Chrysler‘s 200C concept demonstrates next generation technology which, along with internet access, links with street cameras to provide real-time traffic information.
Television, traffic information, music downloads, chat with other road users and email all come courtesy of the wi-fi internet connection.
Lend the car to someone and it can send the owner details of how fast – or how erratically – they are driving. And a camera can monitor the cabin. If the car gets stolen you can track it via satellite and disable it via a smart phone.
All this is included in a stylish saloon with power options including V6 petrol engine, hybrid or full electric.
Cash-strapped Chrysler is banking on technology like this, along with its upcoming electric vehicles, to keep it going into the future.
Here in Detroit, it is also showing the latest versions of four electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles it is developing: the Chrysler Town & Country EV, Jeep Wrangler EV and Jeep Patriot EV.
These vehicles use Chrysler’s ENVI extended-range hybrid system. Like the Chevrolet Volt, the system will allow a range of about 40 miles (about 60km) before the petrol engine starts.
Chrysler is planning to begin production of one of the range-extending electrics in 2010 with three more off line by 2013.
Another concept, the Dodge Circuit EV, is based on the British Lotus Europa, and is an all-electric sports car that can do 0-60mph (96km/h) in less than 5 seconds and has a top speed of over 120mph (200km/h). Range will be 150-200 miles (240-320km).