Chrysler unveils an EV concept and a future for the brand

Today, the Chrysler is a shadow of its former self and offers only two models. One is a sedan that has not been significantly updated in 16 years. The other is a minivan.

Chrysler’s new parent company, Stellantis, has now announced a plan to return Chrysler to its former glory, with the company hoping to bring it back to relevance with an all-electric lineup.

The Chrysler Airflow concept provides a preview of an electric crossover SUV available for sale in 2025, according to Chrysler. Then Chrysler will become Stellantis’ first all-electric car brand in North America in 2028, said Chrysler CEO Christine Feuell.

In 2021, Chrysler sold 98,000 Pacifica vans and just over 16,600 of the 300 sedans. Tesla Delivered over 240,000 vehicles in the third quarter alone.

Car buyers have largely switched to SUVs that Chrysler does not offer. However, most Chrysler dealers also sell other Stellantis brands such as Jeep and Dodge, so Chrysler’s lack of deals in the most popular market segment has not been a major issue for dealers. With the mark lying largely fallow, tthe transition to electric cars gives Chrysler hope for a renewed purpose. By becoming fully electric, while the other brands are switching to electric cars more gradually, Chrysler can help usher in Stellantis’ transition to full electrification, Feuell said.

“Chrysler will focus on road performance, connected experiences and delivering both extended battery life with high battery and fast charging,” she said.

Chrysler Airflow could compete against electric crossovers like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y.

A production version of the Airflow may not be exactly like the concept, Feuell said, but its features give clues as to what the future crossover SUV may offer. For example, the concept car has a camera for each of the four seats of the vehicle so that all passengers can participate in video calls. Items displayed on any of the touch screens can also be shared with others by swiping.

Airflow’s designs also show what future Chrysler models could look like, Feuell said.

“If you take a look at the products we have on the market now, you can make it the case that they do not even really look related to each other if you were to remove badges,” she said of Pacifica and 300. “We will definitely have a more harmonious design theme across all our new products. “

A 1934 Chrysler Airflow.

The airflow concept is named after a famous 1930s Chrysler model. The original Airflow, introduced in 1934, was one of the first American cars designed with aerodynamics as an essential consideration. Orville Wright, one of the famous aircraft-inventing Wright brothers, was a consultant on the project, according to Chrysler marketing material from that era. Chrysler designed a wind tunnel, one of the first in the industry, to test its shape. The original Airflow also featured a number of other design and technical advances. It set speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats, and one drove across America to achieve remarkable – at the time – fuel economy of 18 miles per gallon.

While aerodynamic testing and design are part of pretty much all new car development today, Airflow’s new look was apparently a turn-off for customers in Depression-era America. While Airflow is now considered an important step in the history of car design and engineering, it was a sales flop and went out of production after only three years.

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