2008 Chrysler ecoVoyager Concept

The Chrysler ecoVoyager plays the family-car role for Chrysler’s triad of electrified Detroit-show concepts. A 268-hp (200-kW) electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries is the ecoVoyager’s primary driving force and can theoretically move the car forty miles on stored electric power only. For longer trips, a small hydrogen fuel cell can extend the ecoVoyager’s range beyond 300 miles, according to Chrysler, which also quotes a decent 0-to-60-mph time of 8.8 seconds and a tolerable top speed of 115 mph.

The blobby exterior of the concept features a central spine, a “boat-tail” rear end, and suicide doors. The interior of the ecoVoyager is surprisingly spacious, since all of the large powertrain components lie in the floor beneath the four passengers’ feet. The ecoVoyager is fairly light on fanciful doodads, since, says Chrysler, “the concept was developed for customers wanting a travel experience on par with a private jet, but without a lot of fancy gadgetry.” (Who wants to bet that a huge chunk of the fancy-gadgetry budget was sliced by Cerberus, Chrysler’s new owners?)

Still, some left-field details include a drawer that contains controls for the typical center-stack controls, along with a mouse pad. A camera replaces a traditional reflecting rearview mirror. Also, each occupant can privately listen to his or her own aural pleasures–without headphones–thanks to this concept’s Direct Sound feature, which lives in the headliner between the two giant skylights.

And what would a new Chrysler be without a cooler? The ecoVoyager’s refreshment station is located in the floor console between the rear seats, can hold six twenty-ounce bottles, and can keep drinks either cool or hot. We have a hard time believing that any of Chrysler’s Detroit ’08 concepts are very close to production, but time will tell.

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