Chrysler Airflow Killed In Favor Of All New Chrysler Rennaisance

Concept / 12 Comments

The striking Airflow that was set to rebirth the brand is not forward-thinking enough for Chrysler execs.

A report from MotorTrend has revealed that Chrysler will ditch the Airflow concept in name and principle and has started over with a clean-sheet design. The Chrysler Airflow Concept was revealed early last year as a preview of what to expect from the brand as it aims to reinvent itself, but it appears that this concept was not revolutionary enough for the brand's new CEO, Christine Feuell, who entered the job in September 2021. She had a new view of what the next big thing from Chrysler should be and how it should be made, and those working under her seem very excited about this new direction.

Chrysler

According to Stellantis design boss Ralph Gilles, "Chris [Feuell] came at it with her perspective, which we really enjoyed. She wanted a statement that had literally zero to do with anything that you have seen today, even the Airflow concept car. It is evolving in a new direction." He added that the concept was a "great exercise to signal the type of vehicle Chrysler might want to do," but the new vehicle aims to look and be more fantastic in every way.

This decision appears to be smart, as the CEO reported that customer clinics held in Los Angeles last year gave the automaker plenty of positive feedback. "We know we have a hit on our hands," said Feuell. "It blew the doors off. That's a good sign. And Chrysler is ripe for that. We've done it before, we've been able to give the brand-new, exciting product, so we're pretty stoked about it."

Chrysler

But looks will not be all that will be modernized. The original Airflow concept was created on the same RU platform that lies beneath the Chrysler Pacifica, but now the next new Chrysler will be underpinned by the STLA Large architecture from Stellantis, which is also to be used on the electric Wagoneer. That should translate to better handling, performance, range, and technology.

Chrysler doesn't want anyone to think the old ideas are being carried over, so the Airflow will be renamed. Feuell says that just as many dislike the Airflow name as people that do, but Chrysler is working through a shortlist of potential names, some of which are old and some all-new. Regardless of what it is, the new product will not have an alphanumeric name. Other EV manufacturers should follow that lead.

Chrysler

The 300 name will not be cannibalized for this crossover. "I don't think it's quite right for this product," said Feuell. "it could be a great name for something that we bring out in the future. There is so much wonderful history and equity with the name, so I wouldn't want to rule it out for potential future use, but not for this one."

Speaking of the Chrysler 300, production of that car comes to an end this year, although an electric replacement has reportedly been shown to dealers already. When the current car dies, Chrysler dealers will only have the Pacifica to offer for over a year while they wait for the 2025 introduction of whatever the Airflow concept has transformed into.

Chrysler

Thankfully, Chrysler dealers that hang on will have reason to celebrate from then on. "Starting in 2025, you are going to see a succession of new products coming from us every single year," said Feuell. A larger crossover is expected after the first one arrives in 2025, and then a three-row SUV. How many cars are coming is yet to be seen, but full electrification is Chrysler's focus.

Will all this be worth the wait? If Ralph Gilles' opinion is anything to go by, the answer is a resounding yes. "I'm excited. It's my favorite thing I've done since the Viper," said Gilles.

The bar has been set. Let's see if Chrysler can raise it.

Chrysler

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