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What is the Chrysler Airflow concept? Even the automaker won't say

Is this four-seat EV a crossover or a hatchback? Could it be an SUV? What about a station wagon? Your guess is as good as ours.

Chrysler Airflow Concept Promo Image - profile
Is this all-electric people-hauler sleek enough for you?

This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

The all-electric Chrysler Airflow concept, which debuted at CES 2022, looks ready for prime time. Its design is sleek and attractive, plus its interior is loaded with screens and appears to offer tons of passenger room. But what exactly is this vehicle and what does it compete with? These are tough questions, ones the automaker won't even answer.

Nowhere in the Airflow's press release is it called an SUV, a crossover or even a hatchback. Chrysler pretty much just refers to it as a battery-electric vehicle. That means you, dear reader, are left to decide what it is.

We asked the automaker for more information on how the Airflow might be positioned in the market. According to a statement sent to Roadshow, "The Chrysler Airflow is a concept that simply provides a road map to the Chrysler brand's future, while also representing the future of connected vehicles." Yep, that does nothing to clear things up.

The Airflow concept has just four seats, though its cabin appears roomy.


What's weird is that unlike some concepts, nothing about this EV really prevents it from being built. The Airflow's exterior design is tasteful and sleek, its interior looks great and features eight different screens and even the all-electric powertrain, which offers between 350 and 400 miles of range and comes with all-wheel drive, could go into production yesterday. Sure, the new STLA Brain electronics and software architecture probably isn't ready yet, which could be a major hurdle. Beyond that, STLA AutoDrive, a Level 3 autonomous driving system, almost certainly isn't done, but this is a feature that could be enabled down the road via a software update. So, what's the holdup?

With no official numbers to go on for things like wheelbase or height, it is hard to classify the Airflow, but based on the shape and proportions, it's probably intended to be an SUV, something akin to a Ford Mustang Mach-E or a Tesla Model Y. Of course, hatchback probably also fits the bill, but automakers are hesitant to use the h-word these days. Regardless of what you call it, the Airflow is a sharp-looking EV, one Chrysler would be smart to build.