2012 Detroit: Chrysler 700C Concept
A Peek at a Possible Future of the Minivan
How do you keep a rather boring vehicle segment like minivans interesting? Chrysler aims to find out with the surprise 700C Concept that quietly stepped into the Detroit show lights.
Per Chrysler's Patrick Hespen, the story behind the 700C is pretty simple: the design studio cooked it up like any other design study, Sergio Marchionne thought it was interesting and said put it on the stand and see what people think. The decision to even bring it to the show was made less than two weeks ago. It has no engine or drivetrain to speak of, it's purely a model.
Why bring then, if it's not real? Chrysler wants to know what you think. It's no secret that while the Grand Caravan and Town & Country were recently overhauled, the underlying vehicles are still long in the tooth. In the next few years, Chrysler will need an all-new vehicle to replace them, and the 700C is one look at what it could look like. Basically, Chrysler is using the Detroit show as one big focus group. Chrysler employees will be on hand throughout the press and public show days to get feedback from the public about the design and report back to HQ.
Hespen says this vehicle isn't a promise of what's to come, just one idea. He admits the radical B-pillar and black hood are things you wouldn't normally see on a production vehicle, but that some elements of this design may well make it to the streets someday. He also confirmed for us that, despite recent rumors to the contrary, Chrysler is planning to keep both the Dodge and Chrysler versions of the minivan around for the foreseeable future.
Since Chrysler's so interested in feedback on this concept, and we are too, leave yours in the comments. If minivans looked like this, would you drive one to soccer practice?