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DaimlerChrysler: Chrysler California Concept  

 

Chrysler California Cruiser Concept Catches Next Wave Innovative Design Study

Paris - Those on the west coast of the United States will tell you that if you catch a wave, you'll be sitting on top of the world. But the designers in the Chrysler Group Design Studio will tell you that if you catch the Next Wave, you just may be sitting in the Chrysler California Cruiser concept - and on the leading edge of true coolness.

Chrysler California
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The latest celebration of the PT Cruiser's landmark design, the Chrysler California Cruiser makes its public debut at the Paris Motor Show 2002. The California Cruiser is all-new and builds on the unique blend of style and practicality seen in the production models of the successful PT Cruiser, proving that the possibilities are as endless as summer.

"California Cruiser redefines both the look and the interior functionality of a 'Surf Wagon,' with ample space and comfort for four people, every imaginable extreme sports toy, and even the ability to convert to a hotel room for two," said Jim Schroer, Executive Vice President of Chrysler Group Global Sales and Marketing. "All that, and it is totally drop-dead gorgeous - a new interpretation of Chrysler Design magic."

Chrysler California
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"An expert surfer will tell you they are after the NEXT wave, not the one in front of them," Schroer added. "The same holds true for the Chrysler Group, as we look to new consumer demands and expectations around the world. Chrysler California Cruiser is a concept that might be that Next Wave - with us, you just never know."

An all-around versatile vehicle with two large doors, an innovative rear hatch and multi-functional interior, the Chrysler California Cruiser amplifies what owners love about their PT Cruiser. The concept has ample space for four people and their travel needs.

BE TRUE TO YOUR COOL

The exterior of the California Cruiser concept vehicle conveys a "Next Wave" evolution in styling.

"The California Cruiser introduces the new face of Chrysler by making a 'Next Wave' design statement," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President of Design. "Scallopped headlamps, a chrome-accented grille and an integrated bumper reflect the direction of Chrysler Crossfire and Pacifica while taking inspiration from our heritage of award-winning style and design. The crisp, precise styling themes of those vehicles influenced the profile and rear design of Chrysler California Cruiser."

With its "chopped top" profile and stance, Chrysler California Cruiser is a pure American design statement. Crisp fender set lines and linear elements convey precision and a modern feel that respects classic vehicle heritage. The grille features a chrome Chrysler winged badge with chiselled satin chrome horizontal bars. There are dual projector headlamps and new fog lamps to light the way as the 2.4-litre high-output turbocharged engine transports driver and passengers down the highway.

At the push of a button, the California Cruiser's hard top transforms into an open-air cruiser. Eight panels of glass lower or pivot to create a unique driving experience. The full glass roof has a retractable sunroof in addition to a dropping door and quarter flip glass.

One accent that will turn heads is a contemporary satin silver bodyside applique that brings the latter-day Woodie theme into the future and on to the Next Wave. In addition, the California Cruiser has dual chrome exhaust tips, 19-inch billet aluminium machined wheels, and new, hi-tech clear taillamps.

AN INTERIOR FOR THE 'IN' CROWD

"The California Cruiser concept's interior continues the ideas of precision and modern flavor found on the exterior design," said Jeff Godshall, Senior Manager of Exterior/Interior Design. "Linear design elements throughout the interior create a panoramic and expansive ambience."

Chrysler California
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Silver inserts on the door trim, quarter panels and hatchback trim replicate exterior trim panels, again, in true Cruiser fashion, bringing the "outside inside" while at the same time accentuating the interior's volume and contemporary design.

An extended load floor with four individual "fold-flat" seats - including the driver's - creates ultimate cargo volume, versatility and flexibility.

"We created modular seats with a layout that exudes cool, hip images," Godshall said. "All four head restraints retract into the seat backs, allowing clearance for the seats to fold flat. There also are chromed winged badges in the seat backs for clear brand recognition that this is a Chrysler, through and through."

Chrysler California
Click image for larger view

The point is driven home with an integrated "boom box" in the lift gate, in addition to the navigation unit in the centre column, helping to create one of the ultimate cruising companions.

MEMORIES LASTING ALL SUMMER LONG

The Chrysler California Cruiser represents the inspiration of the flexibility, fascination and capability of PT Cruiser's original design. The Chrysler Group presented the first concept leading to the Chrysler PT Cruiser in the spring of 1998 at the Geneva Motor Show. The Pronto Cruizer concept was followed by the company's most short-lived concept car, the PT Cruiser concept - a production version was rolled out within five minutes at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The Chrysler GT Cruiser and Panel Cruiser concepts made their world premiere in 2000, while in 2001 the Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible Styling Study made its debut at the New York Auto Show.

The GT Cruiser concept foreshadowed the recently launched 2003 Chrysler PT Turbo production model, while production plans for Chrysler PT Cruiser Cabrio were announced at the Geneva Motor Show 2002. The Cabrio will be available at Chrysler dealerships in early 2004.

The 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser is manufactured at the Chrysler Group's Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico. From its launch as a production vehicle in February 2000 through July 2002, nearly 444,000 Chrysler PT Cruiser vehicles have been sold worldwide, with 65,000 of those in markets outside of North America.

(October 2002)

Pictures: Automotive Intelligence/Chrysler


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