The company perceived to be most on the ropes pulled out perhaps the biggest surprise of the show. The Chrysler 200C Concept scored big points for its great looks, mid-size RWD platform, innovative "uconnect" in-car computer and communication system and extended range electric powertrain. Most notably, the 200C is a realistic running prototype that nails it in every category and could replace the [deservedly] maligned Sebring in relatively short order - if Chrysler is around long enough to build it.
Design-wise, it's balanced proportions and jewel-like details are a treat to the eyes after years of aesthetic atrocities like the Jeep Compass and Dodge Avenger. This is the first design to be released under the watch of new Vice President of Design Ralph Gilles - best known for penning the iconic 300C and being just about the nicest guy in the business.
>> View Core77's NAIAS photo gallery here.
Chrysler always does something spectacular at the show, but this was their best trick in a long time: a great product. Even Wes Siler at Jalopnik, who's been especially harsh on Chrysler of late, called it "hawt" and "shockingly attractive." The New York Times says, "Sleek, elegant and devoid of any odd styling quirks, the 200C was one of the Detroit show's nicest surprises. It can also be seen as a harbinger of a new direction for the company's styling studios under a new design chief, Ralph Gilles, who created the 300."