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