DaimlerChrysler is certainly an interesting combination. I've been a
Mercedes-Benz fan for eons, and traditionally
I haven't particularly cared for Chrysler. True, they are the most passionate
US automaker, but until recently their product quality was known to be
Fortunately, they appear to have fixed this (their models have done increasingly well in the JD Power surveys), and here in the auto show they displayed their intriguing concept car, the Chronos.
It's big. Very big. It seems amazingly like a traditional American land yacht in concept - it's so absolutely immense that I couldn't get the whole car in my camera at once.
I find it intriguing that there are two simutaneous trends in the auto industry. One is for vehicles to grow: The Chronos and the Ford Expedition are two examples that leap to mind. The other is for vehicles to shrink; the Mercedes A-Class and the Toyota ecological concept car come to mind. What it looks like is that the people want big cars, but there is heavy pressure being put forth by environmentalists for smaller and more "responsible" vehicles.
Although I didn't photograph it, I had an interesting chat with the GM EV people. I crammed myself into the cramped, narrow interior of the EV, and noticed that for an expensive car it was awfully devoid of wood, leather and creature comforts.
I asked the nice EV rep about that, and he pointed out that those who buy the vehicle don't want leather or wood for environmentalist reasons. Ah ... but a luxury car looks so sterile without them!
This isn't a luxury car, he says. It's a commuter car. For $ 399 a month, all expenses paid except electricity.
I suppose it's the cheapest car in the world to run, if you can afford the $ 399. But I must admit that the Chrysler Chronos does a far better job at stirring the soul.
Return to Portfolio
Images Copyright © 1999 David H Dennis - All Rights Reserved