Chrysler Portal: A concept for Millennials
Presenting its take on a modern, multi-purpose people mover that intertwines the comforts of home and the capabilities of a mobile office, FCA unveiled the Chrysler Portal concept at the Consumer Electronics Show. Developed by and for Millennials, Chrysler says the electric-powered Portal concept “explores the possibility of what a family transportation vehicle could look like for the Millennial generation as their lifestyles evolve.” Providing space for six, loads of advanced connectivity/convenience touches, semi-autonomous/autonomous operating capability and a range of over 250 miles on a single charge, the Portal offers what Chrysler sees as the best of all worlds in an attractive and flexibly functional package.
Designed from the inside out
Roughly a foot and a half shorter than the new Pacifica minivan, the Chrysler Portal concept is based on a space-optimizing one-box form with articulated sliding doors that eliminate the conventional B-pillar to permit easy access to its cabin. Other notable exterior touches include next-gen Thin Lens LED adaptive headlamps and color-variable supplemental LED lighting offer a host of configurable color/projection possibilities. To complement its large greenhouse area, the Portal Concept also boasts a full-length clear polycarbonate roof panel.
Inside, this Chrysler one-off features a selection of premium materials and soft surfaces, although here, conventional leather and wood are replaced by synthetics set off by high-gloss black finishes intended to mimic the look of electronic devices favored by the Portal’s would-be target customers. The cabin’s neutral color was chosen to allow those inside to personalize the look using variable LED ambient lighting.
On the functional front, the Portal concept is fitted with a highly-legible full-digital dash that uses AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) touchscreens as well as a yoke-type multifunction steering wheel that folds and stows in the instrument panel when the vehicle is parked or operating in full autonomous mode. In keeping with its mission, the Portal’s supplemental displays also have gesture/voice control and provide haptic feedback. Mobile devices can be clipped onto a handy charging rail. Speaking of rails, the Portal’s pedestal-style thin-line seats also are rail-mounted to allow greater flexibility in positioning and easy removal.
Autonomous and intelligent
The Portal concept is fitted with a selection of cameras and ultrasonic sensors as well as conventional radar and LIDAR. While initially equipped to operate at SAE Level 3 autonomy where a vehicle can assume temporary control of driving chores, it has the ability to be upgraded to full-time Level 4 capability should the owner desire. Other highlights include facial recognition and voice biometric capabilities, passenger-to-passenger intercom, personal zoned audio, a 360-degree camera and Vehicle-to-X communication as well as on-board internet connectivity to perform supplemental tasks like controlling smart home devices and automatically pay bills from the road.
250 mile per-charge range
While FCA said nothing specific about the power or toque specs of the single electric motor that drives the Portal’s front wheels, it did confirm the vehicle’s energy source is a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted beneath the floor. Capable of taking the Portal over 250 miles on a single charge, the battery can be replenished using conventional plug-in systems as well as a DC Fast Charger that can pump in 150 miles of range in less than 20 minutes. The Portal also features a new generation of FCA’s Powernet EV architecture that permits the integration of 800-volt, 48-volt and 12-volt components on the same network. Although not likely to see production in this form, the Chrysler Portal concept points to the possibilities ahead.
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