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Old 04-15-2005, 11:30 PM
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Chrysler Airflite Concept 2003

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

Geneva, Mar 04, 2003

Chrysler Designers Create Functional Art with Sporty, Five-door Coupe Styling
Long Lines of Roof and Glass Merge with Fastback Profile to Capture the Emotion of the Coupe

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.

"Airflite is the ultimate expression of functional art," said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President of Design, Chrysler Group. "It is designed to offer true functionality in a beautifully designed exterior and interior package that is as exciting and as elegant as any coupe on the road."

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.

And, while Airflite is a concept vehicle, it is based on a shortened version of the LX platform, demonstrating the flexibility and adaptability of the foundation of the new generation of Chrysler Group's rear-drive passenger cars.

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.


Chrysler Airflite Concept Vehicle Key Specifications

Length: 190.4 inches (4,838 mm)
Wheelbase: 116.0 inches (2,946 mm)
Width: 73.6 inches (1,870 mm)
Height: 57.0 inches (1,488 mm)
Engine: 3.5 V-6 petrol

Track
Front: 63.0 inches (1,600 mm)
Rear: 64.2 inches (1,630 mm)

Tires
Front: 235/45R20-inch; wheel size: 20 inches x 8.5 inches; outer diameter - 28.3 inches
Rear: 255/45R21-inch; wheel size: 21 inches x 9 inches; outer diameter - 30 inches
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Old 04-15-2005, 11:32 PM
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Chrysler Airflite - The Making of a Concept
Geneva, Mar 04, 2003

Forty weeks before its reveal at the Geneva Motor Show, the countdown to the "birth" of the Chrysler Airflite begins. Early studio paint sketches of Airflite are produced by the Chrysler Group design team, and are then reviewed and vapproved by senior executives, including Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Trevor Creed and Jim Schroer. Soon after, the clay model production begins.
This interior surface model clearly shows the designers' proposals to use "floating seats," which are attached to a distinctive aluminum center tunnel section. There is an extensive use of hardwood in the interior of the Chrysler Airflite, providing a more natural environment.

Seven weeks into the production process, a lightweight, foam-milled model of the proposed interior is tested by Dave McKinnon, Vice President for Small, Premium and Family Vehicle Design (seated), and Joe Dehner, Director of Exterior/Interior Design, to ensure good ergonomics, volume and proportions.

The process of producing a full-size clay model in the Design Studios at the Chrysler Group's Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, was started following sketch approvals.

The design team reviews the complete full-size clay model of the Chrysler Airflite. At this point, the clay is only milled in detail on the front and rear and driver's side of the vehicle, allowing a 270 degree view of the vehicle's exterior design. Detailing and colors using dinoc, a thin, painted membrane that is placed over the clay to simulate the appearance of sheet metal, have been added to the clay model. This provides an accurate, early impression of how the Chrysler Airflite will look when it is completed.

Senior Vice President of Design, Trevor Creed, continually monitors the progress of all Chrysler Group concept vehicles during their development. Here, he discusses progress on the vehicle with clay modeler Joe Marcum.

An early clay model is viewed in the Design Courtyard for an early photography session. Placing the concept vehicle in a natural environment provides good perspective to the entire project.

Work on the clay model continues as Exterior Designer Greg Howell refines the Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application (CATIA) images of the Chrysler Airflite.

Secrecy is essential to all concept vehicle projects. Here, the Chrysler Airflite is loaded onto a covered transporter inside the Design Studios before it is transferred to California. After a 2,000-mile cross-country journey, the Chrysler Airflite arrives at Metalcrafters Inc., the Fountain Valley, California, premises of the company that will build the final concept.

In California, the clay model of the Chrysler Airflite is scanned, its surface is further developed and the passenger side is balance-milled. This process allows the details of Airflite to be viewed from 360 degrees (all round).

The fine details of the Chrysler Airflite continue to take shape. Here, the distinctive projector headlamps can be seen clearly.

Chrysler Airflite is based on the next generation of Chrysler Group's rear-drive passenger cars (LX). The 120-inch (304.8 cm) original platform has been shortened to 116 inches (294.6 cm) to fit the architecture of the Chrysler Airflite. Here, the floorpan and other parts of the LX can be seen clearly in white.


A 3.5-liter V6 petrol engine, from the Chrysler 300M, is fitted into the engine bay of the Chrysler Airflite concept car. This is a true, fully working vehicle that will be driven by journalists soon after its debut at the 73rd Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva.

The distinctive, aerodynamic lines of the Chrysler Airflite can now be seen clearly as some of the carbon fiber panels are fitted onto the chassis. This exterior "cocoon" serves as a shell to allow the accurate build of the interior.

The main interior elements of the Chrysler Airflite - such as the steering wheel and instrumentation - are electronically milled in foam to test for fit and finish before those same parts are produced in aluminum.

The interior confirmation review takes place with all elements of the Chrysler Airflite's interior being reviewed by design team members.
Next stop Geneva, Switzerland! The finished Chrysler Airflite concept vehicle remains under cover and out of sight until its reveal on the Chrysler Group stand at the 73rd Salon International de l'Auto on press day, Tuesday, March 4.
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Old 04-15-2005, 11:42 PM
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Chrysler Airflite Concept #3
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Old 04-15-2005, 11:43 PM
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Chrysler Airflite Concept #4
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Old 04-15-2005, 11:44 PM
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Chrysler Airflite Concept #5
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Old 04-15-2005, 11:45 PM
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Chrysler Airflite Concept #6
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Old 04-15-2005, 11:46 PM
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Chrysler Airflite Concept #7
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Old 04-15-2005, 11:47 PM
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Chrysler Airflite Concept #8
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Old 04-16-2005, 12:17 AM
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HOW MANY TIMES ARE THEY GUNNA RIP OFF THE CROSSFIRE!?

First the Firepower, then this!
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spastik_Roach
HOW MANY TIMES ARE THEY GUNNA RIP OFF THE CROSSFIRE!?

First the Firepower, then this!
This one was before Firepower... But it doesn't change the thing that you said
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:39 AM
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It's a 300C/Crossfire/Firepower.
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Old 04-16-2005, 07:08 AM
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Like the Crossfire isn't ugly enough.
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Old 04-16-2005, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf03
Like the Crossfire isn't ugly enough.
I think the Crossfire looks really good but what kills it is it's sticker price and power.
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:26 AM
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I have some 1600x1200 of this at the Milwaukee show....gotta find them...

Anyway, I think it's a good design study, it just needs some work done to differentiate it from other models. I actually like it.
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockefella
I think the Crossfire looks really good but what kills it is it's sticker price and power.
It's ok but the back is really ugly. The back is higher than the front and it looks all squished and messed. Plus there are many cars much better than the Crossfire at the same price.
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