The electric Chrysler 200C (not to be confused with the C200) has an exciting look which retains much of the 300’s feel, while modernizing it and giving it a much more aerodynamic-looking shape; reportedly, it looks like the Sebring prototype before Daimler got hold of it. The Chrysler 200C was approved for production, according to many sources including, as of March 17 2009, EVP Steve Landry. However, Sergio Marchionne, during the Five Year Plan Q&A period, said on November 4 that it was not “make-able.” He was, that said, probably talking about the electric version, not a gas version.
It seems that Chrysler is working on a smaller rear wheel drive Chrysler, like the 200C, to replace the Sebring. A small, wide coupe was shown to insiders, with a spacious interior.
What would a production 200C look like? JackRatchett suggested this:
The exact form is not yet known, but we had heard that the production version will be very similar to the concept, with versions powered by gasoline and by electricity. The car was cleverly designed so that battery storage goes inside the transmission tunnel when powered by a motor, but can be switched to rear wheel drive by putting a transmission into the tunnel. Rumor has converged on Brampton getting production — logical since it is based on the Challenger — but Brampton workers have been told that, as with the Challenger, they have to “earn it.”
When the Chrysler 200C concept car rolled onto the stage on the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, the reaction from the crowd of seasoned and cynical journalists was surprising — almost a gasp of excitement from the crowd, while photographers rushed up to the aisle to grab the first shots. Few had any criticism; many had praise, and the line to get into the car lasted for days, while other new concepts languished.
HANDS ON: CHRYSLER 200C CONCEPT CAR by Jim Choate
Jason Monroe from Chrysler stopped the turntable and not only allowed me access to the inside, but joined me and gave me a personal demo of some of the features. I honestly thought the dash graphics were a static mockup; but they were live, and it all worked.
My initial impression - even if they built it with a traditional drivetrain and dash, it'd be a hit.
A lot of it is tech for tech's sake; the iPhone remote controller is amusing, and the passenger touchscreen laptop is overkill.
There's no carpet for the flooring - just a swatch in the places your feet normally go. Not sure how that would fly in a production car. Back seat is a bit tight, but no more so than in my Stratus. Seats were hard. Sightlines were good out the front, typical C-pillar compromise in the rear.
Aside from its own attributes - excellent cornering (according to Klegon and Press) and the striking appearance — the 200C can be given the new Phoenix high performance V6 or a hybrid powertrain. It also has a new electronics connectivity which is unparalleled, including a navigation system that you can add “buddies” to, and which will guide you to your friends — and which can show live results from traffic cameras, and the most fuel efficient routes to take. The 200C comes with a "teen mode" which warns of erratic driving or going out of a specified range, and limits the maximum speed; and with a remote that lets you see the car's environment through onboard cameras, lock and unlock, start, lower the windows, etc.
The Chrysler 200C concept is based on a shortened version of the rear-drive LX platform. The car appears to be a short-wheelbase version of the next generation LX, or a derivative of the Challenger; the people we spoke with could not provide details, as one would expect. It looks more production-ready than a typical concept.
Designer Ryan Patrick Joyce, who worked on the interior, said that the interior was not created with production restraints in mind, but was “blue sky — we can push our aesthetics so we can pull back later.” The idea was to have an impression of open space, so everything is low and down; thin seat technology was used, with curves for more interior room. The car was set up for four seats, but it can accommodate five; four were chosen, according to interior design head Cecile Giroux, because it makes the interior look more spacious. Both Joyce and Giroux said the seats (developed with Lear) were very comfortable, a theory tested and supported by our testers.
Giroux said that the putting the car into production, particularly with the current interior, would be challenging, but that people in the company thought it would be well worth it. She said she and her team loved it, and noted that the reaction from the crowd today was very positive; people “love the design statement.”
“The Chrysler 200C EV concept represents the perfect blend of provocative design and leading-edge technology, as well as the new Chrysler DNA,” said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler LLC. On the inside, the 200C EV continues the theme of embracing the future with a highly sculpted and richly appointed environment. The interior is free of switches and levers. All vehicle functions, settings and uconnect features are managed via a panoramic multimedia touch screen, a passenger-dedicated “techno-leaf” and a stowable tablet PC.
Based on a shortened version of Chrysler’s successful rear-wheel-drive platform, the Chrysler 200C EV is a performance sedan in a package that looks spirited and agile. “The Chrysler 200C EV embodies our passion for problem solving by combining the best of engineering and automotive design,” said Ralph Gilles, Vice President – Design. “With the 200C EV, we were able to maximize the effectiveness of the ENVI powertrain with the stunning, wind-cheating vehicle shape, while pushing toward the future with the avant-garde interior and advanced in-vehicle connectivity.
“It was important to design a car that not only appealed to the Chrysler enthusiast, but also could sway the interest of a wide variety of potential customers,” said Nick Malachowski, Chrysler 200C EV Lead Exterior Designer. “The essence of the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle is sophisticated and fresh. It embraces a more organic design philosophy and helps to push the Chrysler brand design to the next level.”
Efficiency is a key element in the design of the Chrysler 200C EV, as its swept-back front end contributes to the vehicle’s aerodynamics. The front fascia is a modern interpretation of the winged Chrysler badge, and its distinct grille continues to shape and evolve Chrysler’s brand identity. The encompassed grille bars within the front fascia reinforce the sinuous elegance of the 200C EV concept vehicle with its assertive shape and precise execution.
The headlamps and taillamps are treated as dramatic sculptural elements on the vehicle and reinforce the organic form and function carried throughout the design theme. Their placement on the far corners of the vehicle help to visually reduce the front and rear overhangs and contribute to the vehicle’s efficient appearance. The lower frontal fog lights and rear backup lights are seamlessly integrated onto the surrounding fascia, and are minimized in scale through the use of LED technology. Modern graphic cues, such as the use of a dissipating dot matrix, are utilized throughout the concept vehicle as both functional and visual elements.
The Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle projects a confident stance and proportion with its optimized wheel-to-body relationship. The clean body-side and restrained line work communicate an elegance achieved only when the “less is more” rule of modern design is followed. Simple, modern details such as aerodynamic mirrors and door handles continue the marriage of form and function.
The eco-friendly, water-based Liquid Graphite Pearl exterior color of the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle is a luminous, dark gray, which conveys a serious and sophisticated attitude. The windows are tinted in a Warm Bronze, helping to reduce air-conditioning loads. They are surrounded in hand-crafted polished aluminum accent trim.
In contrast to the exterior color, the interior space is light and inviting. On the inside, Leaf Green LED lighting and stitching accentuates the organic, clean shape. A combination of Pearl, Graphite and Leaf Green colors combine to create a warm and inviting interior cabin.
“The interior space of the 200C EV concept vehicle is defined by a modern, sculptural form and language that doesn’t sacrifice an open and spacious feel,” said Ryan Patrick Joyce, Chrysler 200C EV Lead Interior Designer. “If occupants are given the choice to take the short or long route home, I want the interior to inspire them to choose the long way.”
Immediately noticeable upon entry is the large screen located on the instrument panel. Starting the vehicle activates the electronic instrument panel that contains an advanced electronic vehicle information center, the next generation of Chrysler’s uconnect infotainment system and a compound touch surface.
The compound touch surface is a touch screen that serves as the hub for the vehicle’s connectivity system – a system that offers endless avenues of communication and transforms the interior into a portal to the outside world. It can be personalized to suit different drivers or simplified based on preference. Similar to recently introduced touch-screen electronic devices, the driver is able to move images, select infotainment choices and customize images, backgrounds, mood, volume and lighting by simply touching the screen itself.
The emphasis on open space is a hallmark of Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle. An aluminum appliqué dramatically sweeps from the center console, across the instrument panel and onto the passenger’s door. The first-row compartment strays from traditional 50/50 seating and has been cleverly designed to give the perception of a more spacious 60/60 seating space. The driver and passenger seats, thin in design with a focus on spinal support, are covered in Pearl chromium-free leather and trimmed with Leaf Green stitching, giving the interior a sporty and luxurious look. All four bucket seats can be heated or cooled with individual temperature controls.
The first-row passenger has access to a techno-leaf that houses personal climate controls and an infotainment system. A simple touch to the smooth glass surface deploys a personal touch screen computer from the glove box. Users can surf the Internet, scroll through their personal media library, schedule vehicle maintenance or send directions to the driver. The compartment located below the techno-leaf is a charging station for personal mobile devices. Electronic devices can be charged by simply laying the unit on the charging pad. Rear passengers have access to a similar charging compartment under the cantilevered front-console arm rest.
The thick-rimmed, one-spoke steering wheel is trimmed in two types of leather. The top of the steering wheel is wrapped in Pearl leather and the lower is covered in Graphite leather accented with Leaf Green perforations. The steering column and stalks are milled from aluminum for a precise, technical feel. Drivers can move the transmission into drive positions via the right stalk. The horn pad is draped in Pearl leather with Leaf Green stitching and is dramatically swept back and emboldened with the Chrysler winged badge.
Climate control for the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle can be utilized indirectly or directly. Indirectly, air flows through the cabin via a metal-mesh outlet located near the windshield. Air can be pointed onto occupants through an illuminated metal-mesh bezel that surrounds the driver screen and passenger outboard vents.
Interior doors on the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle are two-tone. The top-half of the door is trimmed in Pearl leather with Leaf Green stitching and polished aluminum accents; the lower-half is an extension of the flooring.
The concept vehicle flooring is inspired by a Zen rock garden. Gentle Graphite waves flow from the floor, across the sides of the center console and undulate onto the doors. Removable carpeted floor mats are practical and sustainable as they are composed of recycled nylon.
Additional storage can be found in the trunk of the vehicle, which contains a load floor made from recycled leather.
(From Chrysler press materials - edited)
There are no switches or levers; when the 200C is started, the black panoramic instrument panel comes to life. The 200C EV has the latest in connectivity, socialization and synchronization. As with the iPhone, the driver is able to move images around, select infotainment choices, customize backgrounds, mood, volume and lighting by simply touching the instrument panel screen. Different drivers can select and save their own preferences.
The first-row passenger has access to a techno-leaf that houses personal climate controls and an infotainment system. A touch to the glass surface deploys a personal touch screen computer from the glove box. Users can surf the Internet, scroll through their personal media library, schedule vehicle maintenance or send directions to the driver.
In the dashboard is a personal computer that slides out for front-seat passenger use. The computer allows the front-seat passenger the ability to use the Internet, access the navigation system, run vehicle diagnostics and read the owner’s manual, among other capabilities. The personal computer can be passed from the front-seat passenger to the rear seat.
The compartment located below the techno-leaf is a charging station for personal mobile devices. Electronic devices can be charged by simply laying the unit on the charging pad. Rear passengers can have access to a similar charging compartment under the cantilevered front-console arm rest.
There are many other capabilities, such as the cell phone fob. Instead of a key fob, a smart phone can be programmed to remotely start the vehicle, adjust power windows and locks, and set vehicle temperature. From the cell phone, the driver can monitor the security of the vehicle via an in-vehicle camera. Diagnostic information about the car can also be relayed to the phone, such as the health of the battery. And if the car is lost or stolen, the phone can disable the vehicle and locate it with satellite imaging.
There’s a “teen setting” that can be placed on the vehicle to limit speed and warn the owner in the vehicle is being driven erratically or out of a specific range.
Real-time weather is available to the driver. A next-generation navigation system features a link to city-street cameras, allowing vehicle occupants to view traffic situation at specific intersections and roadways.
The interior was created in-house at Chrysler’s Advance Interior Design Studio, which is tasked with the job of improving the quality, fit and finish of all future Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. Based on the 200C, the future looks pretty good.
Motor Peak Power: 200 kW (268 hp)
Regenerative braking; Lithium-ion battery
Independent front and rear suspension
Range extender SULEV gasoline engine and electric generator
Continuous electric power: 55 kW (74 hp)
Tire size front P245 / 45R20 28.7 inches / 728 mm
Tire size rear P245 / 45R20 28.7 inches / 728 mm
0-60 mph (0-100 kph) approximately 7 seconds
Standing ¼-mile mid-14 seconds
Top speed greater than 120 mph (approximately 193 kph)
All-electric range 40 miles (approximately 64 km)
Total driving range up to 400 miles (approximately 644 km)
See our main concept cars page. | 2009 NAIAS (Detroit Auto Show)
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.
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