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Chrysler’s Sporty Side Takes Flight in Nassau Concept

The car’s shape was inspired by one of a series of sculptures by mid-20th century artist Constantin Brancusi called Bird in Space.

DETROIT – At Chrysler Group, sportiness is not limited to its Dodge brand, and the auto maker proves its point by unveiling the Chrysler Nassau luxury coupe here today at the North American International Auto Show.

“What we wanted to do with the Chrysler Nassau is to experiment with another body style, off of the 300 platform,” chief designer Trevor Creed tells Ward’s. “The West Coast studio came up with that particular design, or sketch, which I really liked. So we went ahead with that concept.”

Like the 300, which is based on Chrysler’s LX platform also shared with the Dodge Charger and Magnum, the Nassau features a wheelbase of 120 ins. (305 cm).

“It’s very elegant; it’s coupe-like, and it has the added practicality of a hatchback,” Creed says. “So it’s a completely different silhouette, in the same way that Dodge Charger and the Dodge Magnum are completely different silhouettes.”

The Nassau is powered by a 6.1L Hemi V-8 that generates 425 hp at 6,200 rpm and a peak torque level of 420 lb.-ft. (569 Nm) at 4,200 rpm. The interior was inspired by home-theater systems and the latest handheld electronics, notably Apple’s iPod MP3 player.

“We paid close attention to the graphics and finishes of these technologically advanced products, seeking to make controls the driver interfaces with similar to what you’d find in the office or among personal electronic devices,” interior designer Ben Chang says.

Though its profile resembles a coupe, the Nassau is actually a 4-door hardtop, Chrysler says. It features 21-in. wheels and LED lighting.

The Nassau’s shape was inspired by one of a series of sculptures by mid-20th century artist Constantin Brancusi. The series of slender abstract pieces is called Bird in Space.

In 2005, a sculpture from that series fetched $27.5 million at auction.

No word on how much Chrysler paid to build the Nassau.

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