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Chrysler Airflow EV Concept Revealed

Revealed at CES 2022, the Chrysler Airflow EV concept takes on the heavy responsibility of reinventing Chrysler as an all-electric automaker.

Chrysler is Joining the EV Segment 

Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Pulling out a nameplate not seen in over 80 years, the Chrysler Airflow EV concept is set to resuscitate a brand that lately appeared on its way out. It would not be the first time Chrysler staged a major turnaround on the back of a new model. If you don’t recall how the K-car saved their bacon in the 80s, we discuss it here. And what better place to show the world Chrysler is still kicking than the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas?

It’s here that the automaker officially unveiled their Airflow all-electric concept. The name harkens back to 1934 with the Airflow, a car that was ahead of its time with cutting edge, wind tunnel-derived design. This being the Electrified Era, today’s Airflow is a futuristic pod powered purely by electrons. Sketches of the vehicle were teased at the 2020 Vegas show, followed by Chrysler’s EV and Software Days in 2021 with more detail.

Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

And now we know the Airflow EV is part of a sweeping company transformation. Namely, Chrysler’s stated plan to sell an entirely electric lineup in just six years, with the first offering by 2025. While this Airflow concept looks production ready, the company has not confirmed it will be that initial 2025 model. It’s certainly good timing considering Chrysler is down to just two vehicles, the Pacifica minivan and 300 sedan.

This is a seriously ambitious plan, set to encompass all 14 automotive brands under the Stellantis umbrella as they go in a “tech company direction”, per CEO Carlos Tavares. Richard Palmer, Group CFO, noted the wide impact of this strategy when he said, “We are fully committed to becoming a leading, sustainable, mobility tech company and will execute on this transformation with more than €30 billion of planned investments in electrification and software through 2025.”

Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

To accomplish these goals, Stellantis has developed a new “STLA” EV platform with Small, Medium, Large and Frame segments. The Airflow concept is based on STLA Medium with crossover looks that appear to be on par with the likes of Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and the Volkswagen ID.4 size wise. Chrysler is a little late to the EV party, but based on the information released thus far, the Airflow looks up to the task.

The Chrysler Airflow EV Concept Car

Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

In concept form, the Chrysler Airflow EV has a pair of 150 kW electric motors with one at each axle to enable AWD and room to accommodate larger capacity motors for future performance upgrades. Fast charging capability will be on tap, as will 350 to 400 miles of range, putting it squarely within the current competitive set for this metric.

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Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

Stellantis describes the Airflow as “fully connected and fully electrified”, which works within the objective is to create a hub for owners to bring their digital life with them, not just go from Point A to Point B. This will be enabled by the STLA SmartCockpit and Brain, which use a new electrical and software architecture to completely overhaul the typical interpretation of a vehicle cabin. Enabling Over-The-Air software updates, this Brain serves to keep the Airflow future proof.

Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

SmartCockpit starts with a huge array of screens that stretch the entire width of the dashboard, passenger included, along with displays for the back seats. Chrysler notes this is intended to offer personalized access to the digital world including video chat via the built-in cameras at all four seats. The company enlisted entertainment and gaming designers to create sharp, high-end graphics and animations throughout the vehicle.

Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

As for the interior appointments, Chrysler is heavy on descriptors like “serene”, “tranquil” and “calming”, all of which are borne out in the simple, clean layout with layers of ambient illumination and light color palette. An all-glass roof adds to the upscale feel, as does the single crystal rotary dial and dual rear buckets. In the interest of sustainability, the interior fabrics and carpeting are said to be made from recycled material and the leather upholstery has been “vegetable tanned”.

We’re Looking at a New Page for Chrysler

Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com
Chrysler Airflow Concept - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

The Airflow EV is an impressive concept that appears to be a harbinger of Chrysler’s future, as well as a much-needed SUV. It will not come cheap, as investment numbers in the $20 to $30 BILLION dollar range have been bandied about. But if Stellantis wants to keep Chrysler a going concern, they don’t’ have much choice.

The Voyager name lives on, barely, as a fleet-only minivan for 2022, though you can get your hands on a low-cost used one as we review here. Aging gracefully, the 300 sedan has not been visited by the Elves of Engineering Updates in a very long time and the practically forgotten Aspen was the brand’s last SUV. In other words, it’s time for a top-to-bottom makeover of this iconic American brand and the Airflow EV concept looks poised to make that happen.

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Niel Stender

Niel Stender grew up doing replacement work on his 1990 Cherokee and 1989 Starion, so it’s not surprising that he would put his mechanical engineering degree from the University of New Hampshire to use in the car world as a vehicle dynamics engineer. Now engineering sentence structures, his writing infuses his auto experience with his time in marketing and his sales experience. Writing about cars for close to a decade now, he focuses on some of the more technical mechanical systems that are found under the hood and throughout a vehicle.

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