After much success with the Pacifica Hybrid minivan, Chrysler debuted the all-new fully electric Portal concept minivan at the Consumer Electric Show in early 2017. Set to head to production in 2020, let’s see what else consumers can expect from this next-generation minivan.
Chrysler refers to the Portal as “next generation family transportation designed by millennials for millennials.” The Portal concept vehicle by Chrysler is promising consumers a ton of connected car technology like distinguished exterior lighting that’s designed to let other drivers and pedestrians know what it plans to do next when operating in autonomous mode. Furthermore, the Portal will have a fold away steering wheel at some point in the future when true autonomous driving systems are available.
“To create the next generation of family transportation, FCA sought the collaboration and fresh ideas of millennials working inside its design and engineering functions. Those ideas led to the Chrysler Portal concept — created by millennials for millennials. Millennials are a tech-savvy, environmentally-aware, cost-conscious generation. The Chrysler Portal concept is designed to respond to these needs and it explores the possibility of what a family transportation vehicle could look like for the millennial generation as their lifestyles evolve. The flexibility, adaptability and technology features also make it ideal for business and commercial applications, such as ride-hailing, car sharing, and delivery services,” says Chrysler.
As a full-electric vehicle, the Chrysler Portal’s battery boasts more than 250 miles of range on a full charge. Equipped with a 350 kilowatt DC Fast Charge, the Portal’s battery pack could be recharged with 150 miles of range in just 20 minutes. The Portal will also include several high-tech features that carmakers believe all vehicles will be required to have in the future. Those features include “vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communications” and level three autonomous driving level. Additional potential features include sliding front and rear doors, something no other manufacturer has toyed with, and facial and voice recognition technology. What’s cool about the facial and voice recognition technology is, depending on who’s behind the wheel, the vehicle will personalize interior features ranging from lighting to music.
At the North American International Auto Show earlier this year, the late CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Sergio Marchionne, hinted to the press that a new product may be headed to production at FCA’s Windsor, Ontario assembly plant.
“The replacement of the Caravan will be a Caravan-like vehicle. I need another minivan. It’s going to be in line with the Pacifica architecture. The platform that was installed in Windsor to deal with the Pacifica is a world-class platform. I think it’s capable of utilization beyond its current use in the minivan. I think there are plans in place to try to take another product into it.” Marchionne said at the time.
All this comes as no surprise due to the five-year plan Marchionne put in place right before he suddenly passed away.
The future is near, especially the future of electric vehicles. As previously mentioned, production isn’t set to start until 2020 and we definitely can’t wait. Stop by the Miami Lakes Automall to test drive the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica and follow us on social media for updates on the future of autonomous vehicles.