While Minivans/MPVs have continued to fall in popularity, and a question mark hangs over the future of the Renault’s breed-defining Espace, Chrysler’s 700C suggests that the company thinks there is plenty of life left in this segment. Unfortunately, the execution of the exterior design leaves a lot to be desired. The surface of the shoulder line is sloppy, and as you move around the car, it fails to hang together 3-dimensionally. Most designers that we’ve spoken to here expressed surprise that this concept wasn’t more refined or adventurous, given Chrysler’s history of impressive concepts at NAIAS.
More curious though is the creeping influence of Chrysler’s Italian owners that’s apparent here. In fact, swap that Chrysler wing on the grille for a Lancia one and we don’t think that anyone would bat an eyelid. Perhaps it’s the form language, or the two-tone paint application (with the windscreen surface visually continued through a black hood), but we read a lot of Lancia here.
It’s just a shame that, if Chrysler wants to persists with the Minivan (and Voyager sales suggest they’d be right to) that it didn’t use this concept as more of an opportunity to explore some new, more innovative ideas.
By Joe Simpson