The Chrysler brand has been in a rough spot for... well, a while now. What was once a full lineup of cars, often with cutting-edge design and technology, has been reduced to the Pacifica minivan, its hybrid variant, and the 300 sedan, which dates back to the Bush Administration. (Seriously, you can look it up.) And with the 300's demise this year, the future feels quite unclear. But the brand's CEO insists that a new electric vehicle is going to add some needed energy to the lineup in 2025 and that one particular design may not be DOA yet.
At today's Reuters Events Automotive USA 2023 conference in Detroit (which, in the interest of full disclosure, included an event that I helped to judge) Chrysler CEO Christine Feuell confirmed a new two-row EV crossover is still due out in 2025. That's good news for the Chrysler brand, but even more interesting, according to Reuters, is that "the new crossover is inspired by the Chrysler Airflow concept."
Gallery: Chrysler Airflow Concept
That's notable because previously, we have heard from Fuell herself that the Airflow concept – first unveiled at CES in 2022 – would not preview any future Chrysler EV designs. Indeed, Stellantis design chief Ralph Gilles seemed pretty definitive on that front, telling Motor Trend, "Chris 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."
Evidently, not so new. InsideEVs has reached out to Chrysler to learn more; I will update this post when we hear back.
The Airflow Concept reappeared later in 2022 in all-black "Graphite" form, and generally, reception to the EV's design was very positive. At the time, the concepts looked very close to production-ready, which made the decision to reverse course all the more surprising.
Gallery: Chrysler Airflow Graphite Concept
But if the Airflow design inspires future EVs in some way – even if not directly – it's probably good news for Chrysler fans who want to see something more modern from a brand that badly needs fresh metal. Furthermore, Feuell reiterated that the new EV crossover will use the STLA Large architecture destined to underpin multiple other Stellantis models. She also said that a new sedan concept would be unveiled early next year, but offered no details, including whether it would be electric or not. The Chrysler brand has previously pledged to go all-electric by 2028.
Regardless, any new EV models will join the hybrid Pacifica, which Fuell said would stay in production through the end of the decade. On top of that, the range-extended Ram 1500 Ramcharger shows a lot of promise; maybe this is proof that Stellantis is getting serious about the electrification game.
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