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Chrysler Design Done with the 'Edge'


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Chrysler Design Done with the 'Edge'
Going Organic

Posted Sep 2nd 2008 9:32AM AutoBlog
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Trevor Creed resigned from the position of Chrysler's head of design, and as of today is succeeded by Ralph Gilles, the man who designed the 300C. Since every change at the top comes with a "new sheriff in town" speech -- or at least one-liner -- this is what Gilles had to say: "It's definitely time for a new aesthetic at Chrysler. ... We're done with the 'edge' look."

Gilles says he wants the Pentastar's cars to look more "organic." This being art, however, that could really mean anything. For concrete examples and practical considerations he mentioned the Dodge Zeo and Chrysler Ecovoyager, and said that he wants to design "sexy" cars that will appeal around the world. Intriguing statements from the gent known for a car that epitomizes the American muscle sedan, but we are all in favor, and we say "aye." The only question is how soon will they start the redesign, and what will organic look like?
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Wow, the EcoVoyager sure is different, proportionally. I struggle to think of a car that changes appearance so radically in the 360. I was not expecting that bumblebee rear. Not sure if I like it or not: front 3/4 looks interesting, rear 3/4 is a bit weird.

Can we also call this a return to cab forward while we're at it?

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To me this signals a return to a design language that predated the LX cars, that of the LH series. Chrysler's styling of the era was easily one of the best. I certainly wouldn't mind a return to a revamped design philosophy like that.

Although for the record I don't like the Ecovoyager...looks like a last gen Town and Country with a Cadillac grille that was sandwiched between a couple of large trucks.

Edited by Dodgefan
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Actually, I think Dodge should create a design language influenced by the Dodge ZEO and Charger R/T concepts for their future car based products. The future car based products need to be slick and sporty, not bulky and blocky. I would like to see Dodge become sort of a domestic Mazda; a mainstream division with a sportier edge. I think using the ZEO and Charger R/T for design inspiration could help them achieve that. The truck design language doesn't need any full scale changes; Dodge should simply continue to evolve it to keep it modern and fresh.

The EcoVoyager is not as inspiring. It looks too derivative to inspire anything that would be uniquely Chrysler. I think Chrysler brand products should evolve the "edge" or angularity of their current products into something a little more streamlined. The "edge" could serve to retain a sort of formality while the streamlining would make them appear more fuel efficient and modern. Basically, they need to balance out the angularity with some appropriately applied roundness and aerodynamic looking styling.

Dodgefan:

I agree with you about Chrysler's cab-forward design triumphs from the '90s. My favorite was the low-set Ferrari style grille on the redesigned 1998 Chrysler Concorde. It gave the car a unique look, at least among large FWD sedans. Just imagine how sweet that design would have been on a RWD platform with much shorter overhangs!

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Back to being a childish loser again Satty?

It looks good on ya!

Carry on.....

Just going on recent market trends, you know, those pesky numbers that give a pretty good idea of the appeal of a company.

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i saw a nice 300c aero front driver the other day and was reminded of how sweet that car was. despite its blight of having the chrysler badge. anyways, that car with a refresh would do far better again in the market now than the current rwd gangsta car. if chrysler would return to making cars with shapes like that........

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i saw a nice 300c aero front driver the other day and was reminded of how sweet that car was. despite its blight of having the chrysler badge. anyways, that car with a refresh would do far better again in the market now than the current rwd gangsta car. if chrysler would return to making cars with shapes like that........

You mean 300M?

The 300M was considered one of the best FWD cars of it's time, and was even able to be compared with the Germans (Audi, BMW etc.).

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I love it! It looks fresh and unlike anything else on the road. If this is the car that they are building with General Electric, I would seriously consider purchasing it.

If Chrysler is to survive, it needs to dump its current "nonsense" lineup with the exception of its iconic cars like the Wrangler, Ram and Caravan.

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I think the 300C should base its reskin on this:

Haha Noooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think that's the Chronos or something, I'm not a big fan myself....

:dizzy:

It's kinda an old school expensive look it seems they were going for? I think they made another concept car similar to that too, but I can't remember what it was called for the life of me, and NOT the big Imperial thing..... :AH-HA_wink:

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Haha Noooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think that's the Chronos or something, I'm not a big fan myself....

:dizzy:

It's kinda an old school expensive look it seems they were going for? I think they made another concept car similar to that too, but I can't remember what it was called for the life of me, and NOT the big Imperial thing..... :AH-HA_wink:

I said "base on" not "blatantly copy." Big difference there.

The Chronos' design was influenced by this concept car from 1953, the D'Elegance.

53ghia_chrysler_d-elegance_3.jpg

In reality, you can trace some of the roots of the LX 300C design language to that car, then the Chronos, then another concept car that directly followed the Chronos and was much closer to the final LX 300C production car (although photos elude me at this time, that prototype is at the Chrysler museum I believe; perhaps that prototype was the other car you were thinking of?).

Edited by YellowJacket894
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I said "base on" not "blatantly copy." Big difference there.

The Chronos' design was influenced by this concept car from 1953, the D'Elegance.

Back in 1953 I woulda probably said yes. I'm just not a fan of that look in 2008, though obviously there are people who are.

I still wish they would have gone for the 1999 Charger concept look, even 10 years after the concept came out...?

*shrugs*

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Probably not, its a Chrysler.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

If this means garbage like the Caliber, Avenger, Sebring...any Chrysler product released in recent years...is a thing of the past, they might be on to something. I don't think any car company has consistently turned out such unappealing designs like Chrysler has the past few years.

And to say the 300M was competitive with the Germans is a joke.

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:lol: :lol: :lol:

If this means garbage like the Caliber, Avenger, Sebring...any Chrysler product released in recent years...is a thing of the past, they might be on to something. I don't think any car company has consistently turned out such unappealing designs like Chrysler has the past few years.

And to say the 300M was competitive with the Germans is a joke.

Caliber, Avenger and Sebrings are entry level cars more or less. Give us a BMW for $15,000 new and let's see what we get....

:rolleyes:

The 300M was easily competitive with any German car of it's price class. EASILY.

Post a German car of the same price class you feel is remotely better.

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Wow...

And Detroit takes another step backwards...

Are these people serious? It's like the 90s all over again, except without the sales.

FWIW, those concepts mentioned are ugly, homogenous and too reminiscent of 'space cars' to (hopefully) appeal to the mass public.

Now, on the other hand, if Chrysler makes it's cars look like a melted down pile of plastic sh*t (a la Camry, Corolla, Prius and Matrix) well then they might be onto something.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Looks like a cockroach.

I would agree. Starting today, I am looking at real estate on the bus line, seriously. With all due respect to CMG and Dodgefan, if this is the future of automobile design, I'm using public transportation.

Chris

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:lol: :lol: :lol:

If this means garbage like the Caliber, Avenger, Sebring...any Chrysler product released in recent years...is a thing of the past, they might be on to something. I don't think any car company has consistently turned out such unappealing designs like Chrysler has the past few years.

And to say the 300M was competitive with the Germans is a joke.

It's sad to see Chryselr fall on its ass like it has.

Valiant, from the 1960's, with a slant six, available as a wagon and a ragtop...great boxy little car, ran forever and a day.

Volare, from the 1970's, huge leap bass ackwards.

K car, further leap backwards.

Neon, LH cars, Chrysler shows hope.

Current crop of cars, Chrysler is further behind the 8 ball than ever before.

300M...not really sure, it is a cool car in its own way, but all of Chryco needs to start finding their own way FAST.

Chris

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It's sad to see Chryselr fall on its ass like it has.

Valiant, from the 1960's, with a slant six, available as a wagon and a ragtop...great boxy little car, ran forever and a day.

Volare, from the 1970's, huge leap bass ackwards.

K car, further leap backwards.

Neon, LH cars, Chrysler shows hope.

Current crop of cars, Chrysler is further behind the 8 ball than ever before.

300M...not really sure, it is a cool car in its own way, but all of Chryco needs to start finding their own way FAST.

Chris

Ugh... when I was a little boy my dad had a Valient and a Palara... the Palara was a mega piece of $h! and I'll never forget spending a 13-hour drive on black vinyl seats with no a/c on a summer trip to Virginia. Not good memories of both cars ;)

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Ugh... when I was a little boy my dad had a Valient and a Palara... the Palara was a mega piece of $h! and I'll never forget spending a 13-hour drive on black vinyl seats with no a/c on a summer trip to Virginia. Not good memories of both cars ;)

When I was a teenager, my Dad for unknown reasons bought a 5 yr old '79 Dodge Power Wagon 4x4 short bed pickup. It had totally numb steering with a lot of slop..you could go down the road moving the wheel back and forth and it would stay in a straight line. I learned to drive in that truck, and developed my phobia of left turns from it... it would frequently stall when accelerating on left turns..

I never did figure out why he didn't buy an F150, since he always bought Ford/Lincoln/Mercury cars otherwise.

Fast forward to the year 2000, I bought a Grand Cherokee and have been quite happy with it.

Edited by moltar
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Back in 1953 I woulda probably said yes. I'm just not a fan of that look in 2008, though obviously there are people who are.

I still wish they would have gone for the 1999 Charger concept look, even 10 years after the concept came out...?

Again, "base on" not "blatantly copy."

The relationship would be the same that you see between the 1969 Camaro and 2010 Camaro.

And Chrysler Corp. would never design a 300C like a Charger. Way to make a "WTF?" statement there.

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Fast forward to the year 2000, I bought a Grand Cherokee and have been quite happy with it.

This is the sad thing, Chryco seemed to be realy finding their way for the longest time and then.....boom.

Daimler really effed them good.

Chris

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It's funny, I see soooo many Mopar guys up in arms about Daimler "ruining" Chrysler, but I see LX cars, Vipers, SRT4s, SRT8s, Crossfires, all sorts of cool cars.

I look back at the mid 80s and what stands out? Shelby Lancers, Shelby Daytonas, GLHS Omnis, nothing much beyond that...?

I see boring cars from GM and Ford for the most part too. Look what the Malibu turned into- or the Monte Carlo. Or the "Nova" of the mid 80s. TERRIBLE! It was a rebadged Toyota.

Before Daimler Chrysler the Ram was dwindling into the distance, I now see Rams EVERYWHERE. They are a very popular truck.

I wonder what the 1990 Ram market share was compared to Daimler/Chrysler's Ram's market share.... or the present day Ram's market share?

I see the Ford F150 turned into a bland looking but best selling truck. I'm not a guy impressed by sales numbers, I'm a guy impressed with VEHICLES. The Ford F150 might outsell all sorts of things, but since the Lightning was cancelled it's a very BORING truck as far as I'm concerned.

Look at the Silverado! Even most Chevy guys are waiting for change. It's turned ugly, like the restyle of the Dakota a few years back.

I think the current crop of MoPars isn't bad at all. The SRT stuff is awesome, the Viper is self explanatory raw awesomeness, the Challengers are a hot looking car, the Ram is awesome, the minivans sell alot but are as bland as the import minivans now, and even the entry level Chryslers aren't "bad".

Sorry guys, but I call "sour grapes" again.

Look at Ford's incredibly BLAND lineup, look at GM's in between lineup, and look at what I consider as the best lineup (as of right now).

Chrysler *might* go under one day, might screw up down the road, whatever- but as for PRESENT DAY vehicles, they make the funnest, most ballsy across the board lineup of cars as far as domestics go IMO.

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Valiant, from the 1960's, with a slant six, available as a wagon and a ragtop...great boxy little car, ran forever and a day.

Volare, from the 1970's, huge leap bass ackwards.

K car, further leap backwards.

Neon, LH cars, Chrysler shows hope.

Current crop of cars, Chrysler is further behind the 8 ball than ever before.

What a weird, weird take on Chrysler's history IMO.

The Valiant was a car destined to rust, not really a "looker", but the leaning tower of power and the tranny was reliable.

The Volare was a cheap commuter pile.

The K car was a boxy, uninspiring 1980's version of the Model T. It was cheap and reliable as heck. But who wanted to be seen in one?

The Neon was a cheap entry level car, it had it's fair share of problems in the first few years too. The LH cars weren't bad, but the 2.7 engine was.

The late 80's Caravan transmissions you never mentioned, which is surprising because the tranny problems were a HUGE deal for Chrysler's image.

The current crop of cars is pretty decent. The netry level cars are affordable and decent, the performance stuff is pretty danged good, and the SRT stuff is awesome. No other way to put it.

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With all due respect to CMG and Dodgefan, if this is the future of automobile design, I'm using public transportation.

Chris

LOL

I can't speak for Dodgefan, but I can tell ya I'll be driving old "crappy" cars long before I'll drive those jellybeaner little cars.... I'm not a fan either!

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Creed's designs (during his DCX peak) were well executed & inventive, but always a little too quirky. Plus, the final products kept the quirkiness but did away with the execution...his cars had some of the worst execution I'd seen since the Aztek & ION.

Hopefully Gilles can resurrect Chrysler designs - he has a very limited budget. He also is on the J Mays side of conservatism - his designs are well executed and proportioned but are often a little plain (I fail to give him full credit for the 300 as Tom Gale set the stage for that one). Future is not too bright for Chrysler, or any other American manufacturer at this point...

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Creed's designs (during his DCX peak) were well executed & inventive, but always a little too quirky. Plus, the final products kept the quirkiness but did away with the execution...his cars had some of the worst execution I'd seen since the Aztek & ION.

Hopefully Gilles can resurrect Chrysler designs - he has a very limited budget. He also is on the J Mays side of conservatism - his designs are well executed and proportioned but are often a little plain (I fail to give him full credit for the 300 as Tom Gale set the stage for that one). Future is not too bright for Chrysler, or any other American manufacturer at this point...

You can think the government and it's selfish, cynical citizens for that.

Design... Meh... The damage is already done.

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Wow.. that's actaully really cool. Makes both the Prius & the production Volt look like '96 Ford Windstars.

Probably the coolest "one-box" design of the 21st century.

Too bad it's ANOTHER 4-door hardtop that will never see production!

Why do they tease us so? if they're never going to build a hardtop why constantly give us hope!?!? <_<

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  • 2 weeks later...
I think the current crop of MoPars isn't bad at all. The SRT stuff is awesome, the Viper is self explanatory raw awesomeness, the Challengers are a hot looking car, the Ram is awesome, the minivans sell alot but are as bland as the import minivans now, and even the entry level Chryslers aren't "bad".

Sorry guys, but I call "sour grapes" again.

Look at Ford's incredibly BLAND lineup, look at GM's in between lineup, and look at what I consider as the best lineup (as of right now).

Chrysler *might* go under one day, might screw up down the road, whatever- but as for PRESENT DAY vehicles, they make the funnest, most ballsy across the board lineup of cars as far as domestics go IMO.

*claps*

Never thought of it like that before, but due to the designs of the current vehicles, I got a VW instead of a Chrysler product. (I just couldn't see myself in something as ungainly in its detailing as the Caliber).

Edited by MyerShift
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*claps*

Never thought of it like that before, but due to the designs of the current vehicles, I got a VW instead of a Chrysler product. (I just couldn't see myself in something as ungainly in its detailing as the Caliber).

i hear you. i think the new VW Routan looks great. granted, i do some work with VW so i'm around them a lot, but i really like the exterior design of the routan.

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i hear you. i think the new VW Routan looks great. granted, i do some work with VW so i'm around them a lot, but i really like the exterior design of the routan.

I do as well, but I've had a long running quirky appreciation of Chrysler's minivans, and the Routan is the most attractive of the three. (meaning that I rather like minivans)

Edited by MyerShift
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I prolly shouldn't admit this, but I've had six different Mopar minivans down through the decades. I liked 'em all. But the current models really turn me off. The styling isn't as off-putting for me as it was when I first saw them, but it still isn't "good" in my eyes. The interior of the T&C is fairly inviting, but the Caravan's interiors are pretty cold-looking with all those acres of hard plastic ('course, same can be said about many other vehicles, including Hondas). My biggest gripe is the sheer size of these things--anything as long as a Tahoe and weighing in excess of 4400-lbs. should not be called a "mini" anything.

The original Caravan/Voyager was 175" long and weighed 3000 lbs. You could pack a lot of stuff AND people into those things. And once they started putting V6 and/or turbo engines in them (1988), you could also get out of your own way with them.

The new ones are just way too big and bulky for us--but I guess that is the direction the "mini"van market has been heading.

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