Our own Mr. Posky spoke at length yesterday about Stellantis ‘plan to keep clients’ hands in the pockets of clients long after they have left the field. Go read his perspective, if you haven’t already. Meanwhile, the company has been careful on software day to occasionally focus on an upcoming product – the Chrysler Airflow.
If you recognize this name in the depths of automotive history, go ahead and treat yourself to a golden Pentastar. It was a full-size machine produced by Chrysler in the 1930s, and arguably one of (if not the) first to incorporate rationalization as a method of managing wind resistance at high speeds. Its bizarre shape for the time did it a disservice, and the Airflow was only in showrooms for about five years. Chrysler is surely hoping for a better batting average this time around.
The new Airflow presented yesterday is an electric vehicle (because of course) wearing Chrysler-style clothing and appearing to be roughly the same size as the Ford Mach-E. It’s technically a concept car, but a few details – real side mirrors and realistic lighting – indicate this vehicle may be much closer to production than we think. It will surely ride on a variant of the STLA Medium platform, one of the many structures the company showcased on its EV day earlier this year.
Back then, the suits told us that vehicles built on STLA Medium bones could potentially contain over 400 miles of range; if that’s true, that will set it up for success against fierce competition like the Mach-E and Model Y. It should be noted that during yesterday’s presentation, a screen inside the Airflow has displayed a power reading during a simulated drag race, with the CGI figure easily eclipsing the 300 mark. That horsepower count would also compare favorably to some trims from the competition mentioned above.
Speaking of which, there’s no shortage of screens inside the Airflow, with units up front for the driver and passenger, as well as torque in the center console at great heels. infotainment and ventilation purposes. In this, it is reminiscent of the massive Grand Wagoneer, which has four screens in the front row and three more in the rear compartment. Someone at Stellantis must have a brother who works in a touchscreen factory.
With each of the 14 Stellantis brands generously awarded around a decade to prove their worth, a machine like the Airflow might be just the ticket to bolster Chrysler’s lean showroom. With the Dodge team busy building electric muscle cars and Jeep playing off-road electric vehicles, the high-end electric vehicle crossover segment could be the game that saves Chrysler’s bacon.
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