It wasn’t too many years ago the Consumer Electronics Show was strictly the domain of purchasers from big-chain computer stores and a scattered basement dweller who smelled like coding and stale popcorn. These days, CES is one of the hottest tickets of the year for witnessing product reveals including – in recent years – all manner of tech from the world’s automakers.
Stellantis has announced what they’ll have on hand at their booth, a roster that includes an EV that plucks its name from the halls of history at Citroën.
We’ll take this opportunity to remind all hands that Stellantis isn’t just comprised of American and Italian marques – plenty of French influence abounds as well. This explains why Jeeps and the natty Chrysler Airflow will share display space with Citroëns and something called a ‘DS E-Tense FE21’. Yes, the French remain a bit weird.
So let’s start with a machine from that country, then. The Citroën Ami has an unusual cube-like shape and symmetrical parts, showing up for work technically as a two-passenger electric quadricycle. This means it can be driven in France without a license by those of a certain age (early 30’s) or by those older than 14 who have an AM license, which some in Europe refer to as a moped license. That latter detail means it is speed limited to 28 mph. This two-passenger urban EV has an all-electric range of about 50 miles. Don’t expect to buy one through traditional channels on this side of the pond anytime soon.
What you will be able to buy in America, of course, are large-and-in-charge Jeeps. Stellantis will have copies of the previously-announced Wrangler 4xe and Grand Cherokee 4xe on hand, machines that can trek more than 20 miles on silent electric power before beginning to rely on a gasoline engine for propulsion duties. Jeep reiterates their plan to offer a fully electric Jeep vehicle in every SUV segment by 2025, a date which is – to put it mildly – soon. Tick tock, mothertruckers.
Most interesting will be the Chrysler Airflow concept, a model of which we’ve seen glimpses during the Stellantis EV Day and Software Day presentations. Chrysler says this model is responsible for leading the brand’s transformation to “clean mobility” and “seamlessly connected customer experiences”, phrases which make us shudder but are par for the course in every marketing missive these days. Given the fact that corporate overlords have given a 10-year leash for each of their 14 brands to prove themselves, the Airflow is surely a big deal for Chrysler’s survival as a stand-alone brand in the House of Stellantis. On this side of the pond, Jeep is surely safe – as is Ram – but the rest of it is up in the air.
Barring global meltdowns, your author will be boots on the ground at CES in January. We hope to get a close look at these machines on the event floor.
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