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?