Chrysler Airflite Concept Debuts at 73rd Salon International de l’Auto in Geneva

The Chrysler Airflite, the newest design statement from DaimlerChrysler, blends the passion of Chrysler design, the styling of a coupe and the practicality and function of a sedan to create a unique interpretation of the five-door hatchback.

The long, clean aerodynamic lines of Airflite's striking profile combine with the spacious, creative but practical interior to produce a car that is as much museum-quality sculpture as it is personal transportation. It brings form and function together in a stylish, sporty vehicle designed to appeal to the mainstream market segment.

The long, tapered roof line, uninterrupted glass and body side forms of Airflite's exterior evoke the emotion of the Crossfire, Chrysler Group's sporty, two-passenger coupe. But Airflite delivers a wealth of new ideas that bring new excitement to the four-passenger sedan segment.

"Airflite once again demonstrates that product innovation, styling leadership and pushing back the barriers of traditional market segments are among the core focus of the Chrysler Group," said Creed. "The unique combination of function and elegance seen in Airflite brings excitement and a stunning new profile into what is generally seen as a more conservative sector of the market."

In creating Airflite, exterior designer Greg Howell and interior designer Simeon Kim drew on influences from sources as diverse as contemporary furniture design; classic marine architecture; and the Chrysler Building, an Art Deco icon of the New York City skyline. The result is a sedan-coupe hybrid that offers five doors and full-size seating for four in an elegant vehicle that resembles a piece of uniquely American sculpture.

But Airflite contributes unique design features that give it a distinctive style, beginning with the new look and function of the hatchback. The hatch cuts deeply into the vehicle's form, with hinges set far forward for ease of opening and access. The fuel filler cap is located inside the hatch for additional security and simplicity of the exterior lines.

Surface breaks and transitions are minimized; the graphics are graceful and understated; rear fog lamps, center high-mounted stop light and repeater lamps set into the side vents contribute unique elements to the Airflite design; the boattail feature drives unique rear fender forms and a dramatic tapering roofline; the tail of the car is finished off with a bold chrome wing badge that underscores Chrysler brand's unique design.

Airflite's front end offers a fresh interpretation of the face of Chrysler, with its unique grille form, distinctive headlamps, and use of the Chrysler wing badge creating an expressive, athletic look. The satin silver accented A-pillar and upper windshield surround help to tie the low, sleek upper car surfaces to the sculpted hood and fenders.

The seven-spoke road wheel design recaptures the theme used on the Crossfire and Chrysler Pacifica, two of the brand's latest products.

Airflite's Interior Emphasizes Open Space

The Airflite's interior employs nautical-inspired themes, creative use of materials and unique "floating" components, including seats, instrument panel and armrests, to create an open, elegant and ergonomically friendly passenger environment.

The most striking interior element is the dominant center spine that connects the interior from front to back. The satin silver-colored center console appears to be a structural member that ties the two sides of the car together.

The brushed metal look of the center spine contrasts dramatically with the natural look of the wooden floor, accented with brushed aluminum strips that protect the wood finish and reflect the center console theme. The floor is stepped up behind the rear seats to create a raised cargo area. Leather seats enhance the natural look and broaden the range of materials of the interior space.

The open environment theme is expanded in the "floating" interior components - seats, armrests and instrument panel - allowing for freedom of movement within and between passenger and cargo areas.

The four independent seats are attached to the center console, creating more open space underneath passengers. Armrests float off the door trim to enhance the roominess of the interior.

And the free-form instrument panel and the leather-wrapped steering wheel become an independent piece of sculpture within the vehicle, with its simple, clean and symmetrical shape and reverse sweep form. Craftsmanship and attention to detail are reflected in components such as the functional control knobs and saddle-trimmed terra-cotta-colored leather accents located on the center console.

SOURCE: Chrysler