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Imposing Imperial - Chrysler Concept

douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
edited March 2014 in Chrysler
Gentlemen:

A lot of people have attacked the new Imperial as being too retro, with too futuristic an interior. One auto executive I know called it: "monstrous". Without doubt it is inspired by the 1951 K310 designed by Exner, and the later Ghia D'Elegance of 1954 with a dash of Chrysler Windsor/Ghia Imperial limousine added to boot. It's all pure Chrysler design with a nod to Bentley and Rolls-Royce in particular.

Is there any doubt that 35,000 Americans will at least look at a new production Imperial come the 2007-8 model year over Cadillac and Lincoln, BMW and Mercedes, Lexus and Infinity? After decades of the "boring" milktoast malaise of domestic offerings, this car designed by Messrs. Nicholas and Malakowski is a breadth of fresh air...and a nice compliment to Messrs. Djodjevic and Cameron at Rolls-Royce! I know I would buy one.

Mr. Zetsche should be compelled at all costs to build it with the V10 engine option. Limiting inital production to 35,000 copies a year with a build rate of 15 cars per hour, a separate line at the 300 plant with signage on the building denoting: Home of Imperial; a $49,950 starting price would amortise the requsite $750Mn-$1Bn production cost over three years; potential profits per car: $5-10,000, rebates: NONE!; all would make the picture a sweet one for DCX, and give the team at Chrysler another market victory against its rivals.

Such a move should make Mr. Ford cringe for cancelling the program proposed long ago by the former BMW Executive Mr. Reitzle to resurect Lincoln in a proper fashion, forcing Mr. Ford to back up his desire to "stand for something" with new product for Lincoln and the Wixom factory, ...and spur Mr. Lutz and Wagoner to action on his V10-12-16 Cadillac. (Keeping Mr. Kerkorian "Kuiet", and Mr. York from "Yapping.") Let's bring back a good o'l fashion floor-fight with the sheet-metal between the brands...! I say three cheers to Chrysler and Mr. Zetsche for allowing his team of 80 designers under Mr. Creed to freedom to be bold once again!

DouglasR

Comments

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    I like your use of alliteration, but I did want to add "Chrysler" to the title to make it easier for others to find this discussion.

    Oh, and we've got some photos & videos of this concept car here:
    http://blogs.edmunds.com/.ee8e5f4

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think I'd like to see this car built too. It would be a natural follow up to the wildly successful 300. If they do build it though, it won't have a V10 and it certainly can't have a base price more then 38-40K and even at that price it better be built a lot better than the 300 is interior wise. The 340hp Hemi should be standard and with all the options it shouldn't go for more than 45-47K. With the styling left largely intact and knock-out interior I think this car could make it. The big wheels and bold styling must be left as is though. Maybe not 22 inchers like the concept, but the same design is a must and no smaller than 19 inches. The 425hp Hemi should be an option complete with even bigger wheels and tires and of course all of the optional equipment on the 300 should be more or less standard here. Interior/styling/price are the keys to this car being a success IMO.

    Its bold and brash and afterall a lot of the 300C's success is buried in the notion of knockoff Bentley so why not go after Rolls with this car!

    image

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    Thank goodness they didn't go back and try to replicate this mess:

    image
    Detroit at its worst!

    M
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    KH: The photos of Imperial are wonderful. Yes, die hard that I am I forgot to add the name Chrysler...Walter would be upset! It's fitting that Zetsche brought back Imperial under DCX, since Krupp Steel supplied all the stainless trim for the cap of the Chrysler Building (Krupp Enduro Stainless) and Gargoyles that adorn the building, what goes around...Imperial should be displayed in the atrium of the Chrylser Building when the production model is introduced.

    Definitely a V-10 engine option is needed. Simply because the Hemi engine plant is running at maximum capacity right now...the car begs for the option. How sexy is that? Making it a cloaked "Viper" sedan! Can't wait to see variations on the interior theme. It's a long way between a show car and production...the choices are limitless. Success of Imperial also allows for the return of the Ghia Limousine---especially if Town Car is not replaced with another RWD platform.

    DouglasR
  • I’m really glad you guys started this discussion. You seem to know quite a bit about this project. I’ve never been on a forum, but I keep looking at those awesome photos and my mind keeps racing around about this car....I just have to talk to someone about it. My friends don't have a clue, even though they claim to admire my 300. I mean, what is Chrysler trying to do to me?!? I‘m just now getting over the sleepless nights (first the excruciating wait for my new 300C to be built, and now anxiously awaiting each new day to drive it to work), and getting back on schedule. Now it’s happening all over again! I’ll be honest with you, when I first saw the new Imperial Concept, I was like: “Hmmph. I don’t think Chrysler went far enough.” But now every time I look at it, my subconscious keeps thinking of a way to buy it – but I still love my 300!!! And I went through alot of drama with my wife to get it. But I can’t help myself....I’ve just gotta have that Imperial. The only thing keeping me from becoming completely maniacal about this lovely, bulging, black/copper-coated piece of automotive heaven is an MDS version of the 6.1L HEMI. If that became reality then I would probably end up running my wife over (just kidding) with the 300 just to get to the Chrysler dealer....again.
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    Gentlemen,

    Dodge Challenger drew the most crowds at the D.C Auto Show, and Chris Mathews' Hardball did a set piece using Challenger as back drop...2-3,000 people were gathered around to see the car, more than any other stand. (And most people liked the new car as much or more than the 1970 Challenger they had on display!!) I heard alot of people say positive things, but many more saying "Where is Imperial"...Evidently it has gone to Chicago's McCormick Place Auto Show. But there's more money in the D.C./Baltimore area and potentially more customers, eventhough the TV market might be smaller. So Imperial missed a great opportunity.

    I asked the Lincoln Rep: "Where will you build cars if you close Wixom" The new Type S needs a home, and they did not build the Mark X convertible roadster based off the T-Bird which they displayed last year. "Anywhere that is available" was the response (they did that with Edsel!).

    Imperial has the opportunity now to capture Lincoln buyers, as Town Car goes out of production, and before Lincoln has a chance to re-introduce a rwd sedan. Solving the question of where to build Imperial is the key, and it seems to me after seeing the larger crowds around all the Chrylser displays, the moment to strike is now. Mr. LaSorda could build an ancillary site next to Brampton to build both Challenger and Imperial in the same facility spreading the costs and keeping the QC level the same. Challenger/Imperial, their---upmarket performance division---would have a home, for all those delicious SRT8 engined cars/etc, as well.

    Mr. Ford wants to "Retake the American Road", but his Mark S may not be the car to do it---capturing Lexus buyers only---and his statement implies they've already lost it...but Chrysler was in far worse shape in 1979, and look where they are today. Imperial will own the road long before Mr. Ford has a chance to take it.

    DouglasR
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    I took a couple of photos at the St. Louis Auto Show this weekend. Couldn't get too near it as it was up on a pedestal, but I'll post 'em when I'm at the computer w/my camera.

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  • kenr61kenr61 Posts: 1
    From the perspective of someone with a creaky back and sore knees, I really like the idea of a big, tall, "walk-in" car with wide open access doors. There are a whole bunch of folks out here that don't like having to fold up, duck and twist to get in and out of a car, but hate trying to climb up and down to get in a big SUV.

    However, just because I'm creaky does not mean I don't want to go fast (very fast if possible) and sit in something that looks fast just sitting still. So I like the big engine. The only thing I don't like is the four seat interior. I like the flexibility of seating that accomodates 6 adults, so I hope they offer that option. I like the looks of this I have already decided to get one as soon as I can just from the pictures and specs.
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    Fellow Citizens:

    Bill Ford says he wants to "take back the American Road", wants to "take on all challengers". But in allowing that Lincolns will be made "where available" according to a factory spokesperson...he will make Lincoln into the modern Edsel of its time...built on a 32% solution of parts glued onto the latest Ford chassis.

    I've driven Lincolns for 30 years...the New Imperial is the car that Lincoln should have made six years ago. Jaguar and Aston now represent the top range at Ford---nice as they are. Yet Mr. Zetsche has the chalice in his hand to take as many Lincoln drivers into the fold as he can. And traditional Imperial owners long unrequited. Chrysler needs a top range in America...especially considering that only 224,469 DCX sales in America were Mercedes label--10% of their total. Another 5% is waiting for Imperial, Challenger, etc. Big bucks big profit cars that will make or break a factory...put it at the top of the J.D. Power & Harbour Associates rankings. Mr. Ford may want to take on Toyota, and that is an admirable goal, but he has in saying "retake" the American Road, admits he's lost the road to begin with. Bluntness is needed but---He should just say so...like Lee Iacocca did in 1979. Mr. Zetsche knows Detroit well and has earned his stripes in America. No one doubts his mettle.

    Imperial will set a benchmark---and give Cadillac a run for its time trials at Nurburgring too. Mark X convertible based on the T-Bird platform was shown in Detroit at the 2004 show. Now that car is history...another Lincoln show car that has not seen the light of day on the street. We won't mention the V12 Continental Show sedan several years back either. Imperial, and DCX should not make the same mistake. Watching 3,000 people crowd around Challenger sends a message. Had Imperial been at the D.C. Show, the same number of people would have stopped to look.

    Even Secretary Bodman of the Department of Energy was disappointed the car was not there---this from a friend who works within the DOE.

    I want my Imperial with an SRT8 or V10 engine under the hood---there's some people in Detroit, and across the world, I want to send a message to---driving an Imperial will accomplish just that. I want to wave my flag with my right foot.

    President Bush may wish upon the saw grass, but Green Acres was cancelled a long time ago. Call me old fashioned...I would never buy a Prius or a Hybrid...when the batteries die so does the value of the car. Only BMW has built hydrogen V12 automobiles that are practical. Ford and GM are way way behind. Meantime...the efficient powerful V8 and V10 is waiting.

    Dare to lead Mr. Lasorda...it's not impossible with Imperial.

    DouglasR
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    Fellow Imperialist...

    Mr. Ford is dismantling the Lincoln line...gluing its production onto Ford chassis, closing its factory, renaming its cars in a pastiche of Mark X, Y, Z...the real "Z"---Dieter Zetsche---has the chance to beat Mr. Ford at his game. Imperial is the way to do it.

    Not only can the new Imperial offer no less than three different engines...Hemi, SRT8, and a V10...Imperial can also bring back the halcyon days of the "Ghia" Imperial Limousines of the 1950's-60's. Since the RWD chassis at Lincoln will see its final year in 2006, Imperial can take the lead...though the Ghia name is owned by Ford, Chrysler can sign a deal with PininFarina to build special models of the Imperial for the American and world-wide market. For those of you who don't have the spare $375,000 for a Phantom LWB...you'll be able to afford the Imperial PininFarina and the Condo on the beach, for the same price.

    Mr. LaSorda has to find a way to build a separate facility for Challenger/Imperial on the Brampton site without breaking the bank.

    First, Another 800 workers max would do the trick, able to keep the line-rate at 14/15 cars per hour @35,000 cars per annum. What the market can take.

    Second, a separate shunt line for the two cars...keeping the QC in hand. And providing a way for public tours to watch the exclusive cars being made at Chrysler.

    Third, that means a separate facility on the same site...with a sign above the building saying: Imperial---and/or SRT8. Bring your workers into the fold...so they wear the corporate insignia...bringing back the gold Imperial Eagle/red SRT8 insignia beneath it. Home of the "Hot Ones". Make them a sweat a little at Cadillac...

    Fourth, give your customers a way to customize their cars for the few that order them, with colors/options, etc, and give them the option of touring the factory to see their cars being made.

    50,000 Town Cars won't be sold after the second quarter of 2007, leaving the market open for Imperial and Cadillac. The new Mark S will not garner those lost TC sales, attracting a different kind of buyer. Imperial has its chance, to win a lot of hearts and minds---wave the flag with the right foot.

    DouglasR
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Well, the lighting was bad and I'm not a very impressive photographer, but I did load up a couple of photos from the auto show here:

    http://www.carspace.com/kirstie_h

    Scroll down to the Albums section.

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  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    KH's photos of Imperial demonstrates that DCX is not just tauting the car, as Ford Motor did with three of its Lincoln show cars, (four if you count Sentinenal)---never having built any of them---but Imperial should be built and will be. The market has shifted in its favor, and the mistakes at Lincoln will make it a huge hit. Though Imperial should be at the Chicago show since it was not at the D.C. show.

    No more than 1,600 employees would be needed to build both Challenger/Imperial on a separate shunt line at Brampton. Building a separate facility would cost $350m. Amortised over three years DCX would be making a lot of money on Imperial/Challenger with 50,000 plus sales for both cars. No one doubts that 35,000 people would buy both cars in the first two years alone. 300 sales have averaged 13,000 a month since its introduction. Proving the concept that Freeman Thomas and Ralph Gilles evolved from the Chronos show car, and inspired by Ghia D'Elegance.

    Lincoln has changed the name of its newly introduced Zephyr to "Z". When the dust settles, and Imperial is on the road, the Z will stand for Zetsche.

    DouglasR
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,173
    With the news of Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan starring in a new version of the Green Hornet, I can see the Imperial making it's debut around the same time. I wonder what the Imperial will look like with Green Headlights.

    Odie
    Odie's Carspace Garage
  • Since kristie_h's post there was a report that DCX would base the Imperial on the M-B R series platform, which is built in Alabama, IIRC. Time frame was 2010 model year [mid 09 along with the Challenger]. Challenger will have a new 6.3 Hemi. Imperial could be either 6.1 or 6.3 but there is a 6.4 crate engine Hemi they might base a unique motor upon. The R has a 7 speed auto :D and AWD and a price point of about $50-70K.

    Basing on the R makes sense if they mean to go after the Lincoln Town Car buyers. The LX platform was near maxxed out to handle the show car Imperial's 123" wheelbase. The R class starts with a 127" and is wider. The Lincoln has 123.4" wheelbase but a new design would want to move the wheels further out to the corners.

    One thing I do not see the production Imperial being is a pillarless 4 door hardtop. Name a current [or even recent] production 4 door hardtop. Want to see a negative side impact rating? Production models may have suicide doors [see the Rolls EX 101] but they will be sedans to add strength and reduce costs. Stiffening a hardtop adds weight and cost.

    Much as I love the interior of the show car, I believe that will be an option at best. Lincoln owners want a rear bench, or continuing with Rolls comparisons, a sofa. The show interior to me says "Maybach".

    Then again the M-B R has 6 captain's chair seats. :confuse:

    So, my guess is that compared to the show car - longer, wider, a sedan, suicide doors, real world 19" wheels instead of 22" customs, therefore lower, standard rear sofa, 6.3 Hemi, 7 speed auto, AWD optional. Starting street price about $45K going north of $60 loaded. It will take over the limo trade. Imperial's best years never topped 20K cars; this one should change that.

    Longer, wider and a pinch lower solves most of the complaints about the appearance. But then the entire 50's-70's were based on that idea.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,967
    not that it ever really took off. Select Chrysler Imperial from the discussion drop-down lists and it says no discussions about this car are open. I had to surf all Chrysler discussions to find it.

    ANYHOOO... I liked this car when I saw it in NY at the '06 show. So did my wife. But I guess it doesn't matter now
    Chrysler shelved the idea

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Yeah, when the discussion was created, there was no option for me to categorize it as "Imperial." I fixed that now... just in time to put it to bed :)

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