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Chrysler Halcyon idea is a reminder the corporate might be extra than simply minivans

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Chrysler, on the cusp of turning 100 subsequent 12 months, used to make a wide range of fashions however is now a model largely recognized for its Pacifica minivans. However at this time, the corporate is making an attempt to make a daring assertion about its future by introducing an idea automotive that’s about as removed from a minivan as you may get.

The Chrysler Halcyon idea is a surprising, high-tech roadster with an electrical powertrain and totally autonomous capabilities. And whereas the automaker doesn’t have any quick plans to place it into manufacturing, the Halcyon is meant to exhibit that the minivan firm is doing extra than simply sitting round and fascinated about, effectively, minivans.

Picture: © 2024 Stellantis

“We would like Chrysler to be superior, for positive,” Christine Feuell, model CEO for Chrysler, mentioned in a briefing final month. “However we need to introduce know-how and superior experiences for actual life, and never simply as a science mission.”

Chrysler has mentioned it intends to solely promote electrical automobiles by the top of 2028, and the Halcyon is supposed to function an indication for the way the corporate will deploy future applied sciences. But it surely’s not a production-ready automobile, missing many related specs comparable to battery capability, vary, efficiency, and extra. Consider it extra like a full automotive model of the cockpit demonstrator that Chrysler launched over a 12 months in the past at CES.

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Picture: © 2024 Stellantis

Halcyon combines a bunch of applied sciences beneath improvement at Chrysler’s mum or dad firm, Stellantis, together with the STLA Mind working system, the STLA AutoDrive driver help, and the STLA SmartCockpit infotainment system. The Halcyon idea is designed to current all of these merchandise collectively as one unified system.

The Halcyon is constructed on Stellantis’ STLA Giant platform, which is without doubt one of the 4 platforms launched through the automaker’s EV Day in 2021. (There’s STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Giant, and STLA Body.)

Driving extraordinarily low to the bottom — Chrysler says it’s going to solely have round 4 inches of floor clearance — the idea additionally options 4 doorways that open outward, like French doorways, or as Chrysler calls it, “red-carpet model.” A butterfly-hinged cover on both aspect additionally gives extra clearance for getting out and in of this extraordinarily low-riding idea.

Picture: © 2024 Stellantis

Picture: © 2024 Stellantis

Picture: © 2024 Stellantis

Picture: © 2024 Stellantis

Chrysler can also be utilizing a whole lot of recycled supplies for the inside, together with the automaker’s wing logos constructed from crushed and recycled music CDs. General, the corporate says 95 p.c of the inside is produced from “sustainable” supplies.

Naturally, synthetic intelligence performs a distinguished position on this idea, as does augmented actuality and automobile connectivity. That features 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 might preemptively make adjustments to issues just like the HVAC system whenever you get within the automobile.

Picture: © 2024 Stellantis

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

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

Picture: © 2024 Stellantis

Nonetheless, Chrysler needs to make certain it’s prepared for any autonomous future, so it’s tricking out the Halcyon accordingly. The idea (and doable future Chrysler automobiles) will come geared up with self-driving options, comparable to “a dimmable glass cover and windshield that may flip opaque with seats laid again for a singular augmented-reality Stargazing Mode.” Sounds beautiful.

Within the briefing, Feuell acknowledged that Chrysler nonetheless has work to do earlier than it could actually provide full autonomy to its clients. “The autonomous driving performance clearly is fairly mature at Degree 2 and Degree 2 plus,” she mentioned. “As we get into Degree 3 and 4, there’s nonetheless a little bit of improvement work that’s wanted to be completed to be totally arms off, eyes off and nonetheless ship on the security necessities that we have to meet.” 

Picture: © 2024 Stellantis

Different futuristic and unproven options embody “Dynamic Wi-fi Energy Switch (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 may be discovered wherever at this time — the Halcyon will cost itself. Chrysler says the idea may 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 mission, however the actual check will are available 2025, when Chrysler expects to disclose it’s first electrical automobile. The corporate has already proven off the Airflow SUV, which is a close-to-production-ready prototype that can probably function a foundation for the long run EV.

Picture: © 2024 Stellantis

The corporate 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 or not that’s sufficient income to start the costly means of growing an all-electric lineup of automobiles will stay to be seen. However Feuell mentioned the corporate is effectively positioned to realize its targets.

“Look, I might all the time like to have extra and sooner,” she mentioned. “We’ve improved the profitability of the model considerably during the last two years. And that’s serving to to fund the brand new product improvement that you simply’ll see going ahead.”



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