2009 Chrysler 200C EV Concept

The 200C EV is Chrysler's surprise concept car for the 2009 Detroit auto show. It shares the Mopar center stage with four other electric vehicles. The 200C is the only one not based on a current production car, but like the other ENVI-developed vehicles (aside from the Dodge Circuit sports car), the 200C uses a "range-extended" powertrain that can move it 40 miles on electric-only power and 400 miles between fuel stops. Sounds like the Chevy Volt, huh?

Chrysler claims 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds, less than 15 seconds in the quarter mile, and a top speed of more than 120 mph.

What Chrysler calls an "inspired and soulful look at the new Chrysler DNA" is actually an attractive-looking design that significantly cleans up the embarrassingly uncohesive look of the current Chrysler Sebring. ("It's what the Chrysler Sebring should have been," senior editor Joe Lorio blurted out when he first saw photos.) Designed under the tutelage of design VP Ralph Gilles, the 200C seems to exhibit some strong Acura styling cues, but it gives us a positive outlook of Chrysler's future design direction. The rear-wheel-drive 200C is based on a shorted version of the LX platform that underpins the Chrysler 300C, the Dodge Challenger, and family.

The 200C's pie-in-the-sky interior is chock full of the connectivity technology that Chrysler is preaching these days ("a connectivity portal to the world outside," they say), including vehicle networking (Facebook on wheels), a PC for the passenger, an in-car vehicle camera for security, and real-time traffic monitoring. Although the concept is being shown as an electric vehicle, Chrysler presenters Jim Press and Frank Klegon implied that a production descendent of this vehicle will debut with a traditional gasoline powertrain, likely the Phoenix V-6 that the company is developing.

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