Monday, January 14, 2008

Detroit 2008: Chrysler ecoVoyager Concept lands

click above for more high-res images of the Chrysler ecoVoyager Concept

One of three Pentastar concepts powered by some combination of cutting-edge technology, the Chrysler ecoVoyager continues the automaker's fascination with art-deco by resurrecting the Stout Scarab. Doing away with a conventional powertrain and installing a 45kW fuel cell allows the 268-horsepower electric motor to spin the wheels for 300 miles before refueling. The Li-Ion batteries give the concept a theoretical range of 40 miles before the fuel cell is called upon, and regenerative braking recovers some energy for the batteries, too.

The skateboard nature of the chassis and power systems allows for a very roomy cabin and low center of gravity, which aids handling. Weighing in at a modest 2,750 pounds, the ecoVoyager doesn't have a problem performing like the cars we know and love, either. 0-60 is dispatched in 8.8 seconds, and Chrysler's claiming a 12.9 second quarter mile, which we find astounding to the point of disbelief. A 13-second quarter mile seems too fleet, even for the eyeball-flattening torque delivery of electric motors. Nuts and bolts aside, Chrysler outfitted the ecoVoyager's interior to keep occupants connected, entertained, fed and watered. There's even dual strips of sunroof that don't look at all like toaster slots. The goal was to create the earth-bound experience that a Gulfstream jet offers in the air. The powertrain of the ecoVoyager certainly outpaces the mere jet-age ideas of a G5.

Gallery: Detroit 2008: Chrysler ecoVoyager concept

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