When it came to thinking about the future of family transportation, FCA US called upon the people who will own and live with such a vehicle — millennials working inside the company’s design and engineering functions — to collaborate on ideas. Armed with research on what the millennial generation values and desires, the team created a forward-thinking interpretation of the “fifth generation” of family transportation — the Chrysler Portal concept, created by millennials for millennials.
Millennials are tech savvy, environmentally aware and cost conscious. To balance those needs and to be an integral part of millennials’ lives, the Chrysler Portal concept is designed to maximize interior space while offering flexibility between seating and cargo configurations; to enable users to include and expand their social media communities with seamless wireless integration between the vehicle and mobile devices; to take advantage of technologic advances in battery-electric powertrains and the growth of a rapid recharging network; and to deliver these capabilities in a powerful, high-tech form that uses LED lighting as a key design element, and not as a mere accent.
“The Chrysler Portal concept is backed by significant research on the millennial generation. Millennials have clearly defined that they want a vehicle that will grow with them as they experience life changes,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, 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.”
Designed from the inside out, the interior of the Chrysler Portal concept offers the driver and passengers a “third space” – an open and calm atmosphere that provides an alternative environment between work and home. Spacious and modern, the interior features soft, clean, sculptural lines that are colored in a mix of neutral and grey hues accented by jewel tones; the interior space takes advantage of a tasteful and elegant mix of textures and materials.
Premium seating is standard for all occupants with thin-design seats that fold flat, fold up and slide fore/aft on a track system for ultimate flexibility. The seats mount to tracks embedded in the floor. This enables the seats to move the full length of the vehicle and, if needed, to be removed easily from the rear of the vehicle. Battery-electric vehicle technology contributes to cabin spaciousness with a minimized engine compartment and a low, flat-load floor atop the battery pack that is ideal for transporting people and equipment for an active lifestyle.
Technology is celebrated throughout with a clean, simple high-mount instrument panel display with easy-to-use interfaces. Screens can be positioned throughout the interior for ultimate passenger engagement. Up to eight docking stations, located in the instrument panel and seats, can be used for charging and securing mobile phones and tablet devices.
When it comes to the exterior, the Chrysler Portal concept takes a new perspective with a clean, simple yet strong design statement amplified by refined lines along the body and a strong, planted stance.
Featuring a mono-volume form that “shrink wraps” the battery-electric vehicle (BEV) powertrain and interior packaging, the Portal’s exterior design is anchored by illuminated, portal-shaped side openings with articulating front and rear doors for easy loading and unloading of people and cargo.
The lighting on the Chrysler Portal concept is an interactive experience, as well as a communication tool. The vehicle is equipped with full-color, changing LED lighting on the front, side portals and rear. Not only can the light take on different colors, it can have a swiping or animated appearance. Interactive ground projection and portal lighting are available in infinite colors that can be tailored for personal, business or drive settings, such as when the vehicle is parked, locked/unlocked or in autonomous mode.
The headlamps and tail lamps feature next-generation Thin Lens LED technology with an adaptive driving beam to provide increased safety through improved visibility, and a full-length clear polycarbonate roof panel visually expands the vehicle’s interior space and admits natural light to all occupants.
Chrysler claims the Portal will have more than 250 miles of range on a full charge, and fast charging technology enables the battery pack to be recharged for 150 miles of range in less than 20 minutes. But the technology doesn’t stop there.
Infotainment, sensor and software systems are designed to provide a seamless user experience. Facial recognition and voice biometrics recognize the user and are able to customize individual or family settings to provide a unique drive experience based on preferred features, such as exterior and interior lighting, favorite music, enhanced audio settings, favored destinations and more. Vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication enables the vehicle and infrastructure to “talk” to each other, such as intersection crash warning, traffic sign recognition and emergency vehicle approaching. Personal Zoned Audio keeps the driver aware of surroundings by enhancing sound and directionality in the event of approaching emergency vehicles. Seamless vehicle integration of personal devices, such as phones, tablets, cameras and wearables, and community sharing enables passengers to share music, images, videos and more with other passengers.
No, the Portal is not slated for release any time soon. Rather, it’s a test bed for technology that could radically change how we as drivers interact with our vehicle and the environment within. Only time will tell is it’s truly what millennials actually want.