2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible's Solid Structure and Systems Deliver Smooth Driving, Tight Handling and a Quiet Ride

- High-strength steel reduces weight, improves impact performance

- Improved torsion and bending stiffness provides solid ride and handling

- Sealants and sound deadening materials, along with an available

factory-installed windscreen, provide a quiet ride, even when the top is


- First car line to offer three convertible top options, including a

retractable metal hard top

Mar 30, 2007, 01:00 ET from Chrysler Group

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Don't let the
 glamorous looks fool you -- the all-new Chrysler Sebring Convertible's body
 has as much substance as it does style with a solid, safe structure that
 provides excellent impact performance, a smooth, quiet ride and solid
 handling. An all-new convertible top system, combined with extensive use of
 sealants, sound deadening materials and an available factory-installed
 windscreen, puts a damper on any powertrain, road or wind noise, even when
 the top is down.
     Rigid Body Structure Delivers Superior Ride and Handling
     When developing the new Sebring Convertible's body structure, Chrysler
 Group engineers took extensive measures to make sure that the drop of the
 top doesn't mean a drop in the overall driving experience.
     "We've engineered the all-new Chrysler Sebring Convertible to have an
 extremely rigid body structure," said Larry Lyons, Vice President -- Front-
 wheel-drive Product Team. "For drivers, that means they'll have a quiet,
 comfortable ride, excellent performance and a solid feel with an absence of
 cowl shake, whether the top is up or down."
     High-strength steels, reinforcements and braces used throughout the
 body structure contribute to the improvements. These include:
        -- Reinforcements in the convertible's rear bulkhead, behind the rear
           seats and in the sills provide the stiffness that the roof structure
           and rear structural ring provide in the sedan body
        -- Adhesive-bonded, high-strength steel tubes in each sill and two sets
           of cross braces bolted to the underbody add strength
        -- A roll-formed, high-strength beam welded to the body structure under
           the rear seat improves side-impact performance
        -- Dual-phase steel used in the rear rails, tunnel reinforcement and
           sills adds body stiffness
     Compared with the model it replaces, this new Sebring Convertible's
 body structure is substantially stiffer than its predecessor in bending and
 torsion -- especially in bending -- due to very large sills. In fact,
 Sebring Convertible's new front-wheel-drive architecture and three-box
 vehicle design contribute to a body that is 2.5 times stiffer in torsion
 and 1.5 times stiffer in bending than the previous generation of
 convertibles. These refinements also make the new Sebring Convertible
 structure stiffer than other convertibles on the market that cost thousands
 of dollars more.
     Keeping the wind and noise out
     Sebring is the world's first car line to offer three different
 convertible tops: vinyl, cloth or, for the first time on Sebring, a
 retractable metal hard top. For soft-top convertible devotees, the vinyl
 and cloth tops deliver a traditional convertible look when the top is up.
 For buyers looking for a coupe with convertible functionality, the
 retractable hard top provides a sleek, coupe-like appearance.
     Both the hard-top and soft-top mechanisms have die-cast aluminum
 frames. To give it strength with less weight, the soft top includes a
 magnesium front header. The three-layer soft tops include a headliner
 backed with foam and Mylar(R), which helps contribute to the Sebring
 Convertible's quiet interior. The headliner also hides the insulation pad
 that is positioned between the outer cloth or vinyl canopy and the roof
 bows. The top's steel outer panels are painted body color. Weather
 stripping between the panels provides additional sealing to keep the wind,
 road and powertrain noise outside the vehicle.
     The convertible top system on both hard and soft tops is the same, so
 the tops fold in a similar fashion. The two rear rails are aluminum, but
 the front rail is steel, as are some of the inner rear panel
 reinforcements. The steel top provides strength when the top is locked in
 the raised position. When the top is stowed, each section locks in place to
 the one below it to prevent damage or noise.
     Open air driving in 30 seconds flat
     On both soft and hard tops, the easy-to-use convertible top folds in
 three sections. Forget leaning over to latch or unlatch the convertible
 top-manual roof-top latches are a thing of the past on the new 2008 Sebring
 Convertible, replaced with convenient automatic latching. Owners also can
 drop the top with a switch on the instrument panel, or (a first for
 Chrysler) with the press of the button on the key fob. The soft top takes
 about 27 seconds to raise or retract, while the hard top takes 30 seconds.
 Both are very competitive times in the segment. A standard automatic hard
 tonneau cover neatly conceals the top stowage area when the convertible top
 is down. When either the hard or soft top is stowed, the trunk still holds
 two easily accessible sets of golf clubs or other cargo.
     Smart Glass Knows When to Drop
     The 2008 Sebring Convertible also features "Smart Glass," which
 protects the top weather strips and window seals. The system works by
 lowering the windows slightly whenever the convertible top is lowered or
 when the doors are opened or closed. When the door handle is pulled,
 Chrysler Sebring Convertible's Smart Glass lowers the window 0.4 inches,
 which allows the door to open without resistance or damage to the window or
 top weather strips. The window remains in this slightly lower position
 until the door is closed, at which point the glass rises completely to
 fully close the gap.
     Wind? What wind?
     No need for a hat or scarf in this new convertible. The 2008 Chrysler
 Sebring Convertible features an available factory-installed rear windscreen
 that makes the already quiet convertible as comfortable as driving in a
 sedan with a sunroof. The available windscreen cuts down on turbulence and
 wind noise created when the faster-moving air traveling over the windshield
 encounters the slower-moving air inside the vehicle. The Sebring
 Convertible's windscreen effectively blocks the faster moving air, making
 the car quieter and more comfortable for the front seat passengers when the
 top is down. The windscreen also makes the heating and air conditioning
 system more effective on cool and hot days to provide comfortable top-down
 operation, no matter what the weather.
     "We extensively tested the convertible and the factory-installed
 windscreen in our Auburn Hills AeroAcoustic Wind Tunnel and achieved some
 impressive results," said Jim Issner, Chief Engineer -- Chrysler Sebring
 Convertible. "With both the top and the windows down, the windscreen
 reduces buffeting and wind noise by approximately 11 to 12 decibels. With
 the top down but the windows up, the windscreen reduced buffeting and wind
 noise by about 5 decibels."
     The windscreen features four folding sections with a plastic frame and
 mesh material. It fits into notches molded in the rear quarter trim and
 covers the rear seat. When not in use, the windscreen conveniently folds
 and stores in the trunk, still leaving plenty of room for two golf bags or
 similarly sized lifestyle equipment.

SOURCE Chrysler Group