Chrysler Portal Concept Tries to Make Minivans Cool Again

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

Chrysler is making quite a splash at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas with the debut of the Chrysler Portal EV, an autonomous minivan-like vehicle with seating for six.

Said to be designed from the inside out and made for millennials by millennials, the Chrysler Portal Concept is seen as the family vehicle for those born between the years of 1982 and 2001. The seating is modular and can slide forward and backward, even folding up or down to maximize the space in this boxy vehicle.

Passengers will also love the 10 “docking stations,” that offer charging for their devices. Upfront, there’s a massive screen that takes up the entire dashboard, while the center console has a giant infotainment screen that includes a knob for easy, tactile use. Using neutral and gray tones for the interior means that the cabin has a docile, serene feel to it.

ALSO SEE: Chrysler’s Next Infotainment System Could be Android-Powered

The unique exterior design is characterized by the use of doors with large windows, nicknamed “portals” by Chrysler. The doors are articulated at the front and rear so they slide outwards, making it easy to get in and out. In a fun twist, the vehicle features color-changing LED lighting on the front, side, and rear portals. The front headlights are a new thin Lens LED technology with an adaptive driving beam.

There’s also a huge see-through polycarbonate roof panel, that is designed to let in a lot of natural light.

Being a concept that debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show, there is no shortage of crazy technology in the vehicle. Some highlights include biometric scanning and facial recognition, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity, and a system that isolates exterior sounds to give the driver a better understanding of their surroundings. There’s also a system that allows passengers to share media with one another.

A front-wheel-drive electric vehicle, the Chrysler Portal Concept uses a 100 kWh battery that should be able to net 250 miles of range on a single charge. Charging is done via the Combined Charging System and can use the DC fast charging system to get 150 miles of range in less than 20 minutes. The winged badge on the front of the vehicle indicates the current charge level.

The Chrysler Portal EV is also said to be capable of SAE Level 3 semi-autonomous driving, with the driver capable of handing over control to the on-board computers during certain driving situations like highway cruising. The semi-autonomous functions are made possible by an array of sensors (LIDAR/radar/sonar/vision) that constantly monitor conditions outside and inside the vehicle. Furthermore, the Chrysler Portal concept is capable of being upgraded to higher levels of autonomy as technology gets more advanced and if the owner is interested in adding it to their vehicle.

The Chrysler Portal EV is an interesting concept, but it’s important to mention that FCA specifically chose to debut its concept at the Consumer Electronics Show rather than the big Detroit Auto Show that’s taking place next week.

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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  • SquidBonez SquidBonez on Jan 03, 2017

    "Said to be designed from the inside out and made for millennials by millennials..." And just like that it's shit. Coming from a millennial.