by Karl Furlong
Chrysler is sorely in need of not just its first EV but also a competitive crossover. With the Airflow, the stagnant marque will try to kill two birds with one stone. A production-ready version of the Airflow Vision Concept was revealed at the beginning of 2022, and a similar Airflow Graphite Concept was shown a few months after that. In either case, what we have is a handsome crossover that promises up to 400 miles of range, has two powerful electric motors, and leverages the STLA Brain architecture, which will seamlessly link the car with the digital lives of its occupants. Chrysler said that its first battery-electric vehicle will reach the market by 2025, and chances are high that this will be it.
Chrysler said it is committed to launching its first EV by 2025, but it did not explicitly say that this will be the Airflow. That seems likely, though, so we expect the release date for the production Chrysler Airflow to be sometime in late 2024 or early 2025. This will precede the brand's goal of having a full battery-electric portfolio by 2028.
No price for the 2025 Chrysler Airflow has been indicated, and although it appears to be a compact crossover, Chrysler said it will fall between compact and midsize crossovers. That would position it alongside rivals like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y in the compact arena, while upper trims could get close to midsize models like the Audi e-tron.
Based on this, we expect the 2025 Airflow to cost around $50,000, with more powerful and luxurious variants approaching an MSRP of $65,000 in the USA.
It may still only exist in concept form, but the exterior of the Chrysler Airflow looks ready for showrooms. It has a particularly low ride height that gives it a sporty look, and we like the narrow headlamps that flow into the grille with its tasteful illumination and a new style for the Chrysler wing logo. Lower down, there is a trio of vertically stacked lights in the bumper. Nothing about the front fascia is particularly groundbreaking, but it's smart and elegant.
The 22-inch wheels are surrounded by black wheel arches, and there are flush-fitting door handles higher up. In Arctic White, one can fully appreciate the contrasting black roof that flows gently as it approaches the back. Speaking of the roof, it has a large glass section that bathes the cabin in light. At the rear, one finds a full-width crystal LED taillight cluster with the Airflow name integrated in the center. The concept has welcome, departure, and animated lighting, along with a special aqua that indicates when the car is charging.
If you don't like the white model, the Airflow Graphite Concept may be preferable. This was described as an "alter-ego version" of the standard concept. It mostly looks the same besides the Galaxy Black paint and Cyprus Copper accents on the wheels and the sides of the roof.
Besides the Arctic White and Galaxy Black, we'll have to wait a bit longer before all the available Chrysler Airflow colors are revealed.
Although exact dimensions haven't been revealed, we do know that the Chrysler Airflow's dimensions fall somewhere between compact and midsize crossovers. That means it is likely to be a bit bigger than the Ford Mustang Mach-E which has a length and width of 185.6 and 74.1 inches, respectively. In terms of height, however, the new Airflow may be a bit lower than the Mach-E's 64 inches.
As with the specs above, it's not known yet what the new Chrysler Airflow crossover will weigh, but the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive concept could easily end up weighing more than 5,000 pounds.
The concept has two electric drive motors (EDMs) - one in front and one at the back - making 201 horsepower each, although the peak combined output isn't known. With that sort of power and all-wheel drive, we estimate a 0-60 mph time of around five seconds, and possibly a bit less than this, depending on how much the production Airflow ends up weighing.
Many other electric crossovers this size start off with rear-wheel drive and a single electric motor, so we wouldn't be surprised if Chrysler elected to introduce a less powerful version like this at the bottom of the range. That said, Chrysler also mentioned that the concept is designed to accommodate larger EDMs, so a high-performance model with closer to 500 hp is also a possibility at some point down the line.
Equipped with a large 118-kWh battery pack, the electric Chrysler Airflow Concept was designed to attain a range of between 350 and 400 miles on a full charge. That would align with most other EVs in this segment, but EPA ratings and MPGe figures are still some way off.
Maximum charging speeds haven't yet been established, but the Airflow is likely going to ride on the STLA Medium platform from Stellantis. Previously, Stellantis said that STLA promises to add 20 miles of range per minute with fast charging. One of the electric crossover leaders for charging speed is the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which is compatible with 350-kW chargers.
Based on the interior of the Chrysler Airflow concept, this will be a palpable step up for the brand. The cabin has a light, airy, lounge-like atmosphere that is said to deliver superb comfort between work and home. Soft blue ambient lighting adds to the calming environment, but there is no shortage of technology in this four-seater EV.
Spanning the dashboard are multiple screens, including a digital gauge cluster, a central screen that protrudes from the dashboard, and another wide display ahead of the front-seat passenger. Chrysler describes the screens as being gloss black sculptures, and there are crystalized textures that have been used throughout the interior.
Chrysler has chosen to use many elegant but also sustainable materials inside. The seats in the Chrysler Airflow are finished in vegetable-tanned leather, and recycled materials are used for the floor mats, fabric, and carpeting.
Interacting with the new EV is supposed to be a new experience for all occupants. Throughout the cabin, these screens - including two attached to the front seatbacks - can be simplified and personalized based on each user's preferences, and information can be shared between passengers with a simple swipe. There is even a built-in camera for each seat which enables a group video conference to be held, but there's no guarantee that this will make it to the production model.
Over-the-air updates will keep the functionality of the Airflow fresh, with new features able to be added over time. This is all linked to the new electrical/electronic (E/E) and software architecture, known as STLA Brain. This architecture is flexible and aims to break the "bond between hardware and software generations." In essence, software developers can create or update features and services without being delayed by new hardware.
On top of the STLA Brain architecture is the STLA SmartCockpit which consists of navigation, payment services, AI-based applications, and more. The final piece of the puzzle that completes this advanced EV is the STLA AutoDrive suite that is capable of Level 3 self-driving, so it should be able to handle more everyday scenarios without the driver needing to intervene.
It may be the most advanced car from the automaker yet, but the cargo space in the Chrysler Airflow is still important since this is still a crossover. While this information hasn't been shared, a crossover that stretches into midsize territory should have at least 25 cubic feet of space behind the second row. The concept also has a power cargo floor that slides out to make loading things easier, a nifty feature that we hope makes it into the production car.
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