LAS VEGAS — Fiat Chrysler’s newest electric concept car is all about millennials.
That much was clear after the company’s press conference at CES in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon, during which FCA unveiled the Portal, a new futuristic concept vehicle “created by millennials for millennials.”
FCA employees repeated the word “millennial” throughout their presentation, which highlighted a minivan designed with the smartphone-wielding, digitally-obsessed consumer in mind.
“The goal is to design a vehicle that discerning millennials recognize as a true object of desire,” said Ashley Edgar, advanced engineering project manager at FCA. “An extension of our lives that integrates as seamlessly and as essentially as our cell phones.”
The Portal, which is supposed to look like a “portal” from the outside with its sliding doors, packs a ton of technology on the inside, where FCA is aiming to create a “third space,” or “an open and serene atmosphere that bridges work and home features an interior.”
“Instead of a car interior, we envisioned a modern architectural space,” said Cindy Juette, an interior designer at FCA.
The Portal integrates with individual smartphones to enable social sharing among passengers and access to apps that appear on the vehicle’s interior touchscreens. Here are some examples of what a user would see on the screens (photos via FCA):
The car is also equipped with multiple cameras that “not only help you safely park and drive but let you create your own carpool karaoke videos while you ride with friends,” noted Emilio Feliciano, a designer at FCA.
There’s also “Personal Zoned Audio” feature that lets “the little one in the back watch Muppets while Mom and Dad rock out to Nickelback and you the driver can tune it all out,” Feliciano explained.
Yes, they dropped a Nickelback joke.
Facial recognition; voice biometrics; docking stations; charging ports; and more are also built into the vehicle, which is only a concept for now — no word on if the car will ever be sold to consumers.
“The Chrysler Portal concept explores the possibility of what a family transportation vehicle could look like for the millennial generation as their lifestyles evolve,” FCA said in a news release. “The flexibility, adaptability and technology features also make it ideal for business and commercial applications, such as ride hailing, car sharing and delivery services.”
The Portal can go more than 250 miles on a full charge, and a DC Fast Charge provides 150 miles of range in less than 20 minutes. Its battery packs are built into the floor, similar to what Tesla does with its electric vehicles. There is also self-driving tech built into the vehicle that enables a semi-autonomous driving mode.
FCA, which did not reveal pricing details, said it interviewed hundreds of millennials around the world and used that research to design a concept car geared toward younger consumers who value seamless and personal experiences.
“For this audience, it’s not about 0-to-60 speeds or high horsepower,” Edgar said. “For people interested in this car, smart is the new sexy. The Portal concept delivers everything we know millennials want: modular components, flexible space, upgradable technologies, and affordability.”
FCA worked with companies like Panasonic and Samsung on the concept. It also separately partnered with Google earlier this year to develop self-driving minivans.
FCA is one of several carmakers here at CES this week showing off their latest technological innovations. CES has become an auto show of sorts, with companies unveiling all-electric vehicles and in-car technology. For the first time in seven years, FCA is not debuting a new vehicle at the Detroit auto show, and instead is doing so at CES.
Stay tuned for more automotive coverage from CES here. Watch the FCA press conference here: