Thursday, January 26, 2017

What Were They Thinking?: 2006 Chrysler Imperial Concept

Once in a while I do an internet search on "Imperial" or "Chrysler Imperial" and notice items mentioning a possible resurrection of the model.  Some have even appeared fairly recently, in 2014, and a few are nearly current.  If Peter De Lorenzo is even halfway correct in his many assessments of Fiat-Chrysler's state, such a reappearance any time soon -- if ever -- is doubtful.

The most tangible evidence of a new Chrysler Imperial was a 2006 concept car.  Here is what one Chrysler fan site had to say about it a few years later. It includes quotations from personnel involved in the project.

My reaction to the first photos I saw of the Chrysler Imperial Concept was: What Were They Thinking?


First, two views of the 2005 Chrysler 300C.  This sales-success car's platform was the basis for the Chrysler Imperial Concept.

Front three-quarter view of the Concept.  Its wheelbase was three inches (about 7.6 cm) longer than the 300's, its length 17 inches (43.2 cm) longer, and its height 6 inches (15.2 cm) taller than production 300s.  My take is that the car is too massive.  Given a station wagon (break) rear end, it would work well as a luxury SUV such as we are starting to see from the likes of Bentley and Jaguar, but it fails as a sedan.  The short hood and truck-like snout are not helpful.

The Concept has no B-pillars, not even stub ones.  The curved sheet metal suggesting a rear fender begins too low, adding to the appearance (along with the reality) of bulk.

Rear three-quarter view.  The pinched, quasi-boat-tail trunk lid also helps make the car seem taller than it should be.

I doubt that a resurrected Chrysler Imperial based on this design would have sold very well.

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