Chrysler Halcyon concept is a reminder the company can be more than just minivans

Chrysler, on the cusp of turning 100 subsequent 12 months, used to make a number of fashions however is now a model principally identified for its Pacifica minivans. But as we speak, the company is making an attempt to make a daring assertion about its future by introducing a concept automotive that is about as removed from a minivan as you can get.

The Chrysler Halcyon concept is a gorgeous, high-tech roadster with an electrical powertrain and totally autonomous capabilities. And whereas the automaker doesn’t have any rapid plans to place it into manufacturing, the Halcyon is meant to show that the minivan company is doing more than just sitting round and excited about, properly, minivans.

Image: © 2024 Stellantis

“We need Chrysler to be superior, for positive,” Christine Feuell, model CEO for Chrysler, stated in a briefing final month. “But we wish to introduce know-how and superior experiences for actual life, and never just as a science undertaking.”

Chrysler has stated it intends to solely promote electrical automobiles by the finish of 2028, and the Halcyon is meant to function a demonstration for a way the company will deploy future applied sciences. But it’s not a production-ready automobile, missing many related specs similar to battery capability, vary, efficiency, and more. Think of it more like a full automotive model of the cockpit demonstrator that Chrysler launched over a 12 months in the past at CES.

Image: © 2024 Stellantis

Halcyon combines a bunch of applied sciences below growth at Chrysler’s father or mother company, Stellantis, together with the STLA Brain working system, the STLA AutoDrive driver help, and the STLA SmartCockpit infotainment system. The Halcyon concept is designed to current all of these merchandise collectively as one unified system.

The Halcyon is constructed on Stellantis’ STLA Large platform, which is one in every of the 4 platforms launched throughout the automaker’s EV Day in 2021. (There’s STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Large, and STLA Frame.)

Riding extraordinarily low to the floor — Chrysler says it would solely have round 4 inches of floor clearance — the concept additionally options 4 doorways that open outward, like French doorways, or as Chrysler calls it, “red-carpet fashion.” A butterfly-hinged cover on both aspect additionally gives more clearance for getting out and in of this extraordinarily low-riding concept.

Image: © 2024 Stellantis

Image: © 2024 Stellantis

Image: © 2024 Stellantis

Image: © 2024 Stellantis

Chrysler is additionally utilizing a lot of recycled supplies for the inside, together with the automaker’s wing logos constructed from crushed and recycled music CDs. Overall, the company says 95 p.c of the inside is created from “sustainable” supplies.

Naturally, synthetic intelligence performs a distinguished function on this concept, as does augmented actuality and automobile connectivity. That contains AI voice assistants, predictive navigation, and over-the-air software program updates. The Chrysler Halcyon is a automotive that can know you primarily based in your preferences and can preemptively make modifications to issues like the HVAC system while you get in the automobile.

Image: © 2024 Stellantis

There are additionally loads of visible and audio options designed to make you’re feeling more comfy by creating a zen-like setting. And when it’s in full autonomous mode, the steering yoke and pedals fold away to create a more comfy seating association.

This concept actually leans into the concept that sometime quickly we’ll all be using round in totally driverless automobiles that we personal — a concept that has largely been debunked by consultants. If and after we do get self-driving automobiles, they’ll all however definitely be fleet-owned automobiles deployed for business companies, like supply and robotaxis.

Image: © 2024 Stellantis

Still, Chrysler needs to be positive it’s prepared for any autonomous future, so it’s tricking out the Halcyon accordingly. The concept (and potential future Chrysler automobiles) will come geared up with self-driving options, similar to “a dimmable glass cover and windshield that can flip opaque with seats laid again for a distinctive augmented-reality Stargazing Mode.” Sounds beautiful.

In the briefing, Feuell acknowledged that Chrysler nonetheless has work to do earlier than it can provide full autonomy to its prospects. “The autonomous driving performance clearly is fairly mature at Level 2 and Level 2 plus,” she stated. “As we get into Level 3 and 4, there’s nonetheless a little bit of growth work that is wanted to be achieved to be totally fingers off, eyes off and nonetheless ship on the security necessities that we have to meet.” 

Image: © 2024 Stellantis

Other futuristic and unproven options embrace “Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) know-how to wirelessly recharge automobile because it travels, permitting for limitless vary.” The concept is that whereas driving down roadways with inductive charging functionality — once more, not one thing that can be discovered anyplace as we speak — the Halcyon will cost itself. Chrysler says the concept can have an 800-volt lithium-sulfur battery, which it argues has an estimated 60 p.c decrease carbon footprint than different EV batteries.

The Halcyon is a enjoyable science undertaking, however the actual check will are available in 2025, when Chrysler expects to disclose it’s first electrical automobile. The company has already proven off the Airflow SUV, which is a close-to-production-ready prototype that can seemingly function a foundation for the future EV.

Image: © 2024 Stellantis

The company discontinued the Chrysler 300 sedan final 12 months, leaving the Pacifica and Pacifica hybrid as its solely remaining fashions. It offered round 133,000 minivans final 12 months, making it amongst Stellantis’ lowest-performing manufacturers. Whether that’s sufficient income to start the costly strategy of creating an all-electric lineup of automobiles will stay to be seen. But Feuell stated the company is properly positioned to attain its objectives.

“Look, I’d all the time like to have more and quicker,” she stated. “We’ve improved the profitability of the model considerably over the final two years. And that is serving to to fund the new product growth that you simply’ll see going ahead.”

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