When Chrysler revealed an electric crossover concept in 2021, later christening it with the heritage Airflow nameplate, it seemed this was a shoo-in for showrooms given how production-ready it looked.
That’s no longer the case, with new brand CEO Christine Feuell putting the kibosh on a production version of the Airflow concept.
Instead, Motor Trend reports Ms Feuell has called for a vehicle that’s more of a statement piece. While the Airflow’s design was modern, it arguably wasn’t particularly exciting for 2022, let alone for 2025 when it was supposed to go on sale
Instead, Stellantis chief design officer Ralph Gilles is working on a new large two-row crossover, one which will boast a more modern design.
It’ll reportedly be revealed next year, though a “production-intended” vehicle has been shown to dealers.
“Chris [Feuell] came at it with her perspective which we really enjoyed,” Mr Gilles said. “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.”
“Airflow was a great exercise to signal again the type of vehicle Chrysler might want to do,” he continued, indicating the Airflow was a starting point and that his team aims to offer something even more desirable.
The production model won’t be called the Airflow, a nameplate last seen in 1937, with Ms Feuell noting: “There is a group of people who love the Airflow name and just as many who beg us not to use it.”
The upcoming model won’t wear the 300 nameplate either.
“I don’t think [the 300 name is] quite right for this product,” said Ms 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.”
Chrysler has ruled out alphanumeric names, and is looking at both legacy and new names for its future product.
The Chrysler brand’s first electric vehicle will use the new STLA Large architecture.
STLA Large vehicles will offer the option of dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrains, and will use electric motors each producing between 125kW and 330kW. That creates the possibility of dual-motor 660kW performance models.
Vehicles on this architecture will also be able to support battery capacities from 101-118 kWh, facilitating a maximum range of up to 800km.
The Airflow concept has a 150kW electric motor on each axle, with a claimed range of between 560km and 645km. It also has Level 3 autonomous driving technology.
Chrysler has previously confirmed it will have an EV-only line-up from 2028.
“Starting in 2025 you are going to see a succession of new products coming from us every single year,” said Ms Feuell, though she stopped short of confirming how many vehicles there will be in total.
A three-row electric crossover is, however, expected to follow the upcoming two-row model.
Chrysler currently sells just two models: the Pacifica people mover and 300 sedan. However, the latter exits production later this year, and with the upcoming two-row electric crossover not due until 2025, the brand will have a one-model line-up for at least a year.
The Chrysler brand exited the Australian market late in 2021. The 300 had been its only model since 2014 when the Grand Voyager was axed, with Chrysler’s only other vehicle – the Pacifica – being left-hand drive-only.