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Chrysler 200C EV: A hybrid with sex appeal

Chrysler may have had to go cap in hand to the US Government for money, but it still knows how to churn out gorgeous concept cars.

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Derek Fung

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Detroit Auto Show 2009 Chrysler may have had to go cap in hand to the US Government for money, but it still knows how to churn out gorgeous concept cars.

A range-extended electric vehicle
Like the Chevy Volt, the Chrysler 200C EV is what its maker terms a range-extended electric vehicle. This type of hybrid vehicle has an electric motor driven by batteries and a petrol engine. So far it's quite normal. In present hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius and Lexus RX, the petrol and electric engines are both responsible for providing power to the wheels — either in concert or separately. In a range-extended vehicle, however, the electric motor is solely responsible for driving the wheels, with the petrol engine relegated to battery charging duties.

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Like the Chevy Volt...
Again, like the Chevy Volt, if you leave the 200C EV plugged in overnight it will give you 40 miles (64km) of electric-only motoring. After this point the petrol engine kicks in to start recharging the batteries. All up, on a full tank of fuel and a full charge, Chrysler estimates 400 miles (644km) of driving range.

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A lovely Chrysler interior
Chrysler's production car interiors are depressing, sharp-edged plastic affairs with all the ambience of a tomb — and we're not thinking of mausoleums either. Nonetheless the interiors of its concept cars, such as the 200C's, are works of refined beauty. What the designers giveth, the bean counters taketh away.

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Under the skin
Were the 200C ever to make it to production, Chrysler says that it would have a Lithium-ion battery pack (the blue boxes above) instead of the industry norm of nickel-metal hydride.

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(Electric) Power to the people!
According to Chrysler, the 200C's electric motor would deliver a maximum of 200kW to the rear wheels. Curiously, no specifics are given about the petrol motor, or "range extender".

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Where am I?
Appearing dream-like in the centre of the dashboard is a sat nav map.

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Eco gangsta
The 200C's beautiful proportions owe a lot to the fact that it's built off a shortened version of the 300C, a favourite of gangstas, or wannabe gangstas, everywhere.

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