Stellantis, Bring Back the Airflow and Make Chrysler the EV Brand
Dear Stellantis, I know you have a North American branding issue. Dodge and Jeep fans don’t want “eMuscle.” They want rumbling gas guzzlers for as long as possible. I’m a lifelong Mopar fan and enthusiastic about the electrification revolution. I’m here to tell you the answer has been in front of us all along: transform Chrysler into your North American EV brand. And there’s a historic reason this will work.
Walter P. Chrysler was the founder of DeSoto. But by the dawn of the 1930s, he knew the future would need an all-new type of car. He hired aviation experts, including Orville Wright, to test designs in a wind tunnel. The result was the Chrysler Airflow.
He debuted the revolutionary new 1934 vehicle at the New York Auto Show. It was so divisive it won both “best looking” and “worst looking” vehicle at the show. It caused a sensation similar to today’s Tesla Cybertruck. In the end, it was a success and changed the shape of every vehicle to come afterward.
But that’s not all. It was Chrysler that continued to be the exciting “engineering-first” luxury brand for decades. It was Chrysler that debuted the hemispherical combustion head, still in use in Hemi engines to this day. it was Chrysler that leveraged the “Ram” air intake to break 300 horsepower and kick off the muscle car era.
For decades, Chrysler differentiated itself by being cutting edge, luxurious, and exciting. If you really wanted it all, you went with a Chrysler. If Chrysler was still guided by this ethos, it would be beating the Tesla Model S and Lucid at their own game.
In 2024, the only Chrysler left will the Pacific. And though a minivan, the PHEV Pacifica is an exciting package. It offers 32 miles of battery-only range and is one of the few vehicles that qualifies for the latest federal EV tax credit. And yes, Chrysler recently came out with a new “Airflow” concept car. But it wasn’t especially revolutionary. I think Chrysler could be much more.
Chrysler is where Stellantis should debut its new eMuscle powertrains. Instead of a “Charger Daytona” the first generation of the exciting new electric sports car should be a Chrysler. Dodge, Ram, and Jeep fans could enjoy internal combustion for as long as its allowed. And meanwhile, Stellantis could still pioneer the powertrains of the future and sell them in North America as Chryslers.
Learn more about the new Chrysler Airflow concept EV in the video below: