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CHRYSLER'S JAVA CONCEPT IN DETAIL

(Chrysler UK press release - 14 September 1999)

Two weeks ago we previewed DaimlerChrysler's concept to be shown at Frankfurt this week. Official details an pictures are now available following the car's revealing at the show this week.

With its clean, yet refined and elegant ‘one box’ profile, Java's ‘Passenger Priority Design’ makes maximum use of its exterior dimensions. Java's interior package is actually comparable to that of the Chrysler PT Cruiser, yet is 50 centimetres shorter at only 3.77 metres long.

Will DaimlerChrysler produce the Java for Europe?

"Taking cues from DaimlerChrysler's signature MPV and sport-utility vehicle design, Java moves cab-forward design to the next level," said Tom Gale, Executive Vice President Chrysler Product Development, Design and Passenger Car Operations. This show car features what we call 'Passenger Priority Design' with tall architecture and panoramic seating for drivers and passengers to give them more of an in-control feeling compared to other small cars. In fact, the rear passengers are sitting higher than the front passengers, creating an automotive form of theatre seating."

Additional interior space was achieved by moving the windscreen forward. The Java's interior is practical and flexible yet decidedly upscale and comfortable. Said Gale: "This being the first time we created a distinct Chrysler-branded small concept car for Europe, we had to make sure that Java conveys a sense of solidity and looks and feels like a Chrysler. Java signifies the Chrysler brand’s commitment to the compact segment in Europe. Although the vehicle is a pure design study with no production plans, it does convey a strong corporate message that DaimlerChrysler is serious about growing its market share in that segment. Java shows off design cues that could make it into a future Chrysler car."

The Java would slip nicely in between the Fiat Puntos and Ford Fiestas of Europe

The design of the Chrysler Java is almost architectural, rather than automotive. A single low egg crate grille conveys Chrysler's lineage. Its chiselled compact body lends substance and visual weight, suggesting a low centre of gravity and stable stance with a long wheelbase (2.49 metres) and wide track (1.50 metres). Tall upright tail lamps provide a rear signature similar in effect to the Fiat Punto.

Java's exterior design is rounded off by prominent, headlamps, taut body side surfacing and large, 18-inch wheels. The show car features a new light green silver metallic finish. "As small as it is, Java looks substantial, grown-up and sophisticated," said Gale.

The visual language is carried on in the interior. Inspired by Swedish furniture showrooms, Java's spacious interior sports a lighter palate in colours and materials. Featured are brushed aluminium, chrome, cream and light green leather and curly maple wood. Enhancing Java's performance character, the gauge cluster has a unique three-dimensional execution.

"In giving Java's interior a tailored look and feel with great detailing, we reinforced the upscale Chrysler lineage," said John Herlitz, Senior Vice President Design. "Java shows that a compact segment car can have an attractive and rich interior. Added to that, the ‘Passenger Priority Design’ and light colours give the interior a bigger feel." Java has front bucket seats and a 60/40 split-fold rear bench.

Kevin Verduyn, Senior Design Manager at DaimlerChrysler's Pacifica Advanced Product Design Centre in Carlsbad, California, was responsible for the Java project: "Java is the logical follow-up to previous design studies such as the Pronto and CCV. We were looking for the most efficient, yet stylish way to move four people around in a sub four metre car. The design was completed just before the DaimlerChrysler merger was announced.

"In the fabrication phase, in which we actually start the construction of the concept car, we were able to include our merger partner and achieve substantial synergies by using their knowledge and resources," Verduyn added. "Since

Inspired by a Swedish furniture showroom?????!

this is a design study, we had the freedom to use European-based DaimlerChrysler components such as the powertrain, transaxle and suspension on the Java. In working together on the components, the result was a much faster completion of the show car."

Java is powered by a 80 bhp/95lb.ft 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine coupled to a five-speed manual transaxle. The front suspension incorporates wishbones, MacPherson struts, double-tube shock absorbers and a torsion-bar stabiliser. Trailing links with coil springs with single-tube shock absorbers and a torsion-bar stabiliser make up the rear suspension. The Java rolls on P185/50R18 tyres on stylish 18" x 6" wheels.

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