FCA US chooses the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to reveal its Chrysler Portal, an electric people-mover concept that builds on the successful Pacifica minivan with a forward-looking vehicle aimed squarely at Millennials headed for parenthood.
FCA notes Millennials, defined as people born between 1982 and 2001, have become the largest population demographic. In the next 10-plus years, they will be at a point in their lives where they will be starting families.
Drawing on research and input from Millennials working in FCA design and engineering departments, the company created a forward-thinking concept it dubs the “fifth generation” of family transportation – the next generation following station wagons, minivans, SUVs and CUVs.
FCA’s research shows Millennials will want a vehicle that is reflective of their personality, offers value and flexibility, integrates advanced technology and is socially responsible.
“Millennials have clearly defined that they want a long-term vehicle that will grow with them as they experience life changes,” says Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger car brands-FCA North America. “FCA is a leader in family transportation and it was essential that we fully explored the idea of what a vehicle could look like for this emerging generation.”
The Portal concept is powered by a single electric motor driving the front wheels. Energy comes from a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery pack capable of providing up to 250 miles (402 km) of range on a full charge. Recharging via a 350-kw DC fast charger can replenish the battery to 150 miles (241 km) of range in less than 20 minutes, FCA says.
The concept is equipped with LIDAR, radar, sonar and cameras to provide Level 3 semi-autonomous operation; the driver can turn full driving control over to the vehicle under certain highway driving situations, and the vehicle is designed to allow upgrades to higher autonomy levels as technology progresses.
The steering wheel is designed to stow inside the instrument panel when parked or when using higher levels of autonomous capability.
The Portal’s exterior is defined by pillarless, sliding side doors that open to create wide, barrier-free access. The structural B-pillar is integrated into the doors.
The interior of the Portal is intended as a “third space” between the office and home that promotes sharing inside the vehicle. The concept offers 10 electronic docking stations and flexible seating on tracks allowing full-length adjustment or removal.
“The Chrysler Portal concept appeals to the Millennial lifestyle on various levels – it serves as a social hub where up to six can enjoy and it’s also designed to accommodate Millennials as they begin their transition into family mode,” says Ralph Gilles, head of FCA Global Design.
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