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2009 Detroit Show: Chrysler 200C Concept

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2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

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While most of Chrysler's concept cars were actually previewed to journalists early, as they often now are, under special embargo agreements, the company kept one of its concepts, the 200C, as a true surprise this year.

The 200C Concept, which Chrysler says conceptualizes the "sedan of the future," is a plug-in EV with a now-familiar powertrain—at least to those who’ve kept tabs on Chrysler’s concept EVs of late. A 200-kW (268-horsepower) electric motor system is good for 40 miles or so, then a “range-extending” four-cylinder engine kicks in to provide continuous power for the electric system, with overall range in the vicinity of 400 miles.

Frank Klegon, executive VP of product development at the automaker, said in his presentation of the 200C that 80 percent of Americans drive less than 40 miles per day, so it’s possible that many owners of a vehicle such as this would seldom use a drop of gasoline, save for long road trips.

But the 200C’s body and interior are equally intriguing. The new sedan concept makes an about-face from the chunky, creased direction that its products have been taking, replacing it with a more organic, sleek look.

According to officials at the automaker, the 200C Concept is built on a shortened LX platform and has rear-wheel drive, yet hinting that they haven’t yet decided finalized the details officials said that the powertrain would also work for front-wheel drive. The 200C is sized at the small end of mid-size, which makes it more likely as a replacement for the Sebring than for the 300C.

The interior, which is dominated by soft edges and broad arcs, along with soft surfaces, also used to showcase the future of Chrysler’s uconnect in-car communications interface. Some of them look to be almost ready for introduction while others may be a few years away.

The Chrysler 200C Concept has a large touch-screen display in the center of the instrument panel, used to access an array of features and interface possibilities—which Chrysler is showcasing at the show in special interactive kiosks.

For starters, the uconnect system now offers more personalization, with audio tagging and the opportunity to purchase music from their vehicle, a “teen setting,” which limits speed and can warn the owner on parameters like driving style or distance from home, and the opportunity to do social networking from one's vehicle, seeing the location of friends' vehicles, messaging, and sharing music. A home/office link provides synchronization

Vehicle security is another aspect. The vehicle can be linked to a smart phone, which can then control vehicle locking and a number of other parameters, including disabling the vehicle if stolen. There's also the opportunity for an in-car video monitor.

Also of note is a new Passenger PC, a personal computer that slides out of the dash for the front passenger, allowing Internet tasks and access to the navigation system.

And speaking of the nav system, it now gets an update to allow you to see street view cameras, in real time, for checking traffic or conditions. Just don't try to drive by them. Real-time weather is also available, and like the dynamic rerouting already available from other automakers, the nav system can adjust a programmed route to avoid bottlenecks.

Details on these features are all slim, but with this announcement it's clear that Chrysler wants to cast wide with its uconnect range of services, with the security and services of OnStar but a friendly interface that takes the best from Ford's Sync. Whether these features are on the way next model year or in few years—and whether or not they’re on the way in Chrysler’s next mid-size sedan—they open up mind-boggling in-car possibilities.

2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

Enlarge Photo

2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

Enlarge Photo

2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

Enlarge Photo

2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

Enlarge Photo
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Comments (5)
  1. "OK, where do I sign?"

    That's a gorgeous car. Let's hope they're around to build it with rear-wheel-drive and a conventional drivetrain (along with the hybrid-electric, if need be).
     
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  2. "Looks like an Ugly Sebring"

    The 200c is one Ugly cars. Looks like it will replace the Sebring. How you people think this ugly cars is nice is beyond be. Are you Autoworkers hoping for a car that will sale? the 200C is an ugly cars which will not sell well in the recession/depression.
     
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  3. "Asst. General Manager"

    Great looks & high potential
     
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  4. "I need it right now, Chrysler"

    I am thrilled by this concept. Been waiting for a car like this for a long long time. Chrysler, please do not mess up this design in the production version. You have hit the nail on its head with this one. Bring this to the showrooms and sales will skyrocket, but make sure it affordable with all the popular standard features
     
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  5. I like it! Keep it rear drive, and make sure you have an SRT optional motor and they'll sell boatloads of these. I would dump my Honda Accord for that in a heartbeat. I'll hold my breath on whether they will actually build one for us though.
     
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