Chrysler ecoVoyager fuel cell concept roams free

Chrysler ecoVoyager fuel cell concept roams free

We previewed the three Chrysler concepts coming to NAIAS earlier today, and now we can show you the full story and all the high-res pictures. The sleek and surprisingly powerful ecoVoyager takes Chrysler's hydrogen fuel-cell technology to the next level of application, yielding a spacious, practical vehicle design that - except for its essentially experimental drivetrain - could meet the needs of real motorists, now.

The electric motor that powers the ecoVoyager generates 200kW (268hp), giving the four-door a 0-60mph time of less than eight seconds (although the press materials give a contradictory 8.8 second figure as well). With a range of 300mi (480km) the ecoVoyager is no slouch compared to its fossil-fueled counterparts. Regenerative braking helps to recapture some of the energy generated by the fuel-cell and stores it in the battery. And thanks to that battery, the ecoVoyager can even manage up to 40mi (64km) on electricity alone. Hydrogen is stored under the floor in a 700bar (10,000psi) high-pressure tank, near the 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Suspension is provided by MacPherson struts all the way around, so don't expect pack-leading handling from the car, but at 191.2in (4.85m) long and 63.0in (1.6m) high, the ecoVoyager isn't really designed for performance anyway. A longish 116.0in (2.9m) wheelbase should give excellent straightline stability, however. It's not particularly nimble, either, with a turning radius of 40ft (12.2m).

Inside the ecoVoyager aspires to the feel of a luxury private jet. By pushing the wheels to the furthest edge of the vehicle, the designers found more room inside the ecoVoyager. This space doesn't go to waste, either, thanks to the absence of a center B-pillar the interior of the ecoVoyager is almost completely open and contiguous. The unique instrument panel eschews the traditional flat, gauge-focused surface for a V-shaped leather-covered panel that gives its information to the driver via a full-width screen. Integrated cameras give the side-view mirror images at either end of this display, and a third shows the driver what's behind the vehicle.

Two long skylights let the occupants enjoy the sun and a floor console holds six 20-ounce beverages - hot or cold - for long trips. Each of the indivudal seats can have individual music piped directly to the occupant through headphones, so everyone can listen to what they choose. All-in-all the ecoVoyager sounds like an excellent platform for Chrysler's fuel-cell development efforts. Now all they have to do is get it to market.