Chrysler, 96 years old owned by Stellantis and best known today for its minivans, will become an all-electric brand by 2028.
The company made the announcement by introducing the Chrysler Airflow Concept, an all-wheel-drive electric SUV concept with dual electric motors and a battery designed to travel 350 to 400 miles on a single charge.
Stellantis did not say if the Airflow concept will go into production. For now, the Airflow is meant to give a preview of the design and technology that will characterize the brand’s future portfolio.
The first real product of Chrysler’s new future EV will arrive in just a few years. The global automaker, born of the merger between Fiat Chrysler and French group PSA, has revealed that its first battery-electric vehicle will hit the market by 2025.
The brand now only has three vehicles under its nameplate: the Chrysler Pacifica and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans and the Chrysler 300 sedan. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, a plug-in hybrid that hit the market in early 2017, served as a stepping stone to the direction the brand is taking, according to Chris Feuell, CEO of the Chrysler brand.
Inside Chrysler Airflow
The Chrysler Airflow concept is an SUV designed with a low ride height and a two-tone roofline intended to improve aerodynamics, and therefore range, while giving the vehicle an athletic look. The vehicle’s long wheelbase and wide track are combined with 22-inch wheels to complete the look.
The goal here is to show off a premium SUV, a goal achieved through a series of exterior and interior touches from the panoramic roof and lighting that changes according to passenger preferences to the Chrysler Wing logo that’s attached to the grille, which includes a luminous blade illuminated by crystal LED lighting.
But the real vision of what Stellantis has planned for the brand is the technology – hardware and software – that sits inside the Airflow. As Stellantis Chief Design Officer Ralph Gilles noted in the announcement, the Airflow is “the result of a thoughtful synthesis of Stellantis’ full arsenal of connected vehicle technology – inside like on the outside.”
What does that mean exactly? In Stellantis’ view, it’s all about connectivity, digital content and services and an advanced driver assistance system.
The concept includes three areas that Stellantis is already developing and describing in December as part of its plan to generate $22.5 billion a year from software in its vehicles that can sell products and subscriptions to passengers and drivers. .
It starts with the underlying electrical and software architecture, which he calls STLA Brain. This system is cloud-integrated and connects the vehicle’s electronic control units to the vehicle’s high-performance central computer via a high-speed data bus. This will allow the company to upgrade vehicle software “over the air” or wirelessly.
In addition to this “brain”, Stellantis has added its “SmartCockpit”, a platform built in partnership with Foxconn which will provide driver applications such as navigation, voice assistance, e-commerce market and payment.
Finally, a third automated driving platform called “AutoDrive”, developed with BMW, will complete the manufacturer’s software plan.
These three platforms – “brain”, “smartcockpit” and “autodrive” – will be present in all new Stellantis vehicles by 2024. The Airflow, being a concept that shows where the company is heading, also has these three platforms.
In the Airflow, which exemplifies what can be accomplished with the brain, smartcockpit and autodrive platforms, there are screens throughout the vehicle, where users can access personalized digital content like apps and entertainment. Information on screens can be shared with all passengers by swiping.
Check out the gallery for more photos of the Airflow, courtesy of Stellantis.