Automotive News is reporting that Chrysler
is very close to a decision on whether or not to build a sedan based on the Chrysler Imperial concept
that was unveiled at the 2006 North American International Auto Show
in Detroit. Frank Klegon, the Chrysler Group's product development chief, tells AN that development teams have delivered to management all of the info required to make the right decision, but unfortunately any hint as to what that decision will be was not forthcoming. Whether or not the Imperial will see showrooms should be decided before the end of Q1 2007, if not before the end of 2006. Based on the same LX platform underpinning the 300 and likely powered by a range of HEMI V8s, the Imperial would begin production in early '09 as a 2010 model.
Never one to let automakers make a decision without hearing our $.02 first, we think the Chrysler Group should take a pass on this one. The company should be lauded for the cajones it's shown in past production decisions that gave us the Viper
and other cars, for better or for worse. That doesn't mean, however, it should gear up the tooling every time someone smiles at one of its concepts. The Chrysler 300
is a unique, competent sedan that has proven it can go pretty far upmarket, both in performance with the SRT-8 version and size with the Long Wheelbase version. Take that money you would've spent on the Imperial and go buy yourself a nice small car for North America, instead.
[Source: Automotive News]