Chrysler’s electric car trio

Published: 04 December 2007

I see that Chrysler hasn’t picked up on the 4x4 backlash yet…

Indeed, but Chrysler is working hard to prove that it’s not dead yet, and its latest offerings are three electric concept cars that will debut in Detroit at the start of 2008. And like nearly every concept these days all three are supposedly eco-friendly, with each car featuring a lithium-ion battery pack.

First up is the Jeep Renegade Concept, which teams its battery with a Bluetec diesel, meaning NOx-eliminating urea is pulsed into the exhaust system. The hybrid diesel apparently equates to more than 110mpg.

Unlike many Chelsea tractors, the Renegade is a two-seat, stripped-out 4x4 designed for proper off-roading. Not that there’s a large market for such a car these days, but expect some of the design to filter through to future Jeep products, especially as the company worries that its new Patriot and Compass offerings aren’t rugged enough for traditional Jeep buyers.

This is even more crude…

Or as the press release puts it, the ‘Chrysler ecoVoyager Concept celebrates the romance of automobile travel embodied in a four-door, four-passenger distinctively American design’. Which means it won’t work on this side of the Pond.

The ecoVoyager has a lithium-ion battery and a hydrogen fuel cell that Chrysler believes can combine for a range of more than 300 emissions-free miles. And that’s about the best thing going for this one-box design.

So we’ve had the 4x4 and the people carrier, so this must be the sports car?

Correct. The Dodge ZEO Concept is a 2+2 ‘sport wagon’. And while it’s only powered by that lithium-ion battery, Dodge claims it’s a muscle car for the 21st century, capable of at least 250 miles.

At 4390mm long and 1290mm wide it’s slightly longer and lower than the 350Z, but we doubt it'll match that cars grunt or appeal.


 

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