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The 2008 Dodge ZEO (“Zero Emissions Operation”) concept car was a four-passenger, electrically-powered, “2+2” sport wagon with 23-inch wheels at each corner — what the company called “a new youthful breed of muscle-machine interface.”
“The Dodge ZEO concept is designed to break the paradigm of what an electric car should look like,” said Bill Zheng, ts principal exterior designer. “An electric car can be as expressive as any gasoline-powered vehicle. The Dodge ZEO concept proves that point – and then some.”
Lou Rhodes, president of Chrysler’s advanced propulsion unit, ENVI, claimed a 250 mile range, from a 268 hp electric motor; thanks to the aluminum structure, it could, he said, run from 0-60 in less than six seconds. The Dodge Zeo’s lithium-ion battery had a 64 kW-hour capacity. (See if you can make those numbers work out.)
Length: 172.8 inches (4390 mm);
Width at H-point: 68.6 inches (1743 mm)
Height: 50.8 inches (1290 mm);
Wheelbase: 109.9 inches (2792 mm)
“Inspired in part by the architecture of a Möbius strip, Dodge ZEO’s rakish A-pillars curve into extended roof rails that twist and converge as they race rearward. The windshield glass continues in an unbroken, curving plane nearly to the rear of the car, giving both front and rear passengers an unimpeded, all-around view while showcasing ZEO’s inventive interior.”
Other expressive details include “scissor” doors, and front and rear lamps treated as separate sculptural forms. “The lit crossbar grille,” said Zheng, “is designed to communicate the use of electricity as the ZEO’s power source.”
Lou Gasevski was the principal interior designer. He wrote that a broad sloping fabric-wrapped surface in front of the driver curves into the door and quarter panel, then swept around the back panel to the opposite side, ending in a sloping surface in front of the passenger, blending parts of the interior into a unified whole. A narrow strip of blue LED accent lighting on the doors and quarters added to the sweeping effect.
A slim center console created a dual-cockpit effect, levelling off to continue to the back panel. To avoid visual clutter, controls and a screen were set flush with the surface.
The steering wheel, column and instruments were treated as a single freestanding design element, continuing experimentation from past concepts. The Dodge ZEO concept’s steering wheel had two vertical spokes, leaving 80% of the rim “open” for visibility. Paddle-levers behind the wheel rim worked the radio.
Gauges were displayed on a thin blue acrylic viewing screen in front of the driver.
Seat shells were constructed from milled aluminum, with video screens integrated into the front seatbacks.
Weight/GVWR 2650 lb/3400 lb
Length 172.8 inches/4390mm
Width at H-point 68.6 inches/1743mm
Height 50.8 inches/1290mm
Wheelbase 109.9 inches/2792mm
Couple 1-2 29.2 inches/742mm
Front overhang 32.8 inches/832mm
Rear overhang 30.1 inhces/765mm
Track front/rear 64.1 inches/1628mm 65.8 inches/1671mm
Approach angle 10.2 degrees
Departure angle 24.6 degrees
Turn circle 40 feet/12.2m
Maximum width 76.5 inches/1944mm
Rear wheel drive
Suspension Front – SLA; Rear – SLA
Tire size front P225/40R23x8 30.1 inches/764mm
Tire size rear P255/40R23x9 31.0 inches/788mm
0-60 mph 5.7 seconds
Standing ¼ mile 11.0 seconds
Top speed 130 mph
All-electric range 250 miles
Equivalent mpg 120 mpg
Other concept cars at allpar
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.
Concept cars • popular: Firepower • Tomahawk • ME412 • Mighty FC • Gladiator
Chrysler 1904-2018 •
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