1959 Chrysler Imperial, how many made

Chrysler Concepts Imperial / Firepower

The way back is long. And not finished yet. Many people still think of the soulless plastic cars from the 1990s when they hear the name Chrysler. With models like the Crossfire or the 300C, a new beginning was made under Zetsche's leadership. Chrysler recently presented two studies that give an idea of ​​the brand's design future. AUTO BILD did its first laps in the Imperial sedan and the Firepower sports car.

With a length of 5.44 meters and a width of 1.93 meters, the four-door Chrysler Imperial, reminiscent of a Bentley Arnage, surpasses the European luxury class competition by one clothing size. A block 1.62 meters high. You might think the car has two fronts. Inside: two-tone leather club armchairs, root wood and cleverly backlit door panels. In addition, entertainment at its best: Thanks to innovative polarization technology, two passengers can watch different DVD films on the same monitor at the same time.

The 5.7 liter V8 HEMI grumbles barely audibly under the bonnet. Up to 340 hp and 526 Nm of torque drive the rear axle. The five-speed automatic comes from Mercedes. The 22-inch tires roll comfortably. They carry the Chrysler LX platform of the 300C, which in turn comes from the Mercedes E-Class. "The Imperial should show what a top-class Chrysler can look like," explains designer Tom Tremont. "It can't cost more than $ 10,000 more than a 300C." Means: around 35,000 euros. And with it American practicality with European-looking high quality at the price of a Mercedes C-Class.

The Firepower is intended to demonstrate that the retreading of existing sports car technology works according to this recipe. For this, the chassis of the Viper SRT-10 was made with
covered with a light carbon fiber body. The proportions are classic: long bonnet, extremely short overhangs, total length 4.38 meters. Leather and wood dominate the interior, the switches and levers are made of heavy, high-gloss chrome-plated metal.

The Firepower carries its 432 hp 6.1-liter V8 engine in the front center position, i.e. behind the front axle. The impressive acoustics suggest a manual transmission, but the Mercedes five-speed automatic transmission is also used here. "The Firepower should be a cultivated long-distance runner, not a high-performance athlete," says developer Herb Helbig. How far this is true remains to be seen. What is certain is that modern times have dawned at Chrysler.