What it Is
Chrysler Nassau Concept Preview – 2007 Detroit Auto Show: The Nassau Concept represents the future look of Chrysler design without revealing a specific future model. Built on the 300 platform, it borrows the “four-door coupe” term Mercedes used for the CLS. The hatchback body was designed for four passengers, and the 120-inch wheelbase Nassau was designed to appear smaller than the 300 by using short overhangs and shaved corners. Interior dimensions remain large with the intent of providing SUV-sized interior volume in a more car-like package. The Nassau is powered by a 6.1-liter, 425-horsepower V8 from the SRT lineup, rides on 22-inch wheels and is constructed of carbon fiber panels with the exception of the steel doors.
Why it Matters
Staying ahead of the competition means keeping fresh and popular models running through dealer showrooms. Chrysler needs to follow up on the popularity of the 300C to retain customers and attract new buyers to the brand as well as produce new desirable models. concept cars like the Nassau gauge public reaction to possible future products, and what you see today could likely transpire into what you drive tomorrow.
What’s Under the Hood
Backing up the dramatic looks of the Nassau Concept is the 425-hp V8 lifted from the SRT8 lineup. Chrysler estimates a 0-60 time in the neighborhood of 5 seconds and a top speed of 165 mph. Power is put to the rear wheels through a 5-speed automatic transmission while delivering 420 ft.-lbs. of torque.
What it Looks Like
Chrysler calls the Nassau concept a “four-door coupe,” but it doesn’t carry the idea as well as the Mercedes CLS does. Lowering the windows reveals the absence of a B-pillar, adding to the look of a coupe shape. Short overhangs and shaved corners give the appearance of a vehicle smaller than the 300C, although the dimensions are roughly the same. The exception is weight, as the Nassau weighs in 788 pounds heavier than the 300C. At the rear, the hatch opening is steeply raked. In front is a new interpretation of Chrysler’s eggcrate grille. Filling the wheel arches are 10-spoke, 22-inch wheels.
Luxury aimed at a more youthful audience was the basis for the Nassau interior. Four bucket seats covered in cream leather and suede accents provide occupants with their own personal space. Designers looked to everyday gadgets such cell phones, digital audio players and computers for inspiration when designing the controls and switches for the Nassau concept, aiming for a seamless transition between car and everyday life. Large twin skylights run the length of the top, providing passengers with an open, airy feel, while a center console runs between the seats housing joystick-style controls.
What Chrysler Says
According to Chrysler, the Nassau is a showcase for future design avenues and explores a new expression of the Chrysler brand. The press material also states the Nassau concept is a showcase for intuitive design and new technologies in data display. Like all manufacturers, Chrysler is exploring future design ideas with the Nassau concept and the public’s response to the Nassau will weigh heavily in their future direction.
What We Think
Uncertain of what Chrysler really has in mind with the Nassau concept it is hard to speculate or offer and opinion, but we respect the daring approach, and Chrysler definitely needs another home run to get back on track. If Chrysler were to build the Nassau as it sits today, we don’t know if it would generate the following the 300C did upon release.
Photos courtesy of Ron Perry, DaimlerChrysler