This extraordinary concept MPV, badged the Chrysler 700c, appeared on the Chrysler Group stand at the Detroit motor show, though company officials said they knew little about it.
Sources did reveal that mercurial company boss Sergio Marchionne decided that the 700c MPV concept should be pushed onto the stand at the last minute, partly to glean feedback from the public days at the Detroit show.
Although the 700c was badged as a Chrysler, it looks – from the lavish appearance – to have strong Lancia design cues and is rather more Italianate than North American.
Company sources would only say that the 700c was not the shape of the next Chrysler Voyager, although it appeared to based on the same underpinnings.
However, it is possible that Marchionne wants to explore the possibility of a super-luxury seven-seat MPV, which would sit above the Voyager in a future Fiat/Chrysler line-up, even though it is based on the same underpinnings.
Such a vehicle would suit Lancia in the European market and would help stretch the Chrysler brand more upmarket in the US.
Exposure to the US public over the next week or so, would also give valuable feedback to Fiat on how a ‘European’ future Chrysler could be without being too avant-garde for home-market tastes.