January 3, 2017,
The Chrysler Portal concept, which debuted today at the 2017 CES
show in Las Vegas, looks at a potential evolution of the Chrysler brand with a concept developed to meet the needs of a tech-savvy, environmentally friendly and cost-conscious millennial consumer.
“The Chrysler Portal concept appeals to the millennial lifestyle on various levels – it serves as a social hub where up to six can enjoy and it's also designed to accommodate millennials as they begin their transition into family mode,” said Ralph Gilles
, Head of FCA Global Design. “The use of a mono-volume form combined with a battery-electric powertrain opens up a fresh look at seating and storage flexibility. The concept of a ‘third space’ offers passengers an interior space that is clean, modern and uses a color palette that welcomes the passengers inside.”
Designed from the inside out, the FCA design team took advantage of current and maturing technologies to maximize interior room in order to create its version of a “third space.” The Portal’s interior offers a serene, open environment that is calming and eases the transition between home and work, or outings with family or friends. Outside, the mono-volume form is a simple, clean and modern design.
Interior: comfortable, flexible, connected
Designers envisioned the interior of the Chrysler Portal concept as a “third space” for users that comfortably bridges the transition between the office and home and promotes sharing inside the vehicle. This begins with a large, open space that is highly flexible to meet the ever-changing needs of millennials.
The low, flat floor and smaller engine compartment are key enablers of the Chrysler Portal concept’s large, 180-cubic-foot interior volume. A clear roof panel, large windshield and large windows allow plenty of natural light to enter the cabin, adding to the sense of spaciousness.
The interior color palette relies heavily on neutral warm hues, primarily shades of gray. The goal is to provide a canvass that occupants can personalize with color via the adjustable LED accent lighting or personal objects brought into the vehicle.
FCA designers accented the Chrysler Portal’s interior with a shade of red-orange named Carnelian. It appears around the cabin, purposefully encircling the occupants from front to rear. Also, there are subtle references on the instrument panel – clearly visible – and elements of surprise on the underside of many surfaces, as well as at the interior base of the windshield, visible only from certain angles.
Soft-touch surfaces abound inside the Portal concept. Many surfaces are covered in a synthetic leather-like material more commonly seen in the furniture and clothing industries – no animal hides or grains are used. The use of synthetic leather, along with high-gloss black in areas, such as the instrument panel and upper roof console, echo the styling of electronic devices commonly used by millennials.
Further feeding the senses, some surfaces inside the Portal concept, such as the door coverings, side bolsters and upper elements of the seats, incorporate a heather-textured fabric for a handmade, premium look and feel. Some details get brushed and polished aluminum accents.
The overhead carbon fiber X-brace is made with silver-colored strands.
Designers considered typical, day-to-day use in making their color selections, so the colors transition from light to dark in an ombre effect – from front to back and from top to bottom. Darker colors minimize the appearance of scuff marks and general wear and tear.
The floor of the Chrysler Portal concept is made of clear acrylic that creates a floating effect for the seating structure, and rails that rise from a uniquely designed topographic motif that varies from dark to light – much like a body of water with floating islands.
The design team looked at elements of the interior, such as the instrument panel, the seats and the moveable center console, as free-standing sculptures. The aim with each component was to create a clean, premium look that also spoke to technology and flexibility.
Advanced thin-design seats offer comfort and take up less space. The pedestal-shape base creates more room for passengers’ feet than the box created by a traditional seat and footwell. The track-mounted seats have bottom cushions that fold up, stadium style, for the seats to be pushed together to free up more cargo space. The seats also can be removed.
Flexibility and social communication are paramount inside the Chrysler Portal concept. Passengers can dock their mobile devices on the seat backs. Connected to the vehicle network and the internet, people inside the Portal can share their preferences and experiences with each other and the outside world.
Taking cues from popular electronic products, the Portal’s instrument panel uses large, simple shapes. Stretching across the top of the instrument panel is a high-mount display with Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED). This technology makes the display screen brighter and sharper, enabling the driver to react quickly to alerts.
AMOLED displays are placed underneath a single piece of curved glass, giving it a futuristic look. A 12-inch AMOLED screen is mounted in the center stack, which merges with a charging rail system and slide-out storage tray positioned before the front passenger. Passengers can clip their mobile devices to the rail for recharging and slide the device for optimum position.
The driver sees a steering wheel with hand grips on each side, akin to the type of wheel used in open-wheel racing, flanking a center module. Touch-sensitive pads are located on each side and can be used to control the vehicle’s display menu and what the driver sees on the high-mount display and instrument panel.
The steering wheel is designed to fold and stow inside the instrument panel when parked, as well as once the vehicle is equipped with higher levels of autonomous capability. Should the vehicle enter a higher level of autonomy, the steering wheel grips retract into the center module and then the module retracts and integrates into the instrument panel. This opens space in front of the driver, as well as providing a seamless look for the entire instrument panel.
Technology used by millennials today puts a high emphasis on touch and haptic feedback. The Chrysler Portal’s occupants use touch-sensitive screens, capacitive pads, hand gestures and voice commands for functions, such as adjusting heating and cooling and opening and closing the portal-shaped articulating doors.
Articulating doors: The portal to the Chrysler Portal
The Chrysler Portal concept showcases a clean, simple yet strong exterior design statement that is amplified by refined lines along the body and a strong, planted stance amplifying its dramatic mono-volume shape.
That look started with a premise common in architecture: The entry into the space being a bold statement and focal point of the design. The exterior design centers around illuminated, portal-shaped side openings, with articulating front and rear doors, enabling easy ingress and egress for people and cargo. LED interactive portal lighting highlights the outside perimeter of each door, forming a 360-degree halo around the side entry to the vehicle. The LED lighting creates a unique statement adjacent to the dark tint of the side door windows and plays off the Tantalum Silver body color.
The structural B-pillar is integrated into the doors creating a barrier-free entry that’s nearly five feet wide when the doors are open. An “island” structure in the center of each door unit divides the large glass area of each door into upper and lower sections, which allows additional light to flow into the vehicle and also increases outward visibility.
Bold graphics inspired from the side door opening and LED lighting appear on the Chrysler Portal’s distinctive front and rear. The headlamps use innovative thin-lens projector technology to achieve a modern, low-profile appearance.
The LED lighting on the Chrysler Portal is more than simple decoration – it’s a way to communicate.
By changing colors and adding animation, the lighting on the Chrysler Portal can greet users when they approach the vehicle, signal when someone is entering or exiting, or recognize and alert others to the presence of an emergency vehicle close by. The animated lighting can also alert other drivers that the vehicle is in an autonomous driving mode, as well as repeat and amplify driving maneuvers, such as signaling a turn.
Owners can use the LED lighting to also personalize the vehicle – any color of the spectrum is possible. Reconfigurable lighting enables easy identification of your vehicle when used for ride sharing, bringing driver and passengers together quickly.
Designers gave the Chrysler Portal concept an athletic stance to convey an image that is not just functional, but active as well. The 21-inch wheels and tires are pushed toward the corners of the vehicle, which also aids interior space, and the body-side forms above the wheels are dramatically flared out. The center section of the Portal is pulled in slightly at the side-door glass. A body-side character line above the wheels pulls the eye upward and carries the eye around the vehicle, creating a beautiful three-dimensional design.
A strong stance and proportion enabled by the electric powertrain, pure exterior forms and bold graphics showcase the interior to communicate the Chrysler Portal’s roominess while also providing a modern, high-tech look.
About FCA US LLC
FCA US LLC is a North American automaker based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It designs, manufactures, and sells or distributes vehicles under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT and Alfa Romeo brands, as well as the SRT performance designation. The Company also distributes Mopar and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler Corp., established in 1925 by industry visionary Walter P. Chrysler and Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (F.I.A.T.), founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli. FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA).
FCA is an international automotive group listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”
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