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Chrysler Halcyon Concept Leans into “Fully Electric Tomorrow”

by | February 13, 2024

Chrysler — remember Chrysler? It’s a brand in desperate need of finding new product and purpose. With the debut of the Halcyon Concept the struggling automaker aims to give the world a sense of where it’s going. The all-electric show car offers an array of advanced technologies, from facial biometrics to fully driverless operation. It also turns to a potentially breakthrough battery technology that could be charged directly from the road, “allowing for unlimited range.” How much of that could wind up in production? More from Headlight.News.

Chrysler Halcyon doors open

A high-angle view of the Chrysler Halcyon Concept with its doors and butterfly panels opened.

Few marques have suffered such a painful decline. Once a premium brand on a par with the likes of Lincoln and Cadillac, there’s little left to Cadillac today — just the Pacifica minivan and all but forgotten 300 sedan.

But parent Stellantis is determined to bring the brand back, starting with a production version of the Airflow concept rolled out several years ago at the Consumer Electronics Show. And the new Halcyon Concept offers a hint of what could follow.

Pushing “innovative boundaries”

“The Chrysler Halcyon Concept leans into 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,” said brand boss Chris Fuell, in a statement accompanying these images.

Okay, that statement is a bit overloaded with jargon and buzzwords, but when you cut through all the hype, there’s still plenty worth checking out — including the prototype lithium-sulfur battery, the ability to charge while moving, biometric control technology and Level 4 autonomous driving.

The Chrysler Halcyon Concept exemplifies a fully electrified fut

The Chrysler Halcyon Concept puts a premium on aerodynamics with active and passive aero elements..

Streamlined design.

Like the earlier Airflow show car, the four-door Chrysler Halcyon Concept puts a premium on range-extending aerodynamics. The “air blade” front end literally knifes through the air, reducing turbulence as air flows over the show car’s steeply raked windshield.

Narrow side mirrors further reduce drag. At highway speeds, Halcyon rides just 4 inches off the road surface, another aero-enhancing feature. Air curtains reduce turbulence around the front wheels.

Active aero technology further reduces drag. This includes a sliding rear air diffuser made of composite materials, and a movable rear spoiler.

Thin LED strip lighting add a sculptural element to the front end. Halcyon also picks up Airflow’s new Chrysler wing logo. A sharp character line further grounds the concept. Big 22-inch wheels add a sense of muscularity, while low-rolling resistance tires help enhance range.


Chrysler Halcyon Concept

A look inside the Halcyon concept.

Halcyon features a nearly all-glass roof with pop-up “butterfly-hinged” panels that pop up when the doors open. That makes it easier to get in and out of the concept vehicle. And, along with a low beltline, the cabin gets a light and airy feel with plenty of visibility.

The concept rides on the big new STLA Large platform that will be used for other all-electric Stellantis products, such as the upcoming Dodge Charger Daytona. Add the fact that the battery pack and motors are mounted below the load floor and it yields a full-size cabin with business-class legroom.

The interior has a futuristic look, with thin yet enveloping keystone-shaped seats. Halcyon picks up on the stow-and-go design that has become one of the more popular features of the Pacifica minivan. When automatically folded down, the back seats vanish into the back cargo area.

The interior makes extensive use of sustainable materials, including a suede-like fabric made of 73% recycled PET bottles.

More Concept Car News

Chrysler Halcyon Concept interior.

The Chrysler Halcyon Concept’s interior features a transparent IP display, a rotating touchscreen and an augmented-reality HUD system.

An immersive cockpit

Halcyon uses a pillar-to-pillar “transparent” display and a separate 15.6-inch screen atop the glass center console that can be rotated to either a landscape or portrait orientation. The show car also features an augmented-reality, or AR, head-up display.

Using the parent company’s “STLA Brain,” an AI-based computing system, motorists can interact with Halcyon’s built-in voice assistant “to ask the vehicle anything,” the automaker said in a background statement.

The conventional steering wheel, meanwhile, has been replaced by a “reverse yoke” that automatically folds away when Halcyon is switched into autonomous driving mode.

Unlimited range

The Chrysler Halcyon Concept uses new lithium-sulfur batteries that could be charged up directly from the road.

Chrysler plans to switch entirely to electric propulsion before the end of this decade. But it’s looking for ways to improve on today’s battery drive technology. To start with, it adopts a more efficient 800-volt electrical architecture — most of today’s EVs using 400-volt technology.

The show car also is designed to use next-generation battery chemistry — in its current form that means lithium-sulfur cells which use none of the nickel, cobalt or manganese found in more familiar lithium-ion batteries. Developers claim that means a lower carbon footprint in the manufacturing process, while sulfur-based batteries potentially will yield lower costs, faster charging and greater range.

Potentially unlimited range, Chrysler claims, as Halcyon has the ability to charge up its battery pack wirelessly. Researchers are already working on ways to charge vehicles inductively while they’re moving. (The concept is soon set to be tested on a specially prepared road in Detroit.)

The rear of the Chrysler Halcyon concept

The rear of the Chrysler Halcyon concept also carries its own unique design details, including active aero elements,

What next?

At first glance, the Chrysler Halcyon Concept might seem little more than a fantasy in chrome. It’s taking a lot longer than many had hoped to bring fully driverless technology to market. And lithium-sulfur batteries are nowhere near ready for mass production.

But other elements of the show car are reasonably within grasp, including some of its display technology, camera mirrors and AI-based voice assistant.

Just as important, the use of the new, EV-only STLA Large platform provides Chrysler designers more flexibility to get creative than with conventional internal combustion engines. And the brand clearly needs a way to stand out both visually and technologically if it hopes to regain its former glory. So, while Halcyon, in its concept form, may be a fantasy, it does offer some hints as to where the Chrysler brand is hoping to go.


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