As early as 1934, the Chrysler Airflow caused a stir with its streamlined body. Now parent company Chrysler Stellantis is reviving the classic luxury car name. Stellantis FCA’s predecessor company already presented the Airflow Vision Concept at CES 2020. However, the study was not given any branding at the time, and information about the car was limited. Two years later, another Airflow Concept is gaining popularity in Las Vegas; this time as a real Chrysler and closer to the future production model, which should be on the market by 2025.
In January of this year, Chrysler presented the study of the Airflow electric car at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. Initially, the concept car was known only as an electric car model and the parent Chrysler Stellantis. At this year’s New York International Auto Show, Chrysler has Airflow in its luggage again – this time in the Graphite Concept version. If the original study was painted white, the Graphite Concept is black. On the outside there are now bronze accents – for example on the 22-inch rims. The interior looks unchanged compared to that of the first study – here, too, a few bronze accents are added. In terms of technical facts, Chrysler confirms a few assumptions: the car is actually based on the middle platform STLA from the parent company Stellantis. The platform is intended for electric vehicles from the so-called C and D segments – i.e. the Golf and Passat classes. It will be available for all Stellantis car brands from 2023: models from Alfa Romeo and Fiat to Peugeot and Opel to Jeep and Ram can also use the kit. Airflow range should be up to 400 miles (644 km). In terms of shape and size, the car is a competitor of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which has been released since December 2020.
A typical electric crossover design
The design also makes it clear that the Chrysler Airflow will compete with the Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and its Kia offshoot EV6 or VW ID.4/5. It shows an SUV-like appearance with a long wheelbase and flowing shapes as well as no body openings, a roof in a different color and narrow headlights. For improved aerodynamics, the electric car has smaller exterior mirrors and rear-mounted door handles. One looks in vain for metal ornaments; such features, such as the brand logo on the small front grille, are represented by light. The curves measure 22 inches around. Thanks to LED crystal technology, the lights are capable of special animations.
Stellantis North America
The Airflow Concept shown at CES 2022 has electric motors on each axle, each with an output of 150 kW (204 hp) and providing all-wheel drive. However, Chrysler indicates that more powerful engines may be connected. In addition, the future version of the series should also be available with single-wheel drive options. The battery sits between the axles at the very bottom of the chassis. Chrysler offers a quick-pay option for the Airflow, but has so far withheld further details.
New software architecture
When it comes to digitalization and networking, the Chrysler Airflow Concept is the most modern that Stellantis has to offer. It combines the new STLA Brain software architecture, which shines with artificial intelligence, and the STLA Smart Cockpit. This has an air design and has four screens in the first row: the instrument display sits in front of the driver on a square horizontal. In the center is a large infotainment screen and below it another screen for climate control and so on. On the far right is a separate passenger monitor that does not protrude above the top edge of the dashboard. There is also a separate screen for those sitting in the back.
Stellantis North America
The front and rear passenger displays have cameras so they can participate in video conferences. As is now the norm, software updates are done wirelessly “over the air” (OTA). Depending on your needs or your own preferences, you should be able to configure the menu structure of the infotainment system yourself. Information and displays should also be transferred from one monitor to another with the swipe of a finger. This allows the passenger to choose a destination, for example, where he can swipe on the big screen for the driver to follow the route guide.
Interior for four people
Individual interior components are made from recycled or plant-based materials. However, Chrysler also uses metals and leather for seat covers. The Airflow seats are small, with two individual seats placed in the back, separated by a center armrest. The original design feature is the front console with an open storage compartment at the front and a floating design at the back. The trunk floor, which is not specified in terms of capacity, can be pulled out a few centimeters for easy loading. A panoramic glass roof and indirect, customizable ambient lighting illuminate the air-flow cockpit.
Stellantis North America
The Air Flow Concept is also based on the new possibilities of the Stellantis Group in relation to autonomous driving performance. The level 3 autonomous driving technology is called STLA Auto-Drive and is in the new Chrysler. So the continuous airflow should be able to pass, break and accelerate independently. But only for a certain time: as soon as the situation is confused, the person behind the wheel has to take over. The system is also OTA capable; additional functions can also be connected when the vehicle is already in use.
The revival of the Chrysler brand
The Airflow is the first new model in years for the Chrysler brand, which was said to be on the verge of extinction not too long ago. The manufacturer is even said to take a pioneering role within the Stellantis Group in the future: during the unveiling of the Air Flow, Chrysler announced that it wants to offer an electric model portfolio by 2028 at the latest.
Yes, those involved have recognized the needs of the time and are paying close attention to the infotainment system.No, cars should focus more on low costs and good durability than the user experience and infotainment system.
The people in charge of Stellantis have recognized the signs of the times: The new car must be electric, have a long range and, above all, not hinder the occupants in any way regarding infotainment. So in Chrysler’s new Airflow, each occupant gets their own screen, which is largely integrated with other monitors. The entire Airflow technology is based on the central STLA platform, which is also available for other Stellantis brands. For this reason, Airflow offers a clear technical perspective on the European models of the multi-brand group.