First Chrysler EV Will Drop Airflow Name, Be Previewed By New Concept
We already knew that Chrysler’s Airflow concept would not make it to production after the automaker confirmed in May that the design study was not a direct preview of the brand’s first EV expected in 2025.
Despite the fact that it looked quite production-ready, the Chrysler Airflow study was not deemed modern enough by Chrysler’s new boss, Chris Feuell. After taking office in September 2021, the executive pushed for a new, more modern design for the brand’s first EV than what the Airflow concept proposed.
As it turns out, Chrysler has already created a new large two-row crossover concept that has a more modern design than the Airflow, according to Stellantis chief designer Ralph Gilles. It’s so different that it doesn’t even use the name Airflow, and the production model won’t either.
Speaking to MotorTrend, Gilles said the change came at the request of new Chrysler CEO Chris Feuell, who “wanted a statement that had literally zero to do with anything that you have seen today, even the Airflow concept car.”
While the Airflow was “a great exercise to signal again the type of vehicle Chrysler might want to do,” the team aimed to beat their own design under Feuell’s new direction. The result is a vehicle that Gilles is very excited about, and he’s not the only one. Chrysler’s large crossover concept also did well at customer clinics in Los Angeles earlier this year.
Gallery: Chrysler Airflow Graphite Concept
“So, we know we have a hit on our hands,” Feuell said. Gilles was even more enthusiastic, noting that Chrysler’s new EV concept “blew the doors off.” He added that Stellantis designers are pretty stoked about it.
While the Airflow concept was created on the Chrysler Pacifica’s RU platform, the production crossover will use the automaker’s STLA Large platform designed primarily for electric vehicles. This provides key advantages like better proportions, a flat floor with batteries laid in the floor, and more advanced electrical architecture.
According to Feuell, Chrysler first production EV borrows some of the Airflow’s features and aesthetics but has a more modern and tech-forward design inside and out. It also gets a lot of STLA technology, including the choice of 400- and 800-volt systems for fast charging and standard and long-range versions – the latter offering up to 400 miles (643 kilometers).
Chrysler’s new concept won’t be revealed to the public until next year, but the production-intended vehicle was shown to dealers to reassure them that Stellantis is investing in the brand.
The automaker hasn’t yet decided on a name for its first EV, but Feuell is excited about the short list of names. It won’t be called 300, though, with a new name being more likely than resurrecting a legacy name. “We are definitely not going down the alphanumeric path,” Feuell said.
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