Fiat Chrysler is unveiling its first all-electric, self-driving concept car at CES this year, but it’s not some sporty, sleek number that’s all design and no functionality. Quite the opposite: the Portal is a family-focused minivan, and an unabashedly futuristic one to boot.
Chrysler is not explicitly calling the Portal a minivan, but look at it. It’s a minivan. The Portal appears to have gotten its name from its wacky door design that opens and closes like an elevator. Chrysler bills the Portal as "next generation family transportation designed by millennials for millennials," which is brand lingo for appealing to people with smartphones and money to burn.
The carmaker also bills the Portal as a "third space" where these family-minded millennials will chose to spend all their time outside their homes and offices. In other words, "an open and serene atmosphere that bridges work and home." Its a bleak-yet-shiny vision of the future from our friends at Chrysler.
As an electric vehicle, the Portal’s battery boasts more than 250 miles of range on a full charge. And with 350 kilowatt DC Fast Charge, the Portal’s battery pack could be recharged with 150 miles of range in just 20 minutes.
The Portal will also have all the high-tech features that carmakers believe all vehicles will need to have in the future. These include self-driving functionality (Level 3 with possibility to upgrade to Level 4), vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, and a whole bunch of goofy, concept-y additions like interior cameras for passenger selfies and something called Personal Zoned Audio, where the driver and the passenger can listen to their own music with no overlap.
And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the facial and voice-recognition technology. That means the Portal will be able to customize settings like lighting, destination, and music based on who gets behind the wheel. This could be a useful, fun feature, or a cybercrime minefield waiting to happen.
But who cares! It’s a concept. Go with it. Just don’t call it a minivan.