Chrysler is Working on a New BEV Crossover
Auto shows can be a pretty fun time for journalists and the average consumer to learn about the newest vehicle concept coming from their favorite automaker. Whether it’s getting behind the wheel for a test drive or just seeing something new on display, this is the time automakers can gauge the consumer base and their response to what the brand is working on next. Most of the time, the concept gets a great response, and the automaker moves into production. However, sometimes, the automaker turns its sights on to something else and scraps the project. Even with all the good press the Chrysler Airflow Concept received during the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show, Chrysler was just testing the waters before moving on to its next crossover battery-electric vehicle (BEV) project.
Back during its initial debut, the Chrysler Airflow concept was something else. A futuristic model for the automaker, it was about time Chrysler entered the game of BEVs. A very small lineup made up of only the Pacifica and the 300 sedan, there wasn’t much the automaker had to offer the market. Unless looking for a new minivan for a growing family, or looking to go a little green with the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, there weren’t a lot of choices. Chrysler may have been the first Fiat Chrysler brand (now Stellantis) to electrify its lineup with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), but it would need to go all-electric eventually in today’s world.
The Chrysler Airflow Concept seemed like it could be just what Chrysler needed to break into the BEV industry and join the rest of automakers under the Stellantis umbrella going electric. After the Dare Forward 2030 business strategy was announced, it seemed like the Airflow Concept was definitely a vehicle already in the works. Built on the STLA Brain, the Airflow was the first concept to also be built on one of the new Stellantis BEV platforms. The Brain, just like in the human body, runs everything in a BEV, and could more or less be an operating system with the current rise of software-defined vehicles. The STLA SmartCockpit for the Chrysler Airflow breathed further life into the idea, and the concept seemed that it could be exactly what Stellantis was working on to grow the Chrysler lineup.
Instead, this could not be further from the truth.
“The Chrysler Airflow Concept has always been identified as just that — a concept…The Airflow Concept was developed to provide a preview of Chrysler’s brand revitalization and future direction…We have not confirmed a specific name, or any other details, on the battery-electric vehicle Chrysler will launch in 2025, or on the full battery-electric Chrysler lineup planned thereafter.” – Chrysler said in a statement to Automotive News
Well, if the Airflow was just a concept, then what is Chrysler working on? According to Chrysler brand CEO Chris Feuell, the brand is moving in a new direction with the new Stellantis electrical/electronic (E/E) and software architecture that will “drive” future models in the lineup. The Airflow concept may have been left on the cutting room floor, but a secret Chrysler all-electric crossover is currently doing rounds in consumer clinics, and the response is wild.
A consumer clinic is a psychological study where brands will get a group of average consumers in a room and then present them with new products and real-life demonstrations to get an idea of how the larger population will react. If the sample population is as excited as it sounds about the new Chrysler BEV, then it must be something. So far, all we know is it will be capable of delivering an all-electric range (AER) of 400 miles.
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