Future Cars

2009 Chrysler Imperial

The Chrysler Imperial revives a much-abused nameplate from the automaker’s past. Built on a stretched Chrysler 300 platform, the Imperial is, of course, Hemi V-8 powered and rear-wheel drive. But the chassis tuning prioritizes ride comfort over handling. Not only is the Imperial nearly a foot and a half longer than the 300, but it’s six inches taller as well, for a more upright seating package and greater interior space. The suicide doors and the shape of the side window opening are both a rather blatant ripoff of the Rolls-Royce Phantom. More than a mere flight of fancy, we expect that if the Imperial doesn’t elicit too much giggling, Chrysler will add a full-luxury range topper like this to its lineup. Priced in the low $40,000 range, it would go up against the Cadillac DTS and Lincoln Town Car–and to try and extend Chrysler’s celebrity cred beyond the 300C if it is ever approved for production, which would probably be in 2009.

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