Unfulfilled Promise: Chrysler’s 2009 200C EV Concept

The Electrified Car We Wanted, But Still Continues To Innovate Today's Vehicles...

As Chrysler navigates its course toward an all-electric future, a reflective glance at the 2009 Chrysler 200C EV Concept reveals a compelling vision unfulfilled—a design masterpiece poised to redefine the brand’s trajectory in the realm of electric mobility.

Exterior Brilliance: A Visionary Statement in Design – 

2009 Chrysler 200C EV Concept. (Chrysler).

“Designed for the car lover, the Chrysler 200C EV was inspired by Chrysler’s dynamic design legacy,” remarked Ralph Gilles, Vice President of Design at the time, emphasizing the concept’s homage to the brand’s heritage. The sleek and aerodynamically refined exterior was a blend of modern shapes and classic overtones, meticulously crafted to manage aerodynamic forces while delivering an arresting form.

Nick Malachowski, Chrysler 200C EV Lead Exterior Designer, spoke of the concept’s sweeping design elements: “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.” Efforts to fuse organic form with Chrysler’s deep design roots resulted in a modern product statement appealing to luxury and sports car enthusiasts alike.

Interior Fusion: Where Innovation Meets Comfort – 

2009 Chrysler 200C EV Concept. (Chrysler).

Within the cabin, innovation took center stage. “The interior space of the 200C EV concept vehicle is defined by a modern, sculptural form and language,” articulated Ryan Patrick Joyce, Chrysler 200C EV Lead Interior Designer. The absence of conventional switches in favor of a panoramic multimedia touch screen, a passenger-dedicated “techno-leaf,” and a stowable tablet PC epitomized a futuristic, uncluttered interior.

“The 200C EV embodies our passion for problem-solving by combining the best of engineering and automotive design,” Gilles reiterated, underscoring the integration of luxury, functionality, and forward-looking design. The fusion of natural, luxurious materials with modern furniture design aimed to inspire occupants and elevate the driving experience, embodying Chrysler’s commitment to sophistication and comfort.

Missed Potential, Evolving Designs – 

2009 Chrysler 200C EV Concept. (Chrysler).

Despite its visionary allure, the 200C EV Concept regrettably never advanced to production. The echoes of its groundbreaking design, subtly incorporated into subsequent models, serve as a testament to Chrysler’s unfulfilled aspiration in fully embracing the electric revolution.

The Legacy Lives On – 

2009 Chrysler 200C EV Concept. (Chrysler).

One technology that the Chrysler 200C EV utilized was its innovative ENVI Range-Extended Electric Vehicle powertrain. This system is very similar to the system is coming to market with the 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger. Using a smaller battery-pack for all-electric driving, however, an onboard internal combustion engine (ICE) generates mechanical power that is converted to electrical power by the generator. The 200C EV Concept had a range of 400 miles.

As Chrysler embarks on an all-electric horizon, the legacy of the 200C EV Concept remains an emblem of unexplored potential and a catalyst for innovation. Its meticulously crafted exterior and futuristic interior stand as a testament to Chrysler’s pursuit of an electrified future—a blend of imagination and engineering that continues to shape the brand’s evolution.

2009 Chrysler 200C EV Concept Image Gallery:

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Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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I agree. Chrysler as a brand has wasted many
concepts in the last 20 years, this one being the biggest (most beautiful) loss in my opinion.

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I agree. Chrysler as a brand has wasted many
concepts in the last 20 years, this one being the biggest (most beautiful) loss in my opinion.

Elements made it into the first 200 (exterior) and last 200 (the interior angled console w/ pass through).

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Elements made it into the first 200 (exterior) and last 200 (the interior angled console w/ pass through).

Agreed, but it all flowed together here.....

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The range extended power train was developed by a vendor. The people running the show in Auburn Hills at the time were mainly trying to strip and flip the company. The 200 Concept toured the auto show circuit in 2009 along with other ENVI concepts. The following year the Chevrolet Volt would enter product and be on sale that December as a 2011 model. GM's Voltec power train technology was better than what the ENVI vehicles had, in my opinion. This made the ENVI range extending system obsolete and the dismal performance of the BMW i3 range extender confirms this.

Also, in my opinion, the Chrysler 200 we finally received was trying to be a four door pony car and not a proper sedan. There was no room for batteries and the only hybrid that did show up for the Chrysler brand under the FCA tenure is the Pacifica minivan. (The Aspen hybrid was built under a different management regime.) Before we criticize FCA leadership too harshly for the Chrysler 200 design which did eventually go into production, remember that the previous management from that leveraged buyout firm were planning a rebadged Nissan Altima, CVT and all.

About the other ENVI concepts, we haven't received a Wrangler EV yet, but we do have Jeep Wranglers and Grand Cherokees with the 4Xe plugin hybrid system. We did receive a plugin hybrid minivan. The Lotus based Dodge Circuit EV sports car toured with the Chrysler 200 concept at that time. The previous year there was a Dodge ZEO concept on tour. If one squints their eyes hard enough, then the Dodge Hornet PHEV is what the ZEO concept eventually became. Allegedly the Circuit project was well under way until Sergio and Co killed it. It's not like the Italians lack for coach builders and needed to rely on Lotus. In another thread the Lancia Ypsilon is being savaged, and is basically being a better Dodge Circuit. Since the Lancia is based on a Chinese Made Platform, we won't see a badge engineered Dodge version available stateside.

Speaking of other threads, I wrote previously in a different thread how disappointed I was that there never was a follow up to the Jeep Patriot Re-EV concept. The particular concept has the size and proportions which many potential customers want. The Patriot concept is basic, straight forward, and wasn't trying to be science fiction. So many of today's EV interiors with these door to door laminate touchscreens have no buttons, but do use plenty of hierarchal menus for spending hours just trying to turn off the radio. I have deal with this stuff on a daily basis and hate it.

Could there be smaller range extender in addition to that the massive Pentastar V6 setup in the Ramcharger? Well in another thread there is coverage of the 1.0 liter Turbo Flex three cylinder going into the Ram 700 for Lain America. A naturally aspirated vision of the same motor is also used in other Stellantis vehicles. There are also other 3 cylinder engine designs in the Stellantis universe. The upcoming Wagoneer EV with range extender will be mammoth and anything but entry level. Jeep can't afford to abandon the middle class buyers.

Getting back to the Chrysler 200C EV concept, it remains a path not taken. The Toyota and Lexus brands are going hog wild with hybrids and plugin hybrids, across a wide range of market slots and price ranges. Would a largish electrified sedan be successful in today's SUV obsessed market? We can examine Toyota Crown sales and find out.

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Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler............ Enough said.

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