The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 February 2006

The Emperor's new sedan

Donald Pittenger looks at Chrysler's Imperial concept (pictures from Autoblog here), and he doesn't like what he sees:

To me, the really ugly part is the rear. The shape of the trunk and its detailing focuses my eye on the center, making the rear seem too narrow and too tall, if the photos are any guide. I think this pinched look needs to be replaced with something that is distinctive yet will enhance the car's appearance.

The front also does not please me, because it too seems pinched — but for reason of having all the brightwork in the center. I think small, bright details of some sort are needed at the outer edges of the headlight area into order to keep the viewer's eye moving from side-to-side, giving the impression of greater width.

Me, I think they're trying too hard to make it look like the current Rolls-Royce Phantom: there's the same impression of bank-vault mass, the same haughty height, the same excess of brightwork on top of the grille — although at the Imp's presumed sub-$50k price point, you won't get anything like the Spirit of Ecstasy atop that metal slab.

Then there's this, from Automobile Magazine (March):

We fear, though, the nameplate has been dragged through the mud one too many times: it was a perennial also-ran to Lincoln and Cadillac in the '60s and '70s, a gone-in-a-minute coupe in the '80s, and a gilded K-car in the '90s.

Still, Mopar doesn't have any other high-end nomenclature in the bin, unless they want to exhume, say, "Adventurer" from the mausoleum where they stashed DeSoto, and this car simply doesn't look adventurous. Or, for that matter, imperial.

Posted at 6:01 AM to Driver's Seat


The entire car looks ... well, swolen. As if it had been stung by one really big wasp ... or Hornet. Think I'll stick with my Subaru Outback wagon for a while.

Posted by: Winston at 6:56 AM on 16 February 2006

Those huge back doors hanging by a little bitty hinge. They just scream "I sag in two years!!!"

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 9:24 AM on 16 February 2006