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2007 Chrysler Nassau concept car: streamlined styling, innovative cabin

Inspired by classic British sports cars, according to company reps, the 2007 Chrysler Nassau concept car could do 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, but the real innovations were inside the thoroughly modernized cabin, with its large, fully digital displays (and analog gauges).

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This is a very different car from the original Chrysler Nassau concept.

The flowing interior was not just for show; principal designer Ben Chang said, "We looked carefully at space efficiency. We pushed the interior surfaces outboard to increase the space inside." He added that they strove to make "the driver interfaces with similar to what you'd find in the office or among personal electronic devices. We strived to achieve a seamless interface between your car and the rest of your electronic world."

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Gears were chosen through a pod control, along with the paddle shifters that would enter production years later.

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At the auto show, we spoke with Ben Chang, who showed us his watch, which inspired the instrument panel. He didn't see any major obstacles for a real production car in terms of cost or materials. Ben had also designed the climate control knobs with chrome rings and integral buttons on various Dodge and, later, Jeep and Chrysler cars.

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The shape of the upper instrument panel was inspired by Constantin Brancusi's Bird in Space sculptures, showing birds in flight - smooth, slender movement.

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Dual blue-tinted glass panels ran the length of the roof, going back-to-front rather than across. Vents were partly concealed, and the seats and doors had suede accents in a fine bamboo texture. Rear seat dwellers could watch movies on video screens flush-mounted into the front headrests.

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A 1960s-throwback center console ran between the seats, with a satin silver trim strip that carried from the front to the rear seats; it had the front and rear "joy stick" controls, power window switches, and flush-mounted pop-up cup holders. The interior colors were dubbed Deep Mystic Blue and Cream. Behind the cabin, the surface of the cargo cover was accented with five stainless steel accent strips.

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The powertrain came straight from LX cars, with a Mercedes five-speed automatic and 6.1 liter Hemi V8; the front suspension was a conventional short-long arm design, withn LX-style five-link rear suspension and a total weight of around 4,500 pounds, considerably more than a 300C. The horsepower and torque ratings were taken from SRT cars - 425 hp at 6,200 rpm and 420 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm.

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Alan Barrington, the principal exterior designer, said the 2007 Nassau was "a more emotional and artistic articulation of what it means to be a Chrysler ... [with] an artistic approach with a shapely flowing of lines that give the impression of movement even while standing still. The line in the profile draws down and into the taillamp, leading the eye of the observer toward to the dramatic back end which creates its unexpected 'shooting brake' appearance."

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The Nassau was a four-door hardtop, with no B-pillar, which would likely be changed for production to reduce the cost or increase crash safety.

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The upper portion of the rear hatch was steeply raked. Exterior lighting used atypical textures, colors, and LEDs.

Allpar was present at the January 2007 launch; at the time, we wrote,

The Nassau cut an impressive figure, first sheathed except for its bright lights shining through cutouts, then accelerating with impressive speed and precision onto the stage - almost silent despite having a 425 horsepower SRT Hemi engine. The car looks much smaller than it is; reporters behind me were trying to figure out its size, assuming it was a compact. The stylists did a remarkable job in making it look smaller. The hatchback looks fairly practical. The BMW and Toyota people seemed very interested in the Nassau...
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The grille was an eggcrate style, in chrome and satin aluminum.

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2007 Chrysler Nassau concept car stated performance and specifications

Standing 1/4 Mile

13.5 seconds


4,500 lbs (est)


22 x 8.5



Top speed

165 mph




380 miles

Front overhang

37" (940mm)

Tire size


Rear overhang

39" (991 mm)

Turn circle

38.7 ft



Track front/rear




Note: Some photos are erroneously labeled as being from 2008. They are from 2007.

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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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