with minimal understeer. Some info coming through the steering wheel (nice wheel by the way) with medium weight and reasonable precision. With ESC on, there were slight corrections from brake application that kept the rear more planted and throttle closure kept the front tires from howling. Slalom: With ESC off, the turn-in is not particularly quick, but the grip is trustworthy and quite high. Quite a bit of lean, but again, plenty of grip. Eventually, it's the time in transition that becomes the limit, not understeer. With ESC on, slight dabs of brake just as the car grew loose and interesting. I also noticed it took the throttle away at the exit. Overall, lots of grip and remarkable poise.