To say that Chrysler Imperial concept's debut at this year's Detroit Auto Show caused a mixed reaction among attendees and readers would be an understatement.  Thus, we followed Matt Nauman's test drive of the concept with keen interest, to see if it might sway our staff's opinion one way or the other.

Unfortunately, the Imperial concept was barely functional. Its transmission dictated that the test drive be a limited jaunt at 15 to 20 mph. None of the instruments were functional, as they had simply been glued to the dashboard. Nauman did find the sedan more attractive in person than when on display. The concept's size, at 17 inches longer and  six inches taller than the full-sized Chrysler 300, continues to be its most impressive feature. 

The transmission, instruments, and other issues are relatively minor if Chrysler decides to develop a prototype... but the question remains if the Imperial should even get to that stage. At $40,000, it would arguably be in direct competition with Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler's partner.


[Source: Mercury News]