The Chrysler Airflow concept may no longer be the template for the brand’s first production EV.
Chrysler’s first EV will still be a two-row crossover like the Airflow concept, but with a different name and styling in response to directives from CEO Christine Feuell, according to a new Motor Trend report.
The Airflow concept was first shown at the 2022 CES, with an updated version appearing at the 2022 New York auto show later that year. A patent application for the design surfaced in 2022 as well, but since then it appears Chrysler has gone in a different direction.
Feuell, who took over as head of Chrysler in 2021, wanted the production model to go in a different direction from the Airflow concept, styling-wise, Stellantis design boss Ralph Gilles said in an interview with Motor Trend. Feuell told the magazine that the revised design performed well in customer clinics held in Los Angeles earlier this year, adding that the production crossover retains some of the concept’s aesthetics, but with a more modern overall design.
Another modernizing touch is the nixing of the Airflow name, which originated with Chrysler’s revolutionary aerodynamic models of the 1930s. According to Motor Trend, Chrysler is looking at a shortlist of alternative names, including some new and some recycled legacy names. A new name is reportedly more likely as Chrysler moves to reinvent itself, but Feuell told Motor Trend an alphanumeric combination is out, and the electric crossover won’t take the Chrysler 300 name from the soon-to-be-discontinued sedan.
The Airflow concept was built off the RU platform that underpins the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, but Motor Trend reports the production electric crossover will use the STLA Large platform, one of four dedicated EV architectures to be used in upcoming Stellantis electric models. It was always likely that Chrysler’s EV would use one of the new dedicated architectures, however, rather than a carryover platform shared with internal-combustion models.
Chrysler reportedly plans to offer versions with both 400-volt and 800-volt electrical systems for fast charging, as well as standard-range and long-range battery options, the latter targeting up to 400 miles of range. Expect a host of tech features similar to what Chrysler previewed at the 2023 CES as well, including an infotainment system that “learns” owner preferences and a Level 3 driver-assist system.
The electric crossover is still scheduled to launch in 2025, and will reportedly be followed by a larger three-row model. According to a 2022 report, a Chrysler electric sedan is also in the works, but it won’t arrive until 2028.
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