Chrysler shows edgier electric Airflow 'Graphite' concept
Chrysler is flashing an edgier look and feel for its all-electric Airflow SUV concept that's meant to signal the transformational direction of the struggling Stellantis NV brand.
The "Graphite" version of the concept debuted Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show. It sports a Galaxy Black exterior and Cyprus Copper interior and exterior accents to evoke the moody image of a Gotham City nighttime skyline, Chrysler CEO Chris Feuell said, accentuating its move to appeal to younger, urban buyers.
"It's Chrysler's new persona and experience that will draw you in and make you say, 'Wow, it's a genius and captivating design' to stimulate the senses, allowing you to appreciate all of the details inside and out," Feuell said. "The Galaxy Black exterior body color was inspired from an urban mindset that conveys a more serious, sinister, yet sophisticated attitude."
The Graphite styling was one of several potential design expressions for the SUV that was revealed with an Arctic White paint job in January at the CES electronic trade show in Las Vegas, where Chrysler said it would introduce its first electric production model by 2025 and be all-electric by 2028. The company says the Airflow concept has 400 miles of range.
Like the original concept, the Graphite model also emphasizes the technology-heavy future of Stellantis' vehicles, featuring its STLA Brain electronic architecture, STLA SmartCockpit infotainment software from its Mobile Drive joint venture with iPhone contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group, and the STLA AutoDrive "Level 3" automated driving functions being developed with BMW. All three are updateable over-the-air.
"The future won't simply be about making vehicles that move from point A to point B," Feuell said. "We're creating a seamlessly connected hub that brings the customer's lifestyle along in the vehicle."
Feuell also teased changes to the retail and customer experience for the new Chrysler under the name "Project Ingenuity." Stellantis has said as a part of its long-term strategy that it expects online sales will represent more than 40% of North American sales by 2030 and is assessing a "direct sales model."
"The result will be a uniquely personalized and delightful experience throughout the purchase service and ownership journey," she said. "We've reimagined how people buy a car, streamlined the process and designed an ownership experience around proactive and caring services. We intend to be a catalyst for change in an industry that's ready for transformation."
The Graphite version is being shown in New York as the company also introduces a long-wheelbase version of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs. The Wagoneer also has available a new blackout Carbide package, which exterior designer Mark Allen says is in direct response to customer feedback and demand.