Chrysler is in direct need of new vehicles. The American automaker is hanging on by a thread with just three vehicles – the 300, Pacifica, and Pacifica Hybrid – in its lineup. When Chrysler announced plans to become an all-electric automaker by 2028, we were excited to see what Chrysler had in store. Partly because the electric revolution meant a rebirth for Chrysler and because it meant that the striking Airflow concept would actually go into production. That was Chrysler’s plan all along – the Airflow would become the brand’s first EV and mark Chrysler’s transition to an EV brand when it arrived in 2025. Now, it sounds like Chrysler is sticking to the idea of the Airflow EV and moving on to something else.
In a new report, MotorTrend claims that Chrysler CEO Chris Feuell wanted to go in a different direction and gave chief designer Ralph Gilles some new instructions on the brand’s first EV. “Chris came at it with his perspective which we really enjoyed,” Gilles told the outlet. “She wanted a statement that had literally zero to do with anything you’ve seen today, even the Airflow concept car. It is evolving in a new direction.”
In addition to starting over from a design standpoint, Chrysler’s first all-electric vehicle wouldn’t be called the Airflow, either. MotorTrend states that the Airflow name was only for the concept and won’t be used for the production EV. “There is a group of people who love the name Airflow and just as many who don’t want us to use it,” said Feuell. At the moment, Chrysler doesn’t know what the EV will be called. The automaker is reportedly working with naming consultants to come up with a short list of possible names. Feuell did confirm that Chrysler wouldn’t use an alphanumeric name for the EV.
We’re disappointed to hear that Chrysler is moving away from the Airflow concept’s design because it’s a stunning look, but think that a fresh touch wouldn’t hurt the brand. The Airflow concept utilized Chrysler’s RU platform that also underpins the Pacifica. The upcoming EV that Chrysler’s working on will move to use Stellantis’ STLA large platform, which is designed with EVs in mind. Moving to a dedicated platform for EVs will bring a host of advantages such as better driving dynamics, more interior space, and more advanced technology.
Speaking of which, the unnamed EV will be available with both 400- and 800-volt systems for quick charge times and have a range of up to 400 miles on a single charge. Advanced tech is one of Chrysler’s key areas of focus, as MotorTrend believe the EV could be available with Level 3 semi-autonomous capability. On the inside, shoppers can expect to find sustainable materials and “seamless technology” that should improve things like productivity, communication, and mobility management.
We’re going to be waiting a little longer until we see what Chrysler’s come up with, as the automaker won’t unveil the electric car’s new design until 2024. Chrysler’s first EV is reportedly still on track to come out in 2025. After that , the American automaker hopes to have a full lineup of EVs by 2028.
Pictured: Chrysler Airflow Concept
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