Chrysler is credited with the creation of the modern minivan with its Town & Country, introduced in 1984, and now the brand is targeting buyers born from that point on with its modern interpretation of the all-purpose carry-all, the Portal.
Though the name might be more immediately recognisable as a video game, rather than a four-wheeled conveyance, the Portal is unmistakably minivan with a two-box form, short bonnet and long cabin.
The Chrysler Portal also features an expansive glasshouse, with glazing extended to the lower doors (with front and rear sliding doors and no B-pillar), and running from the windscreen along the polycarbonate roof and all the way to wrap-over quarter panel windows.
But looks aren’t the Portal’s raison d'etre, with its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas indicating a high-tech focus. Chrysler refers to the Portal as a “third space”, an alternative environment that is neither work nor home but is able the blur the boundaries between the two if required.
Chrysler has invested over 20 years of research into the Millennial Generation (defined as those born between 1982 and 2001). It says it is already the most populous consumer group, and is set to become the largest parental group within the next ten years, with 75 percent of children expected to have a millennial parent.
Described as the fifth generation of family transport, after the station wagon, minivan, SUV, and crossover, the Portal features eight docking stations for securing and charging mobile devices, as well as seamless integration via facial recognition.
Track-mounted flat folding seats are designed to maximise interior space and flexibility, with a high-mounted multi-screen instrument cluster taking the place of traditional instrumentation and infotainment.
Beneath the futuristic skin the Portal features an electric drivetrain, capable of up to 400 kilometres range, with a 350kW fast charging system able to restore 240 kilometres of charge in 20 minutes.
Autonomous highway driving is also part of the Portal’s technology suite, with the ability to upgrade and update the vehicle in line with technology advancements and user needs. LED lighting is employed to create an active user experience, surrounding the Portal doors, and providing the front and rear lighting.
Design and engineering work for the Portal concept was carried out by Chrysler’s own millennial generation employees, giving it “created for millennials, by millennials” honours.
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