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January 11, 2009

Chrysler shows electric sedan


Chrysler LLC threw its hat in the electric sedan ring today at the Detroit auto show, introducing the Chrysler 200C EV, the company's first electric-drive four-door concept.

Chrysler's Frank Klegon, vice president of engineering, introduced the prototype to members of the automotive press just after noon today.

With an engine that boasts 268 horsepower and the ability to hit 60 m.p.h. in seven seconds, the model is Chrysler's signal that they're looking toward to an electric future.

"We're committed to fulfilling our part of the plan by bringing customers what they want," Chrysler's Jim Press said after the unveiling of the 200C EV, a new all-electric Jeep, and a Viper-like, all-electric sports car, called the Circuit. "As you can see from these vehicles, we're well on our way."

Neither Press nor Klegon said when the 200C EV might be in production.


Link: w/pictureChrysler shows electric sedan | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press
 

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Detroit Auto Show: What's new

Chrysler 200C EV

The Chrysler 200C EV is a range-extended electric vehicle. More importantly, though, it's a new Chrysler mid-sized sedan. Chrysler promises that this vehicle, or a car very much like it, will be coming to showrooms soon. It will also be available with a gasoline-only engine.

This represents an important step for Chrysler if the carmaker can get the car to market in time to save itself. First of all, electric powertrains are an important part of Chrysler's turnaround plan. But, just as importantly, so are better-looking, better-built cars and trucks. This sleek 200 C could replace something like the current Sebring, a slow seller that's been criticized for its design as well as for its lackluster performance. (The 200C is actually a little larger than the Serbring, and Chrysler isn't saying what, if anything, it will replace.)

Chrysler hopes that when the economy improves, cars like this will bring Chrysler back some of the market share it has lost.

"You're going to buy a car that checks all the boxes," Chrysler's vice president for design, Ralph Gilles, said in an interview here. "It's efficient, it looks good, it feels good, you're proud to drive it. And when it does that, you win. That's all we can do."

Link w/picture:Detroit Auto Show: What's new - Chrysler 200C EV (2) - CNNMoney.com
 
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