Expert Insights

The Halcyon Concept Proves Chrysler Isn’t Dead

Laurance Yap
March 4, 2024
Chrysler has bold plans for an all-electric lineup by 2028. The Halcyon concept car is a sleek sedan that previews the company’s first EV, due in 2025.
Chrysler Halcyon front exterior model view by a futuristic building

Previewing a Production Chrysler Electric Car

You could be forgiven if you’ve forgotten that Chrysler exists. Other than the Pacifica plug-in hybrid, which we recently reviewed, the long, storied American brand hasn’t had much to talk about, especially since the gas-guzzling 300 performance sedan finished production late last year. But Chrysler is alive and kicking – and preparing for an all-electric future. The Halcyon concept car previews a striking new vision for Chrysler – and one that we’re pretty excited about.

The latest in a string of futuristic concept cars, such as the 2017 Chrysler Portal, the 2022 Chrysler Airflow, and the 2023 Synthesis cockpit demonstrator, the Halcyon is the most tangible preview yet of Chrysler’s electrification plans. With the brand’s first production EV due next year, and plans for an all-electric lineup by 2028, Chrysler’s vision is a bold one.

Unlimited Range Through Wireless Charging

One piece of concept-car fantasy built into the Halcyon is the idea of unlimited range thanks to wireless charging. The company is careful to say that the Halcyon “imagines a future” that takes advantage of dynamic wireless power transfer technology (DWPT) to wirelessly recharge vehicles driving over specially equipped stretches of road, like the one-mile stretch currently being tested in Florida.

At the moment, such stretches of road can barely maintain the state of charge of a vehicle, but in the future, Chrysler hopes that dedicated lanes will allow high-power wireless charging – allowing unlimited travel miles without the need to charge. DWPT is currently being tested in Italy by Chrysler’s parent company, Stellantis, at the Arena del Futuro circuit, which has proven that wireless charging can operate at highway speeds.

In addition to dynamic wireless charging, Chrysler is also previewing new battery technology, which is significantly closer to reality. The Halcyon concept uses a breakthrough lithium-sulfur battery from Lyten, which does not use nickel, cobalt, or manganese – resulting in a 60 percent lower carbon footprint than today’s best EV batteries. Lyten, in which Stellantis owns a share, says its lithium-sulfur EV batteries will help achieve the lowest carbon emissions for any EV battery, reducing the carbon footprint of making new EVs. The batteries feature an 800-volt architecture for lighter weight and faster charging, as well.

Chrysler Halcyon with open doors

Chrysler Halcyon: Ready for Autonomous Driving

The Chrysler Halcyon concept uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify its driver when they are walking up to the car. When the driver gets in, a virtual assistant helps the driver prepare for their day, connecting to their smartphone and notifying them of upcoming events while preparing the cabin temperature and settings for their preferences. Those preferences include their desired LED lighting animations, preferred soundscape, and the look of the interior screens. Biometrics eliminate the need for a key, and can even sense if the driver is carrying packages or luggage, opening the trunk or folding the seats automatically.

When they’re ready to go, drivers can choose to pilot the Halcyon themselves, or sit back, relax, and allow the vehicle to take control with Level 4 autonomous driving features. The steering wheel and pedals retract, the dimmable glass canopy and windshield can turn opaque for privacy, and the seats can adopt a laid-back position while graphics are projected onto the inside of the windshield and roof. Occupants can also watch movies and play games on the move, and there is a “memory landmark” feature that pins points of interest along the drive for future reference and sharing.

Of course, the Halcyon can also be driven – and with its low, sleek looks, it should be a lot of fun to pilot yourself. Drivers can deploy the steering wheel and pedals with a voice command, and enjoy the Halcyon’s low center of gravity, responsive handling, and smooth, rapid EV acceleration. Drive modes for the Chrysler EV are customizable, and the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) have selectable levels of assistance. The driving experience is also enhanced by holographic elements that can be projected onto the windshield to aid with navigation – clearly marking out turn by turn directions, or identifying landmarks and important information.

Chrysler Halcyon interior

Streamlined, Sculpted Design

The Halcyon is built on top of Stellantis’ STLA Large platform, which is also going to be used for vehicles like the electric Dodge Charger and the Jeep Wagoneer S – so its underpinnings are realistic and production ready. It looks very different from either of those pumped-up vehicles, though, with a sensuous, low-slung body, arcing roofline, and slick aerodynamic pass-through areas for ultimate efficiency. The highlight of the exterior is the flowing glass canopy, which provides a seamless view out for occupants, as well as a rear hatch for excellent versatility.

Even though it’s packed with tech, Chrysler says that the Halcyon’s interior is a “digital detox” zone that is designed to reduce stress through its use of autonomous features. Information is displayed on a slim cross-car pillar-to-pillar transparent display, which is augmented by a retractable 15.6-inch screen that only appears when needed. Voice recognition diminishes the need for drivers to interact with screens or buttons, and augmented reality uses the windshield as a projection surface.

The center console is glass, flowing from front to rear, and 95 percent of the materials used are sustainable, and include composite materials made from recycled compact discs (remember those?). The seats are upholstered in laser-patterned synthetic suede made from recycled PET bottles. Wood trim is traceable, enabling the tracking of the material through production, while accents on the door sills are made of a thin film material.

Chrysler Halcyon exterior model view by a futuristic building

First Chrysler EV On sale in 2025

Chrysler will launch its first battery-electric vehicle in 2025, and says that its entire product portfolio will be electric by 2028. It’s all part of the plans of its parent company, Stellantis, to cut its global carbon footprint by in half by 2030 – and reach net carbon zero by 2038.