Chrysler 700C Concept Minivan
Introduced with little fanfare at the Detroit Auto Show in 2012, the Chrysler 700C had a highly sculpted body with unusual lines for the Chrysler brand. It was presumably a test of numerous concepts, including a combined Chrysler and Lancia style language, fully digital dashboard display, and minivans that don’t look like boxes. If the question was “How do you sculpt a minivan?,” this is the answer.
Styling cues that might make it into production would be the neat unified door handles, the swopping lines (if they can make it through crash tests), and some of the front styling. The Lancia-like tail-lights would almost certainly be dropped; Lancia itself is being restricted to Italy at some point in the future.
The two-tone interior was more attractive in person; putting video into the seats instead of overhead means that drivers will be able to actually use their rear view mirrors. The center console appears to be similar to that of the production 2015 Chrysler 200; the 2014 minivans’ center-stack cubby is missing from the concept, but the door seems to have its own rather large storage area.
The two-tone steering wheel is a nice touch but probably won’t make production. Seats appear to be conventional stow-and-go.
One wonders if this car wouldn’t look better with the teardrop headlights of the PT Cruiser (and selected Freightliners) rather than the current “eagle eye” theme. Is the engine getting enough cooling there?
Again, one wonders how the engine is being cooled... maybe this is meant to be the electric version. (We do not expect an electric minivan any time soon, though it would be ideal for local delivery companies.)
Concept cars are often made so a car’s feel can be evaluated, problems can be foreseen, and reactions of the public can be judged. Some concepts test specific ideas, colors, controls, or materials — either subtle or out of proportion, to hide what’s being tested. Some are created to help designers think “out of the box.” The Challenger, Prowler, PT Cruiser, and Viper were all tested as production-based concepts dressed up to hide the production intent.