400-mile Chrysler Airflow concept leads brand’s EV strategy


Chrysler will use the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show starting in Las Vegas later today to announce plans to launch its first electric vehicle by 2025, and possibly an all-electric lineup as early as 2028.

As a preview of this electric future, Chrysler will showcase the Airflow Concept, an electric crossover with a dual-motor powertrain and enough battery capacity for a range of up to 400 miles.

Beyond the powertrain, the Airflow also hints at new connectivity features that we’ll likely see coming to Chrysler cars in the not-too-distant future. These include an operating system known as STLA Brain, which will allow over-the-air updates.

Chrysler Airflow Concept

There’s also an interface known as the STLA SmartCockpit, which includes touchscreens for the instrument cluster, a central infotainment hub and a front-seat passenger-exclusive. Chrysler said the Airflow also has a camera facing each seat, allowing occupants to participate in a videoconference if they wish.

A third future technology preview in the Airflow is STLA AutoDrive. This is the hallmark of future driver assistance features from Stellantis, possibly including fully autonomous driving systems. The Airflow would be equipped with a self-driving system rated at Level 3 on the SAE self-driving ability scale. There was no mention of situations in which the Airflow can handle itself, but the Level 3 rating indicates that in some situations the concept can handle itself but requires the driver to be prepared to regain control at any time.

Die-hard Chrysler fans will quickly notice that the Airflow name dates back to 1934. The original Chrysler Airflow (actually a model family) was the first production car designed for low aerodynamic drag using a wind tunnel. This gave it a distinctive streamlined style, which did not suit the tastes of most buyers at the time. Chrysler quickly restyled the Airflow, then dropped it altogether after 1937.

Chrysler Airflow Concept

Chrysler Airflow Concept

Although a sales misfire, the Airflow’s focus on aerodynamics, along with its all-steel construction, set the tone for future cars. Given the importance of a low drag coefficient for maximizing efficiency and range, the Airflow also seems like an appropriate benchmark for an EV.

Chrysler didn’t provide many details about its electric vehicle plans, but we do know that the brand has access to a total of four platforms for electric vehicles being developed by parent company Stellantis. The platforms will offer up to 500 miles of range and offer efficiency of up to 4.3 miles/kWh in select models, according to Stellantis.

Stellantis has also signed a memorandum of understanding with LG Energy Solution for potential battery supply in North America, and is funding solid-state battery developer Factorial.

Chrysler Airflow Concept

Chrysler Airflow Concept

CEO Carlos Tavares, however, said the extra cost of making electric vehicles is “beyond the limit” for what the industry can afford.

Chrysler’s only current plug-in vehicle is the Pacifica hybrid minivan. Also available with a conventional gasoline powertrain, the Pacifica (along with the Voyager sub-model) is itself one of the halves of Chrysler’s current lineup, alongside the 300 sedan.


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