For the past several years, the automotive press, insiders, fans, and even Walter P. Chrysler’s great-grandson have been left wondering what will happen to the Chrysler brand. The 96-year old automaker has gone from being the blue-collar worker’s luxury brand to a mainstream people mover brand, which has been reduced to just 8 distinct models in 2001 to only 3 today. Made of the award-winning Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager (Grand Caravan in Canada) minivans and the beloved Chrysler 300 Series sedan, the future of the brand has been in question for several years.
Last year, FCA Canada and the Canadian labor union (Unifor) reached an agreement that committed a $1.3 to $1.5 billion investment towards a future Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) or a Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV) for the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, which currently manufacturers the Chrysler minivans. The vehicle was expected to launch in 2023 as a 2024 model, but no additional information was provided at the time.
Immediately, MoparInsiders was quick to call that a Chrysler product was planned for that production slot. The Chrysler brand had released two electrified concept vehicles, one in 2017, the Chrysler Portal Concept received a lot of attention for its purpose to introduce a user-friendly driving experience for Millenials in an urban setting. The vehicle was then highlighted in the Netflix documentary series “Abstract: The Art of Design”, which followed then Head of FCA Design, Ralph Gilles, and his team about their path to bring the vehicle from idea to concept.
The second vehicle we discussed, the Chrysler Airflow Vision Concept was overshadowed at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, by the first appearance of the Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe and North American first appearances of the Renegade and Compass 4xe models.
Showcased as just a technology “buck” (or a moch up for styling or testing purposes), the Chrysler Airflow Vision Concept, was a sculptural design concept that envisioned the next generation of premium transportation and user experience (UX) by considering how the driver and passengers could interact with advanced technologies. It is created for customers with an on-the-go lifestyle and a desire for a first-class travel experience while balancing their technology needs within a serene environment.
Some of the UX technology showcased in the same technology is now available in the all-new 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer/Wagoneer (WS) and 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee/Grand Cherokee L (WL) models.
During the Stellantis EV Day 2021 presentation, we were treated to a quick teaser of a more production-based version of the Airflow Vision Concept by Head of Design, Ralph Gilles. While no details were provided about the new version of the vehicle, it was clearly related to the Airflow Vision Concept in terms of styling, interior layout, and UX technology. Even down to the Chrysler Airflow Vision Concept’s crystalized rotary shifter knob on the center console.
The vehicle was then showcased again during the company’s Software Day 2021 presentation. Not only was it highlighted on stage, but it was also highlighted during a video in which Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares was shown driving the vehicle at the Chrysler Technical Center (CTC) campus in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Now, Chrysler has announced that it will officially present the Chrysler Airflow Concept to the media and the public at CES 2022 next month. The brand will also share its roadmap for building on the iconic brand’s 96-year reputation for innovative engineering, groundbreaking style, and affordable luxury. This will be the first time since the creation of Stellantis, that the company will discuss the future of Chrysler.
So what do we know about the Chrysler Airflow Concept? Based on the STLA-Large architecture, the Airflow Concept is Chrysler’s first electrified crossover. There appears to be enough room to accommodate 5 adults comfortable in two rows. The Airflow Concept should be similar in size to a 2022 Jeep® Grand Cherokee (WL74).
Its styling is sleek and aerodynamic, thus being worthy of the iconic Chrysler Airflow name. But it reminds us of the “jellybean” styling of the 2015 to 2017 Chrysler 200 sedan and an evolution of the design language currently found on the Chrysler Pacifica, Voyager, and Grand Caravan.
We will find out more about the future of the Chrysler Airflow Concept on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. PST (2:00 p.m. EST). It will also mark the first official presentation given by Chrysler’s new CEO, Chris Feuell.