By on January 9, 2012

Chrysler’s so sure their electric minivan has the power to stomp the competition, they had Ndamukong Suh sit in the thing.

No, I’m serious.

That’s Ndamukong Suh.

The minivan is the Chrysler 700C. What’s different about it, besides the Dustbuster-meets-Nissan-Quest looks?

Well, it’s supposed to be electric. To be fair, the 700C is still in that lifecycle stage of concept-car existence where it could be powered by batteries, hydrogen, a revamped Chrysler Turbine, or a GM Iron Duke refitted for 2.7-liter marine duty. Is this the future of Chrysler minivan styling, at least? We’re kind of hoping it isn’t.

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34 Comments on “NAIAS: Chrysler 700C...”

  • avatar

    The overall shape isn’t bad, but that zig, zag B pillar design, not so much and thankfully this is only a concept.

    The rest? We’ll see how that evolves as it’s developed.

    • 0 avatar
      A is A

      An equally awful C pillar has been put into mas production by Peugeot (407 Station Wagon):

    • 0 avatar

      I’m in total agreement with you. The side windows need to flow with no break between them. There is one design that shows the van without the b-pillar. It looks great.

  • avatar

    I’m probably in the minority here but I actually like Minivans for what they are – utilitarian people haulers. As a family of 5 a station wagon just doesn’t cut it anymore. Hello, minivan.

    This thing is UGLY. I’m looking at the side of that thing and struggling to keep my last two meals down. The headlights belong on a concept sedan or coupe, the mail-slot grille is laughably hideous. I get that it is supposed to be electric, so why not eliminate it?

    And the lower bumper treatment? WTF? It is as if they took the most hideous ricer body kit from 1997, sat on it for 15 years, then slapped it on a minivan. WTF are they thinking?

    • 0 avatar

      I doubt you are in the minority. It’s hideous.

    • 0 avatar
      fred schumacher

      The minivan is the best idea ever to come out of Detroit, but the minivan really needs to get back to its roots. The first ones provided the most interior volume and utility on the smallest exterior form. Then feature creep intruded and they kept getting bigger and heavier.

      My favorite vehicle of all time was my 1993 Caravan with 5-speed, the last year a manual was available. Let’s compare it to the new Dart. The van had a 6 inch longer wheelbase but was 6 inches shorter overall than the new Dart. Width is the same on both, as is weight. The interior of the van, however, was cavernous. I used minivans instead of pickups in my farming operation, because 90% of the time they were more useful than a pickup.

      Over the years, all manufacturers have joined in on a power escalation war. The 2.5 liter in my van had 100 hp. and 135 lb-ft of torque, but with its long stroke, undersquare layout, that engine was very tractable, with real horses that acted more like a diesel than a gasser. I never, ever felt a lack of power, even with a heavy load on. Now, if a vehicle doesn’t have 200 hp and go 0-60 in less than 8 seconds, it’s considered an unusable slug. We’ve really lost sight of what vehicles are for and how they are used in real life.

      Let’s get back to the basics. The minivan is a box with wheels. Keep it simple and give us back our picture window view out on the world passing by as we ride. I’m old enough to remember how cave-like car interiors used to be.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Looks like it has a Saab grille.

  • avatar

    Worst. B-Pillar. Ever.

    It looks like the love child of a GM Dustbuster and previous gen Chrysler 200.

    How about propelling it with a Chrysler Turbine optimized to burn Unicorn Farts?

  • avatar

    After the Plymouth Voyager III, I’m not sure why anyone bothered to make a minivan concept again. None of them live up.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    Shockingly the front side windows are more forced than the rear side windows. I mean it actually consists of three parts.

  • avatar

    This is the poster child for everything that is wrong with automotive styling in 2012. It is hideously, grotesquely ugly. It has more creases than an 85 year old woman and more bumps than a deformed toad. It misses the whole point about what a minivan should be. Certainly Chrysler should have an understanding of this, given how good the current design is. The only thing I like on it is the emblem on the grille.

    • 0 avatar
      PJ McCombs

      To me it looks more like everything that was wrong with concept car styling in 1997! I could swear I remember at least a dozen very similar metallicized, swooped-up minivan concepts around that time.

  • avatar

    Looks like the rear-seat passengers will have a very constrained view out the side. Oh I forgot– they’re watching video.

  • avatar

    That’s the shape of the Detroit Lion bandwagon.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    No Hemi?

    Why bother?

  • avatar

    No worse than the current Honda Odyssey…

    • 0 avatar

      indeed. Honda designer: “Hidden slider door tracks? How’d they do that?”

      I would add I think that even this looks better than the existing Caravan/T&C, but as a styling exercise this obviously pushes the envelope for a mass market minivan. The Quest is where you go if you want a odd minivan.

  • avatar

    They killed the Dodge Viper and Dodge Ram. With this they will kill the Chrysler Town & Country to be called the Lancia Laughalot.

    Uglier than the Aztek on a good day.

  • avatar

    From the a pillar forward I like – from the a pillar back – MY EYES! Shut it off, shut it off, shut it off, it hurts my eyes!

  • avatar

    Mini vans are one of those things they just need to make reliable and practical. Chrysler was good at the practical part, it was the reliable they didn’t have a handle on.
    Can we stop calling them mini vans, there really isn’t anything mini about them any longer.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    It will never get built this way, once my fellow bean-counters get hold of it….

    And that’s a good thing.

  • avatar

    Can someone please send Murilee back to the Junkyard to finish his Impala Hell Project series?

    I’m very tired of NAIAS already.

  • avatar

    Did Suh kick it in the throat wen he got out?

  • avatar

    The return of Supervan..

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    I say forget about exoctic drivetrains. The T&C and Grand Caravan are due for a complete redesign in a couple of years and this concept may be a teaser for the direction Chrysler is going with the next generation. Granted the styling will likely be toned down for the production model. I think this will be a nice looking van if they will just redesign that b-pillar and give the windows a more conventional shape.

  • avatar

    B-pillar looks like form over function and unfortunately it is really bad form. One vote for ugliest minivan of 2012.

  • avatar

    “a GM Iron Duke refitted for 2.7-liter marine duty.” Thanks for the powertrain wishlist, Jack. As they say, if you can’t say something nice…change the subject!
    My styling critique is rather simple. What with Sergio’s team in full assault mode, other than extreme eye-pain, I kind of get a futuristic Fiat Multipla on steroids when I’m forced to look at this.
    Ndamukong Suh? I thought that was the name of the Thai plant where they plan on doing final assembly.

  • avatar

    One of the ugliest shapes I’ve seen in a long time, with equally ugly details.

    Worst C-pillar since the Rexton.

    I don’t know what floorpan they were trying to reuse, but I would say that the reusability savings will be more than offset by a lack of sales due to unattractive weirdness.

  • avatar

    Window design reminds me of Columbus by ItalDesign:

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