Airflow concept offers glimpse of Chrysler’s electric future


In 1934, Chrysler became the first American automaker to incorporate improved aerodynamics into the design of its cars. Its first effort was hopefully known as the Airflow, which featured a hideous waterfall grille. The model was selling slowly (no surprise there!) and it went out of production in 1937.

1034 Chrysler airflow. Image courtesy of Chrysler Corporation.

This week at CES 2022, Chrysler dusted off the Airflow name and applied it to an all-new electric SUV concept amid a lot of noise about how the company intends to only build electric vehicles at battery by 2028. Note that this pledge says nothing about Dodge – which makers of pickup trucks and muscle cars – or Jeep – only offering off-road vehicles in case the Rubicon Trail is the route you need to take to get to work.

That’s not to say these brands won’t go fully electric one day. In fact, we know that Dodge is working on an electric pickup truck and intends to introduce battery-electric versions of the Charger and Challenger, while Jeep brings more plug-in hybrids to market. But as far as we know, all three brands are a long way from being all-electric by 2028. If we’re wrong about that, we know our loyal readers will be quick to let us know we’re wrong.

The concept of airflow

The Airflow Concept that Chrysler showed off at CES 2022 garnered a lot of favorable press, but right now it’s nothing more than vaporware. The company won’t specifically state whether it’s intended for production, saying only that it will have some sort of Chrysler-badged electric vehicle on the market by 2025. (There are further spec hints in official photos. See below.)

All Chrysler will say is that the Concept will have two 201 horsepower (150 kW) electric motors and a range of 350 to 400 miles. Oh, it will also have Level 3 autonomous driving, according to the company, the ability to update software over the air, and programmable displays for each passenger that will allow them to communicate with each other while riding in the car. Phew! Always be my beating heart!

Chrysler Airflow Concept

Photo credit: Chrysler

Roadshow CNET rather breathlessly praises the car for its sculpted good looks, airy cockpit and plenty of tech gadgets, including cameras at every passenger seat so everyone can take Zoom calls while driving. It speaks volumes about vegetable-tanned leather inside and floor mats derived from recyclable materials. Above all, he praises the Stallantis STLA brain platform, which will theoretically provide the basis for all of Chrysler’s upcoming electric cars.

Chrysler Airflow Concept

Photo credit: Chrysler

The Airflow is a feast for the eyes. The styling is sleek and modern and the interior offers plenty of space for people and their belongings. road show is particularly pleased with the “crystalline control dial that looks like a jewel floating above the center console, adding a bit of richness to the interior”. Well, gee-willikers. If that doesn’t get customers flocking to Chrysler showrooms, what will?

Is the Airflow concept a sign that Stellantis has a plan to join the electric vehicle revolution in earnest or just a bit of window dressing as the company strives to chart a path forward in the brave new world electric transport? “We will see,” said the Zen master.


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