- Looks like: A Chrysler that won’t end up at Alamo
- Defining characteristics: 40-mile range on a full charge, touch-screen controls
- Ridiculous features: Leaf Green LED lighting, one-spoke steering wheel
- Chance of being mass-produced: If Chrysler can survive, pretty good
Witness Chrysler’s four-door competitor to the Chevy Volt: The 200C EV Concept can run 40 miles on electric-only power and 400 miles using a small engine-generator. It’s built on a shortened version of Chrysler’s rear-wheel-drive LX platform – think 300C, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger – but looks like no other Chrysler on the market. The front end looks a bit like the Hyundai Genesis, while the rear recalls a BMW 6 Series. All are good signs for a company better known for designing cars of a more pedestrian, er, caliber.
Inside, the 200C is still very much in concept-car territory. A panoramic screen spans much of the dash, purportedly offering the sort of roaming touch-screen interface we saw in the latest Bond movie. A recharging port for mobile devices, media libraries and internet browsing are all part of the setup, and the four-seat interior has heated and cooled chairs with pearl leather upholstery. As in several BMW and Mercedes models, the 200C has a column-mounted electronic shifter. Chrysler says the floor was inspired by a Zen rock garden, with molded waves and recycled-nylon floormats.
The prospect of a production 200C depends on Chrysler’s survival, but the drivetrain has promise. It offers very similar capabilities to the Volt, and if it makes it into a production car it will likely go a long way toward lifting Chrysler’s downtrodden image.