Like it or not, electric vehicles are arriving en masse to the American car market. Chrysler hauled the wraps off its Airflow Concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January , appearing in typical ‘electric car white’ as part of its parent company’s wide-reaching EV Day presentations. Now, the brand’s stylists have slipped that car into a photo-inversion machine, showing in a black body color with copper accents.
Chrysler – and all the brands at Stellantis House – were recently given a decade to prove their worth as part of a larger family. Readers can be forgiven if they raise an eyebrow at the specter of Chrysler remaining a going concern, since they currently sell only three models – two of which are essentially the same vehicle with different powertrains (Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid). Compared with the powerhouse of activity at Jeep and Ram – and Dodge, to a lesser extent – Chrysler seems to currently be the odd man out.
Not if the crew behind this Airflow Concept have their way. Part of a long term plan which calls for Chrysler’s first BEV by 2025 and a full battery-electric portfolio by 2028, the vehicle shown here has a sleek body with typical EV cues like flush door handles and a near-invisible charging port on its left flank.
Its front fascia is recognizable as a Chrysler, despite the brand only having a couple of models now, while par-for-the-course black cladding resides over the wheel arches. It’s the latter which definitively spells this machine as a crossover, not a wagon. As shown, it is certainly polar opposite to the Arctic White exterior previously shown at CES and other events.
“The Chrysler Airflow Graphite Concept, the latest version of our all-electric concept, represents the many possibilities on our brand’s road to an all-electric future,” said Chris Feuell, Chrysler brand CEO – Stellantis. “This new persona of the Airflow highlights the flexibility of the Chrysler brand’s future design direction and our ability to create personalities reflective of our diverse customers.” Sounds like they’re planning to be around for the long haul and expect to survive whatever culling of brands happens at some point in Stellantis’ future.
Its interior is not the typical flight-of-fancy concept car cabin, suggesting there’s a reasonable chance the basic shapes and placement of gubbins in here are a realistic vision of what may show up in a production vehicle.
There are screens galore, as you’d expect, and a so-called STLA SmartCockpit which is apparently capable of operating as an ‘extension of digital, work, and home environments’. In a nutshell, different apps and AI-based programs in fields like navigation and voice assistance could permit owners to plan a family road trip route using home-based tools then pick up the nav instructions once all hands are under way in the car.
Motor output and battery size of the Airflow are under wraps for now, but the company does expect the Airflow to deliver up to 400 miles of driving range in its current configuration.[Images: Tim Healey, TTAC]
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