It’s holding on with only two models right now, but Chrysler isn’t prepared to go out yet. Like a few other Stellantis brands, it’s planning a comeback with a host of brand-new cars. And we might see what these future models will look like sooner than expected. Earlier today, Stellantis teased what’s likely the first of several concepts it plans to bring to the 2022 New York International Auto Show. And it’s a new take on the Chrysler Airflow.
This isn’t the first new Chrysler Airflow Concept
Well, technically this is the second new take on the Chrysler Airflow. The original 1934 Airflow was an early study in automotive aerodynamics, hence the name. And while it was sadly financially unsuccessful, it previewed features we take for granted today, such as horizontal steering columns, unibody construction, and seating between the axles. So, it made sense for Chrysler to recycle the name for its 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) concept.
Styling-wise, the 2022 CES Chrysler Airflow Concept little resembles its 1930s namesake. But it does share a few key design elements. For example, it has a sleek, aero-efficient shape. In addition, it has an airy, roomy interior—the original Airflow had more interior space than its contemporaries thanks to its proto-unibody design. Furthermore, the interior features environmentally-conscious materials, such as vegetable-tanned leather upholstery as well as recycled-material carpets and floor mats.
But there’s something else that connects the 2022 CES Chrysler Airflow Concept to the original. The 1934 Airflow was supposed to be a vision of the car’s future, which it arguably was in many ways. And the 2022 concept is, too. Only instead of just previewing a styling direction, it’s previewing a tech one, too: electric cars.
It’s meant to preview Chrysler’s new line of electric vehicles
All of Stellantis’ brands will embrace electrification in one way or another. Yet while Chrysler already has a plug-in hybrid car, it doesn’t have any pure EVs. Well, not yet at least. But when they come, they could look a lot like the 2022 CES Airflow.
Now, when Chrysler showed the Airflow Concept at CES 2022, it didn’t say if it was headed to production, Roadshow reports. Instead, it was more of a design study. However, in the press release for this new teaser, Stellantis states that the updated Airflow Concept “represents the future direction of the Chrysler brand.” So, if Chrysler has some EVs in the pipeline, they might resemble this concept.
Admittedly, the press release also says that the Airflow Concept is “a potential design path on the brand’s journey to an all-electric future.” Plus, it has a few typical concept car flourishes, such as a crystalline control dial, air slots rather than vents, and a camera for each seat. But it’s worth noting that other automakers, such as Genesis, Volvo, and Alpina, offer crystal controls in their production cars. And while the 2022 Airflow Concept is crossover-like, it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to translate its design language into, say, a similarly-sized electric van.
Alternatively, the updated Chrysler Airflow Concept could provide more technical insights into the brand’s EV tech. The CES 2022 car had two 201-hp electric motors linked to a battery pack with a claimed 350-400-mile range. Furthermore, Chrysler claimed its STLA AutoDrive made the concept an SAE Level 3 partially-autonomous car. But concrete technical details were slim on the ground.
This updated concept could change that.
What will be different about the Chrysler Airflow concept at the 2022 New York Auto Show?
As of this writing, Stellantis has only released a close-up view of the updated 2022 Chrysler Airflow Concept grille. It is indeed different than the grille on the CES 2022 car, though. But what else has changed on the EV concept remains to be seen.
We won’t have to wait long to see it, though. Chrysler will reveal the updated concept at its 2022 New York International Auto Show press conference on April 13, 2022, at 11:45 AM EDT. And for those who can’t attend in person, the reveal will be live-streamed on Chrysler’s website.
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