The American car manufacturing giant Chrysler has shown that it’s not planning on sitting back, by launching its brand-new all-electric concept Halcyon. And it’s chosen to go in a bold, radical direction, complete with 800V lithium-sulphur battery, wireless charging tech, and autonomous driving capabilities.
Originally one of the Big Three in American automobile industry alongside Ford and General Motors, Chrysler now finds itself under the overarching dome of Stellantis — also the owner of the British auto company Vauxhall, alongside many others like Fiat, Citroën, Peugeot and Maserati, to name a few.
The American company has been quite reserved in taking the big leap towards electrification, and many had feared that it would be left behind as the race towards EVs strengthens. But it looks set to change with Halcyon.
Chrysler already has Airflow, an all-electric SUV set to launch next year. But the unveiling of Halcyon could shake things up.
Sleeks and curves for Halcyon
The concept revealed to public today, has a lot going for it. To begin with, it looks extremely stylish and bold. The smooth lines around its hood forming an arch on the fenders over the wheels would have you mistake it for a Le Mans hypercar on the first instance, and the thin curved strip of headlights running above the grille are very Lotus Emeya-esque.
The car itself looks like a forge between a sports and a hypercar, with a rather low profile and aero lines running along its side, a canopy-like roof, and coach doors. Chrysler says that the “butterfly-hinged canopy and red-carpet-style side doors work in symphony to create an open-air feel and provide easy access in and out of the vehicle”. Although we’d be sceptical of these features making into the production model.
This also marks the first time we are seeing the new, minimalist Chrysler logo. We at ev.tips aren’t too keen on logo changes usually, but this one looks pretty great.
But besides the visual shakeups, there’s a lot more going on underneath too. The concept is daring to try something different than conventional lithium-ion batteries. Instead, it’s aiming to incorporate breakthrough Lyten 800V lithium-sulphur batteries that do not use nickel, cobalt or manganese, resulting in an estimated 60 per cent lower carbon footprint than batteries used in today’s EVs, according to Chrysler.
While other important tech specs for the Halcyon haven’t been released yet, we know that it is built on Stellantis’ brand-new STLA platform, also used by sibling brands Peugeot, Lancia and Vauxhall. And we can estimate that the STLA platform can accommodate batteries sufficient for 500 miles of range and “extreme” powertrains that can deliver a car from 0-62mph in as little as 2.0sec.
However one important feature announced by Chrysler is the wireless charging tech, that would theoretically allow the Halcyon to wirelessly charge itself when travelling over specially equipped, dedicated road lanes, bestowing it with unlimited range, at least on paper.
Another feature that the company is pushing for is the autonomy of the car. With the STLA AutoDrive technology, the Halcyon should come enabled with Level 4 autonomous driving, allowing for experiences such as a dimmable glass canopy and windshield that can turn opaque with seats laid back for a unique augmented-reality Stargazing Mode. Again, we’d be wary of holding our breath to see these in the production model.
Meanwhile, the interior of the Chrysler Halcyon is said to use 95 per cent sustainable materials throughout, even going as far to use recycled CDs for various bits of trim. We’d be interested to know what discarded CDs have been used (my bet would be Aerosmith or Limp Bizkit).
Chrysler’s CEO Chris Feuell said: “The Chrysler Halcyon Concept creates a level of serenity that fully represents the Halcyon name. The Halcyon showcases innovative and sustainable mobility solutions that embrace technology and offer value to customers while delivering Harmony in Motion.
“The Chrysler Halcyon Concept brings to life a fully electric tomorrow through new technology suites from Stellantis that integrate with simple and pure aerodynamic design and a seamless, connected and immersive cockpit experience.”
With Chrysler discontinuing its 300 saloon last year, that leaves the company with just one product, the minivan Pacifica, and we would doubt that hordes of people would be rushing to buy that right now.
With the chunky new BEV Airflow, expected to rival the Tesla Model Y and the Volvo XC40 Recharge, hitting the market next year, we are expecting Chrysler to be back in business in the EV industry soon. And a new logo and a new concept appear just right for the rebrand.