I’ll admit, I struggled for a headline for this one. Press releases are, across the board, buzzword-heavy, and that’s never more true than when it comes to concept cars.
It makes sense — concept cars have less in the way of concrete specs to discuss than production cars do. And it certainly applies to the Chrysler Halcyon Concept.
Perhaps the big takeaway here is that there’s still a future for Chrysler — whether this vehicle or something like it gets built, it’s clear that with this, the Portal, Airflow, and Synthesis interior mock-up the brand is at least thinking about its EV future.
As readers who remember the age of space-age concept cars will recall, concept vehicles oft times previewed individual technologies instead of whole vehicles. Whether a vehicle like this gets built, we’d expect some of this tech to eventually find its way into Stellantis production vehicles.
These pieces of tech include rear seats that stow by retracting into the trunk, in-car AI that can pre-set climate controls and use predictive navigation to deal with traffic in real time, and biometric tech that IDs the driver and greets them with personalized interior and exterior features such as a greeting on the infotainment screen.
Other stuff? The car can play personalized sounds and visuals based on what the driver sets, voice-activated driving, and wireless charging as the vehicle travels — this would lead to unlimited range. Or, at least, unlimited range when the car is driven on certain roads that can help it charge wirelessly.
There’s more, including Level 4 autonomous driving and an augmented reality Stargazing mode. You can stargaze while letting the car drive autonomously.
The batteries themselves are 800V lithium-sulfur units, which have a smaller carbon footprint than current tech.
Key mechanical features include a front aerodynamic airblade and butterfly-hinged canopy doors. The interior uses 95 percent sustainable materials, including winged Chrysler logos made from recycled compact discs.
Some tech features here are more pie-in-the-sky than others. We’d not be shocked to see sustainable materials made out of CDs in vehicles soon. Same with the personalization features, perhaps even with the biometrics. The AI HVAC stuff seems within reach, too.
Unlimited range, however — as awesome as that is, we don’t expect to see it anytime soon, especially since it requires driving on special roads.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t note some other styling elements, such as LED headlamps and an LED Chrysler logo in the center. The windshield also stretches way out, there are side-view mirror cameras, and front air curtains help with the aerodynamics.
The wheels are 22s with low-rolling resistance 255/35R22 Pirelli tires. The side doors are red-carpet style, and the rear also has an LED Chrysler logo.
Moving back to the inside, the car-width dash is aided by a 15.6-inch console screen that can be set in either portrait or landscape mode and is stowable. There’s a voice-recognition assistant, as well as a head-up display using augmented reality. Over-the-air updates would be available, and AI and OTA updates could be used in combo to diagnose and fix problems.
The steering “wheel” is actually a foldable reverse yoke, and it and the pedals can retract. Some interior materials are traceable all the way through production while others replace paint in a bid to be more environmentally friendly.
AI is used to help an owner manage their day — the system can tap into your other devices to, say, let you know about meetings. The AI can sense the weather and set the HVAC controls accordingly before you enter. That predictive navigation doesn’t just help you dodge traffic — it sees your calendar and plans the best route ahead of time.
When entering, the air suspension can raise and lower for ease of entry. Those mood-setting sounds and visuals can get you in the driving mood, and one neat touch is that if you’re wearing a backpack or carrying a package, those retractable seats will stow themselves.
Drivers and passengers can play games and watch movies, and algorithms can select music based on your history. The HUD can also mark pins on the map for points of interest and history. These can be shared. Oh, and exterior lighting can be projected to help with pedestrian safety.
There’s a lot of cool, fancy-sounding stuff here. Most of it will not be seen for a while, if ever. Still, Chrysler appears to be ready to rebuild its lineup.
Perhaps we’ll see some production vehicles soon.
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