By on January 23, 2011

Ur-Turn is your weekly opportunity to contribute to TTAC. Every weekend (well, almost) we select a piece submitted to our contact form, and publish it as a showcase for the diverse perspectives of TTAC’s readers.  Today’s contribution, from Mark Whinton of, casts a winking eye at Chrysler’s interior improvements to a vehicle that seemed to escape much of the media’s attention at the North American International Auto Show.

Well it looks like Chrysler has finally listened to the chorus of criticism from its customers and industry pundits and the results are better than anyone expected. Bucking the industry norm Chrysler has a number of trend setting “firsts”. Starting with seating Chrysler has ditched the standard bucket seat arrangement and developed a new “wide body” style that fits any size width and meets the goal of fewer parts since the seat needs two less tracks, one less motor and entirely eliminates the center console, a reported savings of $350 per vehicle. The biggest change has been a switch from mostly plastic to a definite functional metal theme. Gone are the plastic shifters and door handles replaced by solid metal. The feeling is incredible and reminds me of the mid 60’s when you knew you had your hand on something, not like the 90’s that feel like a pool noodle.

Driver controls really made the competitors drop their iphones. According to a Chrysler insider, Sony PlayStation engineers were consulted for steering wheel controls and the final result is something an entire new generation will be comfortable with. When asked why the car had a column shift, two floor shifters, and an industry first second brake pedal, Chrysler reps explained that they are anticipating future NHSTA safety requirements where a driver will need the ability to put the vehicle in park, reverse and neutral all at the same time and should make older drivers feel safer. There is also a second brake pedal that actuates a second set of rear callipers installed on each rear wheel, four rear callipers another industry first on a car of this size. The fast and furious crowd should love this feature since it can be used for extensive drifting.

A couple of minor criticisms. Firstly, Asian outsourcing of the switch controls is obvious and confusing since they are labelled in Japanese. Secondly, the nav unit targeting functions were difficult to see in bright sunlight and the screen should be angled more toward the driver. The center badge on the steering wheel was missing and a Chrysler rep told me there was a delay in the new blue logos due to a supplier problem. Other than that the interior is definitely an award winner and puts Chrysler out front of its competition for years to come. If you want to see the newest from Chrysler check this Black Beauty out at a local theatre near you.

Carquestions review of the Green Hornet “Black Beauty” 1965 Chrysler Imperial on display in the lobby of the Detroit NAIAS January 12, 2011. Production is limited to approximately 29 vehicles, gun license required upon registration.

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13 Comments on “Ur-Turn: Chrysler Awarded “Most Improved Interior” At NAIAS...”

  • avatar

    Did the most improved interior award already exist before this year or is it secretly sponsored by Sergio Marchionne?

    It all seems a bit too convenient…

  • avatar

    Those real metal knobs will feel good on a hot summer day.  Ouch!

  • avatar
    Darth Lefty

    This reminds me of the cockpit of the Megas XLR

  • avatar

    It’s too bad that 29 vintage Imperials gave up their lives in the making of this interior.
    A moment of silence, please.

    • 0 avatar

      To add insult to injury, they ripped out the original drivetrains and installed Chevy crate motors in the movie cars.

    • 0 avatar

      Even though I’m not a Mopar fan it is very sad those Imperials gave their lives for a movie. Though not nearly as many who gave their lives in Demo derbies back in the day before they became the first and only vehicle to be outlawed in the “sport” by most tracks and sanctioning bodies, the true definition of a tank, but in a good way. That era Imperial is truly one of the best Mopar products ever.

    • 0 avatar

      Funny you should mention it. I asked some Imperial collectors how they feel about the movie.

      … I will look forward to seeing the Black Beauty on screen though. Even if they do have it powered by a Chevy engine. (why?)
      For those of us that collect and restore old cars (Imperials in this case), it’s hard to watch when the movie studios intentionally destroy something that will never be made again. They destroyed several thousand 1969 Dodge Chargers during the Dukes of Hazzard TV series. Imperial owners also have to deal with demolition derby drivers as well. It seems that the Imperial is the car of choice for most demolition derby drivers due to its indestructible construction. In some derby circles the 64 to 66 Imperials have been banned due to an unfair advantage.
      I think the modern day Green Hornet should have gone with modern day iron. There’s a lot you can do to a new Chrysler 300C. Plus, there are thousands of them available and more are being made. Leave the classics alone.

  • avatar


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Love it.  It gives a new defintion to tactile feedback. 

  • avatar

    I already wrote my scathing review of the Chrysler 200.
    How long till you get the car TTAC?  In fact, you should let me work for you.

  • avatar

    You got my hopes up with the elimination of the console mention………

  • avatar

    Um… scathing, you say?

    That was my first impression too. I think I’ll wait and see what Consumer Reports and Lemon Aid have to say about the Chrysler 200…

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