DETROIT -- The Dodge Challenger and Chrysler Imperial concepts show the versatility of the Chrysler group's rear-drive LX vehicle platform.
The Challenger is a sleek retro-styled four-passenger coupe that draws inspiration from the 1970 Challenger. It's Dodge's response to the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro of that era.
The Imperial is a tall, stately luxury sedan that is about 17 inches longer than a Chrysler 300.
Both concepts were unveiled Sunday at the Detroit auto show.
The Imperial features a long flowing hood and a tall, upright grille. Headlamps draw inspiration from the Imperials of the 1930s and 1960s. Suicide doors and the lack of B-pillar allow for a panoramic view of the interior when the doors are opened wide.
"It's a six-figure image but at a much lower price," Tom Tremont, Chrysler vice president for advanced vehicle design, told AutoWeek, which, like Automotive News, is owned by Crain Communications Inc.
The wheelbase is 123 inches, 3 inches longer than the 300's. The Imperial is about 6 inches taller than the 300. A 340-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is teamed with a five-speed automatic transmission.
But it is the Challenger that is likely to be one of the show's most talked-about concepts.
"The 1970 (Challenger) is the most sought-after by collectors," said Tremont. "But instead of merely re-creating that car, the designers endeavored to build a Challenger most people see in their mind's eye -- a vehicle without the imperfections like the old car's tucked-under wheels, long front overhang and imperfect fits.
"As with all pleasurable memories, you remember the good and screen out the bad," Tremont said in a statement prior to the concept's debut.
The Challenger concept sits on a 116-inch wheelbase, 4 inches shorter than a Chrysler 300. But the car's overall length is 197.8 inches, 1 inch longer than the 300, and 4.5 inches wider.
A 425-hp 6.1-1iter Hemi V-8 is under the Challenger's hood, teamed with a six-speed manual transmission.
You may e-mail Rick Kranz at [email protected]