Designed as a plug-in hybrid variant of the Chrysler’s full-size luxury sedan, the Chrysler 300, the Chrysler 200C EV made its grand debut this weekend at the 2009 NAIAS in Detroit to an understandably stunned audience. It’s difficult to assimilate the cutting-edge, high-end technology of the 200C EV with a company that has been flirting with bankruptcy for the better half of a year, but the Chrysler 200C EV is undeniably a Chrysler vehicle. Flaunting a new Gilles-era design aesthetic, the Chrysler 200C EV is a hybrid vehicle in both a figurative and a literal sense. Sharing the same plug-in hybrid ENVI powertrain as fellow auto show attendee, the Dodge Circuit EV, the Chrysler 200C EV boasts a 400 mile-per-charge driving range as well as the ability to travel up to 40 miles relying solely on the use of battery power.
The true feats of engineering which ultimately earn the 200C EV the highest marks for innovation are found in the vehicle’s interior. Taking driver connectivity to a Steve-Jobs level, the Chrysler 200C EV’s most impressive gadget is a vast touch-screen user interface designed to function in much the same way as the wildly popular iPhone. Taking great care to emphasize “open-ness,” the 200C EV’s interior features very clean, flowing architecture that does a superb job of highlighting the vehicle’s best assets.
Watch the live reveal of the Chrysler 200C EV Concept after the jump
Chrysler 200C EV Concept: Contemporary Design, Range-extended Electric Vehicle Drive System and Platform for Future Connectivity
Inspired and soulful look at the new Chrysler DNA
Beauty and brains coalesce in Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle with design and technology appeal
Futuristic in-vehicle connectivity takes center stage
ENVI’s Range-extended Electric Vehicle drive system with 400-mile range
40-mile, all-electric range with zero fuel consumption and zero tailpipe emissions
Detroit, Jan 11, 2009 – The definitive blend of design and technology, the all-new Chrysler 200C EV concept redefines the idea of responsible mobility with a touch of class and sophistication never before embodied so elegantly in one vehicle.
“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. “Chrysler’s latest concept vehicle combines the benefits of progressive, ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicle technology – which offers nearly zero emissions during daily commutes – with a design that boasts a combination of modern shapes, a planted athletic stance with classic overtones and an undeniably luxurious interior.
“What makes the Chrysler 200C EV concept even more meaningful is the use of technology that will make traveling and managing one’s life an absolute pleasure,” Klegon added. “The 200C EV concept is a connectivity portal to the world outside, creating a rewarding relationship between driver and automobile. The result is a driving experience that celebrates the human instinct to be connected to our world.”
The Chrysler 200C EV concept body was designed to manage aerodynamic forces while delivering a stunning form.
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. It delivers a blend of style, performance and amenities that both automotive and technology enthusiasts want.
“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.
“Designed for the car lover, the Chrysler 200C EV was inspired by Chrysler’s dynamic design legacy, and provides a glimpse at the possibilities for a next-generation Chrysler performance sedan,” Gilles added.
Simple and Elegant Exterior Styling
The Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle evokes timeless beauty, coupling the organic form and language of Chrysler’s deep design roots with the noble proportions of the Chrysler 300 to create a modern product statement that appeals to both luxury and sports car enthusiasts.
“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.
Comfort and Connectivity Define Interior Space
Maximizing interior comfort, utilizing space and creating a connected environment were key objectives in creating the interior of the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle. Natural, luxurious, organic materials and modern furniture design served as inspiration for the interior design team.
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.
Advance Interior Design Studio
The interior of the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle was created in Chrysler LLC’s Advance Interior Design Studio. The primary goal of this studio is to improve the quality and fit and finish on all future Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep® vehicles. By using state-of-the-art design software and computer modeling processes, interior designers can achieve quality and fit and finish objectives faster than ever before. Implementation of the Advance Interior Design Studio has enabled the company to engage suppliers up to a year earlier, allowing more time for customer research, feature approval and material selection. The Advance Interior Design Studio features a dedicated, customer-focused, interior-centric team of designers and engineers.
ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicle Technology
The Chrysler 200C EV concept is the newest Chrysler ENVI electric-drive vehicle.
Utilizing ENVI’s Range-extended Electric Vehicle technology, the Chrysler 200C EV concept boasts clean, quiet elegance and seamless acceleration, underscoring the engaging driving experience of the Chrysler brand.
Capable of driving up to 40 miles on battery-only power – using zero gasoline and producing zero tailpipe emissions – the 200C EV uses a small gasoline engine and integrated electric generator that produces electricity to extend the driving range to 400 miles.