This Is The Craziest Minivan I've Ever Seen

Of course it's French, glad you've asked! Meet the De La Chapelle Route, available with a Jaguar V12... or a Mercedes V8 with 326 horsepower. It is the ultimate upscale minivan experience.

Forget the Renault Avantime of the Espace F1. This is a whole new level of French awesomeness.


De La Chapelle is mostly know for building replicas, but in the late eighties, they came up with a concept for a very upscale minivan, packed with the most advanced technologies of the time after being approached by a foreign client. Was it the Sultan of Brunei? Was it King Khalid? Was it the Stig?

Only three cars were built. The first prototype was powered by 5.3-litre Jaguar V12 producing 273 horsepower and 303 foot-pounds of torque. That clearly wasn't enough, so for the next two cars, they switched to Mercedes power with a 5.0 V8 giving the minivan 326 hp and a top speed of over 150 mph.


The tubular and aluminum honeycomb chassis was covered with composite body panels for light weight, while the ride was comfortable even though the car was running on monobloc OZ Racing 16" wheels wrapped in 235/60 ZR Michelins, thanks to air suspension and all-wheel drive.


The De La Chapelle brochure had everything from 4 to up to 8 power seats with automatic climate control and all the infotainment and portable telecommunication 1991 could offer.

Xavier de La Chapelle displayed the car at the 1992 Geneva Motor Show, but it never went past the prototype stage. Still, there's at least one somewhere in France with a license plate...


Photo credit: De La Chapelle

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