Chrysler Imperial Concept First Drive

Chrysler Imperial
Chrysler Imperial Concept - First Drive: Chrysler took a huge gamble with the redesigned 300 sedan, proving in the end that consumers will pay a premium for an American car when the product is exactly right. What made the Chrysler 300 so popular was its upscale design, backed by credible performance and quality materials in a package that didn't command a huge premium over look-alike workaday commuter sedans such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

The 300 had style, it had class, it could carry five in comfort, and it had a Hemi under the hood. To alleviate concerns about its rear-drive powertrain and V8 fuel economy, Chrysler even offered all-wheel drive as an option and installed a Multi-Displacement System for the engine to improve highway efficiency. The result was an automobile that people aspired to own, one that was actually attainable on a middle-class income, one that knocked the socks off the media and the masses.

Now Chrysler must decide if it can take that affordable, aspirational theme one step further, and the Imperial Concept is a bid to measure reaction from the public and the press. Introduced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show, the Imperial Concept rolled onto the stage with actress Eva Longoria riding in the spacious rear seat, adding a bit of star power to a vehicle already infused with presence. As with the 300 sedan, which unabashedly borrows styling cues from Bentley, Chrysler looked to British motorcar heritage as well as its own in creating the Imperial. The result looks much better in person than in pictures, especially when its lustrous Imperial Bronze paint is bathed in warm Southern California sunlight.

Chrysler Imperial
Chrysler Imperial

Chrysler Imperial
Chrysler Imperial

Chrysler Imperial
Chrysler Imperial

Chrysler Imperial
Chrysler Imperial

Chrysler Imperial
Chrysler Imperial

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