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The Chrysler Airflow Concept: Chrysler's EV Future

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The Chrysler Airflow Concept

Chrysler has fully revealed the Chrysler Airflow Concept in a way they hadn't prior. Now complete with a full press release. The Chrysler Airflow concept portends the destiny of Stellantis’ premium American brand, which will introduce its first battery-electric vehicle in 2025 before going all-EV by 2028. You read that right, "America's Premium Brand." Chrysler is aiming up again. The Airflow previews Chrysler’s future of EV propulsion and Level 3 driver assistance.

Chrysler says the Airflow concept’s silent propulsion has a low environmental impact that supposedly inspired designers to take a similar approach to styling. The result is a graceful, aerodynamic vehicle that’s a big departure from the blocky 300 that rocked the world in 2005, and more reminiscent of the soft, smooth lines of the beautiful Chrysler 200 redesign of 2015. The long wheelbase and wide track emphasizes passenger space, with 22-inch wheels giving the Airflow a firm, planted stance. Thanks to a low center of gravity and that wheels-at-the-corners layout, Chrysler says the Airflow will offer excellent handling and performance.

The new Airflow has an exhaustive suite of connectivity features, which will allow the car’s occupants to control other aspects of their lives like home security, shopping, and even video conference calls, etc, right from the car’s cabin. Granted, most of that stuff people will never do. But you based on recent products from Jeep, watching Youtube and Fire TV should be a given for passengers.

Chrysler’s move towards electrification is based on a new company EV platform. The Airflow concept comes with Stellantis’ new battery-specific architecture called STLA. This model is likely based on the STLA Medium platform for midsized cars and crossovers. But what about range you ask? Chrysler expects a theoretical range of between 350 and 400 miles which is easy to make up since it hasn't been tested yet. Maybe we can pretend it gets 800 miles? Joking aside, the Airflow gets all-wheel drive thanks to two 150-kilowatt (201-horsepower) electric drive modules (EDMs) that combine the engine, geartrain, and inverter into a single package. An all-in-one if you will. The Airflow likely has about 400hp between the two EDMs, but you really can't combine the HP for each EDM to get a final output. That isn't how it works.

Another good thing is that Chrysler also says the platform is capable of accepting larger, more powerful power units, making the prospect of higher-performance vehicles a spark of glimmer in the eye of speed fans. Stellantis also announced in July 2021 that all of its future power modules would at least be 400-volt compatible, and that the flagship EDM features 800-volt architecture. As the standard-bearer for Chysler’s electrification plans, it’s likely the Airflow features that technology. Most likely, the Chrysler Airflow can receive over-the-air updates to keep its user interface and technology current for longer than other vehicles on the road today. With the average age of cars people drive older than ever today, this will be much appreciated.

The Chrysler Airflow concept has STLA AutoDrive technology (a shared technology with BMW), a Level 3 driver-assistance suite that can remove the driver from the equation in specific circumstances like freeway or limited-access highway driving. More advanced than other systems currently on sale in the US, Level 3 autonomy allows the driver to take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel, freeing them up to do things they probably shouldn't... heck they can eat a sandwich as the car drivers, or shave, brush their teeth.

Inside, the front and rear seats feature pedestal-style mounts that improve toe room and, as well as a full glass roof. A floating center console separates the front seats, with plenty of storage underneath the bridge for purses and backpacks. You thought floating roofs were bad in design? Now we got floating center stacks, though in this application it is much appreciated. In the back, a low-profile armrest appears between the individual bucket seats. A rear bench will likely appear on the production car. A sliding cargo floor eases loading as well.

Chrysler will become the headliner for parent company Stellantis’ EV aspirations in the United States, ending any rumors of the company being on the chopping block. The Airflow concept, which appears practically production-ready thanks to feasible lighting, mirror, and bumper designs, will likely be the first new product from Chrysler in about a decade when it goes on sale by 2025. Just three years later, the entire Chrysler portfolio will be all-electric, well before Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Audi and Volvo... which is easy when your lineup is currently 3 cars and soon to be different. It will be exciting to see what other news we will get about Chrysler's future as well as other products from Dodge, Ram, and Jeep.

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Detroit News Interview with Chrysler CEO

Interesting interview about Chrysler´s future.
An interesting quote from the article:
"Chrysler also will look to "redefine" the current segments in which it plays, she said. The brand sees a market for electrified large sedans and will have an offering to replace the 300. Chrysler also will look to uphold its heritage in pioneering the minivan almost 40 years ago — that innovation is inspiration for Chrysler's next chapter."
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"Although Stellantis already offers electric crossovers in Europe, they are mostly compact vehicles that aren't popular with American buyers and have platforms designed for internal combustion engine vehicles that are converted to electric."

Compact SUV sales last year: 3.438.835 Yes, that's a million more than pickups.
Compact cars last year: 1.166.101 Platform sharing with above SUVs.

Hybrids are are also more popular than BEVs.

Pretty out of touch with American buyers.
The sentence you quote was clearly something added by the writer and not a statement of the Chrysler CEO.

It is the writer´s way of framing Stellantis as a company that does not currently have competitive BEV´s and lags behind.
If you listen to the questions Tavares has had to answer over and over, one of those is about the lack of BEV´s at Stellantis.
Stellantis is categorically mentioned as being far behind Ford and GM in electrification in the US media.
Carlos´s always answers with the fact that Stellantis offers a lot of BEV´s right now.

Ford actually sells 1 (Mustang Mach-E) and has presented an electric Transit Van and the F-150 Lightning.
GM sells 2 versions of the Bolt EV and has presented for 2022/2023 the GMC Hummer Pick-up and SUV, the Silverado and Sierra EV´s and the Cadillac Lyriq.
So Ford and GM together by 2023 will offer at least 10 BEV´s.

Right now Stellantis offers:
Fiat 500
Fiat Ducato/Peugeot Boxer/Citroen Jumper/Opel Movano/
Peugeot e-208
Peugeot e-2008
Peugeot Expert/Citroen Jumpy/Opel Vivaro/Fiat Scudo
Citroën Ami/Opel Rocks-e
Citroën ë-C4
Citroën Berlingo/Peugeot Partner/Opel Combo
Opel Corsa-e
Opel Mokka-e
DS 3 Crossback E-tense

That is 10 BEV´s in customers hands in 2021. (The Ami/Rocks-e is not a real car however)

We know about at least the following BEV models coming to market in the 2022/2023 period:
Maserati MC20
Maserati Grecale
Maserati GranTurismo
Maserati GranCabrio
Alfa Romeo B-UV
Jeep B-UV
RAM Promaster
Tavares mentioned a total of 8 new BEV coming in the next 18-24 months so i´m missing at least a couple.
That brings us to a total of at least 16 BEV´s for Stellantis on the market in 2023 vs at least 10 BEV´s for GM and Ford combined.
We know we will not see Ford and GM competition for the Fiat 500 or Peugeot e-208 but we will be able to compare the electric Promaster with the E-Transit and the Maserati Grecale with the Cadillac Lyriq as they will be comparable vehicles. We will have an idea how far behind Stellantis will be before the vehicles on the new STLA platforms will come to market from 2023 onwards.
For the european market i am especially interested in how the vehicles on the upcoming STLA Medium will stack up to the vehicles Ford will develop for Europe based on the MEB platform they will be buying from Volkswagen. Ford has chosen not to develop an electric platform for specific European vehicles but instead Volkswagen will be supplying it´s MEB platform to Ford. The interesting thing is the MEB platform was rushed to market by VW in 2019 to lessen the fines from the EU. The platform so far has proven to be dissapointing in comparison to for instance the new Hyundai/Kia Platform. VW has shown in it´s latest plans that it plans to switch to a new platform (SSP) from 2024 onwards. It´s nice to know for VW that at least Ford will be enjoying the MEB Platform going forward.

Next to these BEV´s, Stellantis will have at least the following PHEV´s on the market in 2022:
Opel Astra
Opel Astra Tourer
Opel Grandland
Peugeot 308
Peugeot 308 SW
Peugeot 3008
Peugeot 508
Peugeot 508 SW
Citroën C5 X
Citroën C5 Aircross
DS 4
DS 7 Crossback
DS 9
Jeep Renegade 4XE
Jeep Compass 4XE
Jeep Wrangler 4XE
Jeep Grand Cherokee 4XE
Chrysler Pacifica
Alfa Romeo Tonale
Dodge "Hornet"

That is 20 PHEV´s on the market for Stellantis next year (Hornet will be end of 2022 so could take to early 2023 to be in customer´s hands).
GM will have 0 PHEV´s on the market because they will go straight to BEV´s.
Ford, usually quick to present future vehicles, has for 2022 only the Ford Escape PHEV and 2 Lincoln´s (Aviator and Corsair) PHEV´s on offer in the US. In Europe they add the Ford Explorer PHEV and the Ford Transit Custom PHEV.
So in 2022 Ford and GM combined will have 5 PHEV´s on the market (3 in the US and 3 in Europe).
Stellantis in 2022 is lagging far behind them with 20 PHEV´s on the market (5 or 6 in the US and 18 in Europe)
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