Chrysler Airflow Vision concept pairs today's platform with yesterday's name

Joel Stocksdale
Autoblog



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Fiat-Chrysler has a number of notable announcements at this year's CES, including a formal announcement of its plug-in hybrid plans and branding, as well as the North American debut of the Fiat Centoventi concept. But it's also bringing something new and forward-looking to the show in the form of the slippery-looking Chrysler Airflow Vision concept. If that name sounds familiar to you, it's because the Airflow name was used on some streamlined and highly distinctive-looking Chrysler products of the 1930s.

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One thing both the old and new Airflows share is a slippery shape. The new Airflow is nothing but soft organic curves, looking like the automotive equivalent of Disney/Marvel robotic hero Baymax. It even has spats that cover the wheels, which are translucent to show off the big, copper-accented wheels underneath. While not unattractive, the modern Airflow does look a bit generic compared to the bold original, since so many modern EVs have a rounded rounded shape that's undoubtedly aerodynamic, but also unexciting. Maybe Chrysler should give it big hood strakes to evoke the stretched grille of the '30s Airflow.

Peel away the pearly white exterior and you have a blend of future and contemporary technology. The interior shows off pedestal mounted seats swathed in suede and leather. The dashboard is minimalist and curvy like the exterior, and it features many screens as is the modern custom. In the center are dual displays for infotainment and climate controls like in an Audi. A small instrument screen sits ahead of the steering wheel, and the passenger gets a screen directly ahead of their seat. Chrysler says a unique feature will be the ability to swipe different menus and functions over to other occupants' screens so they can fiddle with things.

Chrysler hasn't explicitly said what powers the Airflow Vision, but it makes mention of using the floor of the Pacifica Hybrid. It could share that van's powertrain, a hybrid V6 arrangement that might even preview the reported electrified all-wheel-drive version. We'll hopefully get more details on the powertrain after the reveal.

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