CES 2020

FCA's Airflow Vision shows off the future of UX (and maybe a new Chrysler SUV)

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

One of FCA's brands is known for having an exquisite interior - Ram. However, the company's UConnect infotainment system is generally regarded as one of the best in the business. FCA's new Airflow Vision concept car takes the story of in-cabin technology further giving a peek into the next-gen look and capability that may come the the automaker's stable.

Airflow Vision isn't just unique in its technology. The entire interior of vehicle has been designed around the user experience. It considers not just the tech itself, but how occupants interact with that technology. FCA says that the concept has been, "created for customers with an on-the-go lifestyle and a desire for a first-class travel experience while balancing their technology needs within a serene environment."

Airflow Vision

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The UX employs a screen that features multi-layered, high-contrast graphics. It has been designed on, "the principles of depth, hierarchy, consistency and legibility," according to a release. That explains the clean design, which FCA says makes the UX easy for the average user to interact with.

FCA says that by navigating the menu-based format, users can personalize, simplify, and group together elements on multiple screens. That information can be shared amongst the cabin's occupants.

The concept car features a light and spacious interior that is the dimensions of the flat load floor of the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV. Suede and leather is abundant throughout the cabin and seats feature a slim profile with a pedestal base.

FCA says that the exterior of the Airflow Vision has an "elegant and clean design statement" with an "athletic profile, long wheelbase, sleek lines and wide stance." The company also teases that the design, " hints at the future of premium design."

While a forthcoming vehicle based on this design may be years away, and dependent on the production implications of the FCA-PSA Group merger, it is likely that various elements of the technology shown in the model will begin to make their way into FCA's vehicles in the future. What is certain is that FCA needs to evolve their SUV lineup and a new SUV under the Chrysler umbrella is an advisable way to go.

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VinFast will soon launch in the United States.

VinFast

The automotive business is a tough place to cut your teeth as a company. So many have tried and failed to break through with new vehicles, both in the U.S. and elsewhere. Electric vehicles seem to present a perfect opportunity for companies of all types to jump in with a new product. Such is the case with VinFast, a Vietnamese automaker. The company launched two new crossovers at the LA Auto Show yesterday, both of which are heading to the United States.

VinFast EVs Two models will debut at first, but the company plans on expanding here.VinFast

The VinFast VF e35 features up to 301 miles of range on a charge, while the full-size three-row VF e36 can travel up to 422 miles on a charge. Both vehicles come with a ten-year/100,000-mile warranty. VinFast says that its launch strategy in the United States wraps in charging stations, as the company realizes that they are a necessary part of EV adoption. In Vietnam, VinFast is in the process of building 40,000 charging stations to bolster adoption.

VinFast EVs VinFast will eventually build a factory in the United States.VinFast

Here, the automaker will build dozens of company-branded stores to sell its vehicles, similar to the approach taken by Tesla. VinFast's plan is to position itself as an exclusive product in the EV space, and to help it expand in the U.S., the company plans to build a factory in 2024. Part of its launch will also involve several special events across the country to introduce the brand and its vehicles.

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The CX-50 features body cladding and rugged styling.

Mazda

Mazda's got a busy 2021 and 2022 as it gears up to release several new vehicles. The first is almost here, and today the automaker shared preliminary details. The CX-50 is an all-new SUV that shares a platform with the Mazda 3 and CX-30.

2023 Mazda CX-50 Production begins in January 2022. Mazda

At first, the CX-50 will be offered with Mazda's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines, one of which is turbocharged, but electrified powertrain options will join the lineup down the road, including a traditional hybrid. Both gas engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. A new drive mode select system is also standard that allows the driver to change the CX-50's behavior to match road and driving conditions such as towing and off-roading.

2023 Mazda CX-50 A new drive mode selection feature allows the driver to change vehicle behavior. Mazda

The new SUV's styling is a departure from the norm for Mazda, whose typical designs are sleek and elegant but far from rugged. That changes with the CX-50. Mazda installed beefy fender flares, body cladding, and a chunky front bumper that make the SUV look ready for the trail. New colors debut with the CX-50 as well, including Zircon Sand for the exterior and a terracotta upholstery option for the interior. The SUV will be the first Mazda to be offered with a panoramic sunroof.

2023 Mazda CX-50 New color schemes are available for both the interior and exterior. Mazda

We don't have full pricing or options details yet, but Mazda says that the CX-50 will be built at the facility in Huntsville, Alabama that it shares with Toyota. Production is scheduled for January 2022.

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