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Chrysler 700C Concept: 2012 Detroit Auto Show Video

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The 700C Concept that Chrysler quietly rolled out to the Detroit Auto Show floor during the show's media days was a rarity among modern auto-show debuts for two reasons: First, it was completely unexpected and caught everyone—even some of Chrysler's communications staff, it seems—by surprise, and wasn't presented with any 'official' information release. Secondly, with some aspects like the thick, angled B-pillars, it's obviously a far-out design exercise and a true concept vehicle—something that, as design chief Ralph Gilles mentioned to us, the company hasn't had in several years.

The concept is clearly a mix of themes from Chrysler's current lineup, as well as some ideas of where its vehicles could go in the future. While three rows of plush seating establish its people-mover prowess, the instrument panel takes a different direction than Chryslers of today, with a gauge cluster that stands freely, and a screen moved far ahead to the base of the windshield—different than the close-at-hand mounting of the brand's current UConnect Touch system.

Chrysler has made no statements about the powertrain in the 700C Concept, but there's been plenty of speculation—including that it could be the design testbed for a new kind of plug-in or electric minivan. At the very least, it's an early glimpse of one of the potential design directions for Chrysler's next-generation minivans, and after years of keeping them relatively conservative, it's thinking of going a little more radical this time.

Take a look at this video—taken as we were clearly also trying to make sense of it—for a walkaround, and let us know what you think of the vehicle. Would you be more likely to consider a minivan if it had more adventurous styling?

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Comments (14)
  1. We've owned three Chrysler minivans, and they had the best looking minivan on the market prior to the current bland box design. The 700C is a stunning leap back to design leadership, and it should be produced with minimal changes. If that happens, it will be at the top of my shopping list when it comes time to replace our Honda Odyssey.
     
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  2. Love the design. I own a business and need to haul around boxes to photo shoots, warehouses, factories, etc. and need a multi-purpose vehicle. I normally wouldn't consider a boring minivan over an SUV to get the job done -- but would definitely consider this.
     
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  3. My initial thoughts...so f'ing ugly. But then I'm drawn to this more and more. Right now I'm thinking this is an awesome design, but it'll definitely be polarizing. This may be a great opportuinity for Chrysler (and maybe Dodge with a more mainstream design?) Bring it on!!
     
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  4. The black hood is really ugly. Ruins the look of the vehicle.
     
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  5. I didn't notice until I read your post. I re-watched it and have to agree with you.
     
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  6. This vehicle is gorgeous! Everything about it is polarizing and I personally think it will do extremely well here and in Europe. I have owned just one Minivan a Chrysler T&C and it has been an outstanding vehicle. I will buy another if it looks like the new 700c.
     
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  7. It is my understanding that Chrysler is going to discontinue the Dodge Grand Caravan and only go with whatever they will call the present Chrysler Town and Country. I consider space to be one of the criteria for a good minivan and with the bold looking design in this concept vehicle, I wonder if they will sacrifice the storage space for design elements.
     
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  8. Great van, terrible and nervous reporter.
     
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  9. Oh, and what's up with that black hood? To me it looks like a bad colour combination of black and silver.
     
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  10. Hmmmmmm. The car would be excellent if it were not for the side window configeration. Sure engine, space etc will come into consumer decision making however no one wants to drive an ugly car/people mover. The Australian consumer is likely to reject this styling as they have the ugly Ssangyong Stavic.
     
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  11. The "B" pillar treatment is STUPID! Make it virtical. I want visability in a car & don't want it sacrificed in the name of style. The rear window treatment in the Ford Focus ZX3 is another example of stupidity in the name of style. If Chrysler would offer their minivan with a diesel option, as they do for Europe, I would be interested in buying one.
     
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  12. Rework the front grill just a bit, and slightly lessen the dramatic side view, and you have the hottest van out there. I love it!
     
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  13. As a current owner of a Town and Country, I love the new 700c. I will be first in line to buy one.
     
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  14. Keep it under $35,000.00 and real average of 30 m.p.g. and I will buy one, Do not change a thing!!! I have owned 6 new model Vans. This is the one I have been looking for with the above requirements. I 70 years of age and travel to Florida every year. I like to be proud of the vehicle that I look after so well, with great pride.
     
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