The definitive blend of design and technology, the Chrysler 200C EV concept redefined the idea of responsible mobility with a touch of class and sophistication never before embodied so elegantly in one vehicle.
“The Chrysler 200C EV concept represents the perfect blend of provocative design and leading-edge technology, as well as the new Chrysler DNA,” said Frank Klegon, then Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler LLC. “Chrysler’s latest concept vehicle combines the benefits of progressive, ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicle technology – which offers nearly zero emissions during daily commutes – with a design that boasts a combination of modern shapes, a planted athletic stance with classic overtones and an undeniably luxurious interior.
“What makes the Chrysler 200C EV concept even more meaningful is the use of technology that will make traveling and managing one’s life an absolute pleasure,” Klegon added. “The 200C EV concept is a connectivity portal to the world outside, creating a rewarding relationship between driver and automobile. The result is a driving experience that celebrates the human instinct to be connected to our world.”
The Chrysler 200C EV concept body was designed to manage aerodynamic forces while delivering a stunning form.
On the inside, the 200C EV continued the theme of embracing the future with a highly sculpted and richly appointed environment. The interior was free of switches and levers. All vehicle functions, settings and UConnect features were managed via a panoramic multimedia touch screen, a passenger-dedicated “techno-leaf” and a stowable tablet PC.
Based on a shortened version of Chrysler’s successful rear-wheel-drive platform, the Chrysler 200C EV was a performance sedan in a package that looks spirited and agile. It delivered a blend of style, performance and amenities that both automotive and technology enthusiasts wanted.
“The Chrysler 200C EV embodies our passion for problem solving by combining the best of engineering and automotive design,” said Ralph Gilles, then Vice President – Design. “With the 200C EV, we were able to maximize the effectiveness of the ENVI powertrain with the stunning, wind-cheating vehicle shape, while pushing toward the future with the avant-garde interior and advanced in-vehicle connectivity.
“Designed for the car lover, the Chrysler 200C EV was inspired by Chrysler’s dynamic design legacy, and provides a glimpse at the possibilities for a next-generation Chrysler performance sedan,” Gilles added.
The Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle evoked timeless beauty, coupling the organic form and language of Chrysler’s deep design roots with the noble proportions of the Chrysler 300 to create a modern product statement that appeals to both luxury and sports car enthusiasts.
“It was important to design a car that not only appealed to the Chrysler enthusiast, but also could sway the interest of a wide variety of potential customers,” said Nick Malachowski, Chrysler 200C EV Lead Exterior Designer. “The essence of the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle is sophisticated and fresh. It embraces a more organic design philosophy and helps to push the Chrysler brand design to the next level.”
Efficiency was a key element in the design of the Chrysler 200C EV, as its swept-back front end contributed to the vehicle’s aerodynamics. The front fascia was a modern interpretation of the winged Chrysler badge, and its distinct grille continued to shape and evolve Chrysler’s brand identity. The encompassed grille bars within the front fascia reinforce the sinuous elegance of the 200C EV concept vehicle with its assertive shape and precise execution.
The headlamps and taillamps were treated as dramatic sculptural elements on the vehicle and reinforced the organic form and function carried throughout the design theme. Their placement on the far corners of the vehicle helped to visually reduce the front and rear overhangs and contribute to the vehicle’s efficient appearance. The lower frontal fog lights and rear backup lights were seamlessly integrated onto the surrounding fascia, and were minimized in scale through the use of LED technology. Modern graphic cues, such as the use of a dissipating dot matrix, were utilized throughout the concept vehicle as both functional and visual elements.
The Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle projected a confident stance and proportion with its optimized wheel-to-body relationship. The clean body-side and restrained line work communicated an elegance achieved only when the “less is more” rule of modern design was followed. Simple, modern details such as aerodynamic mirrors and door handles continued the marriage of form and function.
The eco-friendly, water-based Liquid Graphite Pearl exterior color of the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle was a luminous, dark gray, which conveys a serious and sophisticated attitude. The windows were tinted in a Warm Bronze, helping to reduce air-conditioning loads. They were surrounded in hand-crafted polished aluminum accent trim.
Maximizing interior comfort, utilizing space and creating a connected environment were key objectives in creating the interior of the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle. Natural, luxurious, organic materials and modern furniture design served as inspiration for the interior design team.
In contrast to the exterior color, the interior space is light and inviting. On the inside, Leaf Green LED lighting and stitching accentuates the organic, clean shape. A combination of Pearl, Graphite and Leaf Green colors combine to create a warm and inviting interior cabin.
“The interior space of the 200C EV concept vehicle is defined by a modern, sculptural form and language that doesn’t sacrifice an open and spacious feel,” said Ryan Patrick Joyce, Chrysler 200C EV Lead Interior Designer. “If occupants are given the choice to take the short or long route home, I want the interior to inspire them to choose the long way.”
Immediately noticeable upon entry was the large screen located on the instrument panel. Starting the vehicle activated the electronic instrument panel that contained an advanced electronic vehicle information center, the next generation of Chrysler’s UConnect infotainment system and a compound touch surface.
The compound touch surface was a touch screen that served as the hub for the vehicle’s connectivity system – a system that offered endless avenues of communication and transformed the interior into a portal to the outside world. It could be personalized to suit different drivers or simplified based on preference. Similar to current UConnect systems, the driver was able to move images, select infotainment choices and customize images, backgrounds, mood, volume and lighting by simply touching the screen itself. A high-tech feature less than a decade ago.
The emphasis on open space was a hallmark of Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle. An aluminum appliqué dramatically swept from the center console, across the instrument panel and onto the passenger’s door. The first-row compartment strayed from traditional 50/50 seating and was cleverly designed to give the perception of a more spacious 60/60 seating space. The driver and passenger seats, thin in design with a focus on spinal support, were covered in Pearl chromium-free leather and trimmed with Leaf Green stitching, giving the interior a sporty and luxurious look. All four bucket seats could be heated or cooled with individual temperature controls.
The first-row passenger has access to a techno-leaf that houses personal climate controls and an infotainment system. A simple touch to the smooth glass surface could deploy a personal touch screen computer from the glove box. Users could surf the Internet, scroll through their personal media library, schedule vehicle maintenance or send directions to the driver. The compartment located below the techno-leaf was a charging station for personal mobile devices. Electronic devices can be charged by a wireless charging pad. Rear passengers had access to a similar charging compartment under the cantilevered front-console arm rest.
The thick-rimmed, one-spoke steering wheel was trimmed in two types of leather. The top of the steering wheel was wrapped in Pearl leather and the lower was covered in Graphite leather accented with Leaf Green perforations. The steering column and stalks were milled from aluminum for a precise, technical feel. Drivers could move the transmission into drive positions via the right stalk. The horn pad was draped in Pearl leather with Leaf Green stitching and was dramatically swept back and emboldened with the Chrysler winged badge.
Climate control for the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle could be utilized indirectly or directly. Indirectly, air flowed through the cabin via a metal-mesh outlet located near the windshield. Air could be pointed onto occupants through an illuminated metal-mesh bezel that surrounded the driver screen and passenger outboard vents.
Interior doors on the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle were two-tone. The top-half of the door was trimmed in Pearl leather with Leaf Green stitching and polished aluminum accents; the lower-half was an extension of the flooring.
The concept vehicle flooring wa inspired by a Zen rock garden. Gentle Graphite waves flowed from the floor, across the sides of the center console and undulate onto the doors. Removable carpeted floor mats were practical and sustainable as they were composed of recycled nylon.
Additional storage could be found in the trunk of the vehicle, which contained a load floor made from recycled leather.
A lot of the design elements and technology made it into Chrysler 300 vehicles in the 2011 model year.
2009 Chrysler 200C EV Concept Image Gallery: