Gone are the days when the annual Detroit International Auto Show, or NAIAS for short, was the best auto show in the world. Frigid temperatures and often a lot of snow in this very poor industrial city on the border with Canada did not prevent thousands of journalists and many stars from the world of music, television and even American sport from turning up. head to Cobo Hall on the Detroit River in early January to marvel at a host of concept cars. And the dazzling shows during which they were unveiled.

The past

Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ford, Lincoln and of course every division of GM, from Cadillac to Pontiac, seemed to go out of their way to impress the many guests over the three (!) Scheduled press days. Often, European and Japanese brands also participated, Mercedes, Lexus and others were just as happy to invite themselves to the big car party.

But this is all a thing of the past. During the credit crunch that began in 2007 in the United States, the American auto giants, in particular, fell back to earth. The landing was particularly hard; the Detroit auto show lost all of its appeal and never recovered.

A V10 under the hood

The concept selected this week, which dates from 1998, reminds us of all the glamor and glitter of this glorious era. This is the Chrysler Chronos equipped with an insane body and an equally insane 6-liter V10. The silvery-colored craft is no less than 5.2 meters long, and its shape is a nod to the Chrysler D’Elegance designed in collaboration with Ghia in 1953, as well as the brilliant 300C series model. from the same period.

The interior was also nicely decorated, but considering the huge dimensions of the car, it was rather cramped. The V10 is not from the Viper sports car that sister brand Dodge offered at the time, the huge engine was derived from the 4.7-liter V8 used in other production models. On the other hand, the concept’s suspension does come from the Viper.

A difficult marriage

The car would later inspire the designers of the new 300C, which would also be sold in Europe, but the Chronos itself would never be produced. Chrysler married Mercedes in 1998, a marriage that did not last very long. But during the engagement, it was already “agreed” that real luxury cars had to come from Stuttgart, so a Chronos didn’t stand a chance.