First Look: Chrysler 200C EV Concept

By Chris Somerville

Chrysler revealed a glimpse of its future at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show in early January, showing off its electric vehicle concept, the 200C EV. A plug-in hybrid sedan, the 200C EV sports an updated exterior combined with a futuristic interior designed to immerse both driver and passengers into the driving experience.

Free of levers and switches, the 200C EV features a panoramic multimedia touch screen which is used to control vehicle functions and settings. Aptly named uConnect, Chrysler’s concept features all the bells and whistles to make users ‘oooh’ and ‘aaah’ over it. ( has a great photo gallery showing the 200C EV’s futuristic design cues). Internet connectivity, iPhone integration and even digital home media can be accessed through the uConnect interface.

Of course, since studies have shown that even driving while talking on a simple hands-free cell phone can be hazardous to your health, the 200C EV puts a lot of the control of digital media into the hands of passengers through a touch screen tablet mounted in the glove box that controls navigation/internet options.

While the 200C EV is based on a modified version of Chrysler’s existing rear-wheel-drive platform, this futuristic sedan delivers power to the wheels via a plug-in hybrid powertrain featuring a 200kW electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries. A compact onboard internal combustion engine is used to recharge the batteries.

Chrysler claims the 200C EV can go up to 40 miles using only battery power; has a top speed of more than 120 mph; sports a 7-second 0-60 time; and has a range of 400 miles when using the internal combustion engine.

While Chrysler has not confirmed if the 200C EV will be headed for production any time soon, you can expect many of its styling cues to make their way into future production vehicles. And with all the focus on “green” technologies, renewable resources, and reducing oil consumption, you can bet that its more Chrysler hybrids will be hitting showroom floors sooner rather than later.

Chris Somerville is a freelance automotive writer based in the Pacific Northwest. Visit his Web site, Somerville Custom Publishing, for more information.