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Does anyone remember the Chrysler Airflow concept that first debuted during the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show? It seemed like a good idea, but the automaker didn’t seem so sure. Earlier this year, Chrysler released its plans between 2023 and 2025, but at the time, the automaker was planning to keep the Chrysler 300 alive. We all saw how that panned out, now discontinued. Now down to just one model in the lineup, the Chrysler Pacifica (and its plug-in hybrid variant), the industry is wondering what the automaker has planned. For now, Chrysler is content with just one model making up the lineup.
What?! This doesn’t make any sense. To be competitive in this market, every major automaker should have more to offer than a minivan, or at least a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) in the works. Then again, Mitsubishi Motors discontinued the Mirage, now only offering SUVs, the Eclipse Crossover, and the rebadged Mitsubishi Colt, and it’s doing just fine. Chrysler is known as the father of all minivans, basically starting the segment from the ground up, so we can understand why it would hold onto its prize-winning stallion, with more than 175 honors and industry accolades under its belt. However, is that really all we have to look forward to?
Maybe not. The Airflow concept may have been a bit of a flop, but according to the automaker, a BEV crossover is planned for a 2025 release, and all signs point to a revamped 2025 Chrysler Airflow. If that’s the case, then this crossover will become the flagship vehicle that pulls out all the stops for Stellantis vehicles going forward. Already working on new platforms for the future of the lineup, called STLA platforms, Stellantis is working on a new core model to build around. It all starts with what they call the “STLA Brain”, literally and figuratively the brains of the operation, basically the automotive group’s own operating software.
We’ve gotten a sneak peek at what the STLA Brain can do during the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show, debuting STLA AutoDrive and the STLA SmartCockpit. AutoDrive is a bit of a joke, prancing around like level 3 autonomy is ground-breaking, but we’ve had advanced automatic safety features for years now. Come back when level 4 autonomy is on the menu.
The SmartCockpit, however, does seem pretty promising. Powered by Amazon, the SmartCockpit begins with a 37.2-inch sculpted black glass touchscreen that can provide the driver with vehicle data and diagnostics, information about passengers and vehicle surroundings, and entertainment options. Able to turn the interior of the car into a mobile living space, it will also come with an updated version of the Uconnect Market Platform, now known “connect” services that allow consumers to customize their car with downloadable apps.
The bad news is that none of this may be available until 2025 or 2027. So, what should we expect from the one-trick pony automaker until then? According to the Chrysler CEO, Christine Feuell, the automaker does have plans to completely refresh the Pacifica to keep it relevant. Although a model year date hasn’t been announced, we expect the minivan automaker to set the new standard for the Stellantis lineup once the new Pacifica or 2025 Chrysler Airflow finally lands.
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