That got us to thinking, what if Chrysler had of reached into its closet and pulled out some of its previous concept vehicles and presented them with electric drivetrains installed instead. Recycling is pretty green, no? They must have something from the not-so-distant past that had decent aerodynamics or some other quality that might give it an advantage as an EV over the ones they actually chose. We decided to take a look for ourselves and humbly share our choices after the jump.
#5 The 2006 Dodge Rampage Concept
Introduced at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show the Dodge Rampage is our bonus vehicle suggestion. It's inclusion in the Dodge line-up would give the company an excuse to ditch the Dakota and send their Detroit competition rushing to their drawing boards. They could keep the front-wheel drive layout and lose the Hemi. It's not completely brick-shaped and there should be lots of space under the passenger cabin for enough batteries.
#4 The 2005 Chrysler Akino
The Chrysler Akino was designed at Chrysler's sold-off Pacifica Studio in California by Akino Tsuchiya for the 2005 Tokyo Auto Show . This classy looking city car would easily out-sell the designed-by-Dr.Seuss PeaPod by about 100 to 1. It would make an absolutely perfect all-electric vehicle for women of a certain age. Featuring two doors on the passenger side it offers stylish simplicity with an asymmetrical bit of flair.
#3 The 1992 Dodge EPIC
While the Chrysler Town And Country ER-EV shown to us the other day may be a freshly facelifted, we think it looks like a sleep-aid on wheels and would like to take you all the way back to 1992 to meet the first Chrysler hybrid. Yes, that's right. Chrysler had this idea 16 years ago. When they made the Electric Power Inter-urban Commuter (EPIC), they made it futuristic enough that it could, with a few modern touches, not look out of place on our streets today. In fact it reminds us of the electric Denki Cube that Nissan brought to New York earlier this year though with less box and more aero. Although the concept version of the EPIC called for a 4-cylinder engine with nickel iron batteries, the all-electric production version that was only sold for fleets used lead-acid batteries and the power train from an earlier all-electric minivan, the TEvan.
#2 The 2005 Jeep Hurricane Concept
Chrysler choose to use the SUV-style Wrangler Unimited to represent the Jeep portion of its line-up. With over two tons of steel and the aerodynamics of a brick, this four wheel drive seems an unlikely candidate for EV status. Our choice, the Jeep Hurricane, is also not-so-slippery in a headwind but does have certain qualities we feel redeems it. First, the one-piece body of strong-yet-light carbon fiber is also the chassis and even with two full-size Hemi engines and wheels the size of Delaware weighs in 350 lbs. lighter than the Unlimited. If that's not impressive enough then consider the possibility of pairing PML Flightlink Hi-Pa Drive™ in-wheel motors that the Lightning GT uses with the Hurricane's ability to turn all of its tires sideways so it can "crab" or turn 360 in place. Very handy for off-road. Yes, it would be incredibly expensive but this is our list so let us dream, will you?
#1 The 2002 Dodge Razor
Although the Lotus Europa with racing stripes could pass as the younger brother of the Dodge Viper, it struck some of us as extremely bizarre that Chrysler would use a vehicle from another manufacturer for its electric sports car slot when it has so many great roadster concepts of its own. Of course, Lotus might seem the EV chassis maker of choice since it can be found in the Tesla Roadster, a Detroit Electric, Ken Okuyama Car's K.08 and Vince Dale's wind-powered car, to name a few. Still, an established car maker should make its own cars and so we would choose for Chrysler its very own Razor concept. This design dates back to 2002 and could certainly benefit from some freshening up but give it some LED lights and a tweak here and there and we think they'd have a real contender instead of a pretender.