Chrysler is all set to enter an unknown and unexplored territory as it will launch a plug-in HYBRID MINIVAN - YES, it will be the first ever electrified minivan in its home market, USA, upon its launch. With that the company will also be pulling the plug on its well-known and successful Town & Country minivan, making way for the new Pacifica range, which includes the aforesaid plug-in version and a regular petrol model.
Chrysler pulled the wraps off the all-new Pacifica range at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show. The Pacifica nameplate is not completely new in the US. Between 2003 and 2007, the Pacifica was sold as a mid-size crossover in the American market before being retired from services. The new Pacifica takes shape in a minivan body and name apart there are hardly any similarities between the new and the old model.
For starters, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica will be based around an all-new platform. While dimensionally being similar to the Town & Country minivan, the forthcoming Pacifica is about an inch shorter and an inch wider than the soon to be defunct people-mover. However, the major difference is the way it looks. Compared to the Town & Country, the 2017 Pacifica is a modern and contemporary design that will appeal to young buyers, who are the target customers for the Pacifica.
Design wise, the 2017 Pacifica is a totally different car altogether. The all-new Chrysler minivan is said to have athletic proportions, thanks to a fluid-like and fast silhouette. The sliding doors' track lines are neatly hidden under the rear-quarter glass, making them nearly invisible to unsuspecting eyes. With a long wheelbase between those gorgeous 20-inch alloy wheels, low ground clearance and wide track, the 2017 Chrysler looks far more appealing than just an everyday people mover.
In addition to that, the Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid version will get a unique front grille pattern, distinctive badge and differently designed wheels so as to distinguish it from petrol powered variants of the minivan. New styling aside, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is also 136 kilograms lighter than the Town & Country minivan it replaces. The weight savings will make it more efficient and feel light on its feet while driving for sure!
The INTERIOR of the new Pacifica is a tech-fest featuring latest gadgets and an opulent cabin with high levels of fit and finish. At the front, the new minivan features a nicely laid out dashboard featuring an Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen with infotainment functionality. The dual tone theme of the cabin elevates the sense of luxury in the minivan. The Chrysler Pacifica will have a six speakers sound system with Active Noise Cancellation fitted as standard on all variants. Customers can also upgrade to more premium audio systems such as a 13-speaker Alpine system or a 20-speaker Harman Kardon system.
Backseat passengers will get a pair of 10-inch touchscreen entertainment displays to pamper themselves on the move. Chrysler claims that compared to the Town & Country the new Pacifica is much more spacious with an increase of over 200 cubic feet of interior volume. The rear seats can also be folded into the floor freeing up a cavernous BOOT SPACE that can be used to move a house. With all the seats in normal position, the Pacifica can seat 8 individuals.
Coming to the highlight of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, which is its powertrain. Both the petrol and plug-in hybrid version incorporate a 287PS producing 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine. However, in the hybrid version, the petrol engine gets a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery in addition. Running on electric power alone, the Pacifica Hybrid will have a driving range of up to 30 miles while in conjunction with the petrol motor it will deliver a claimed 80 MPG. The engine will be mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission sending drive to front wheels in both the models.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica will be built at the company's production facility in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The petrol powered versions of the minivan will go on sale in the US around March-April 2016, while the plug-in hybrid will reach dealers' showrooms in the second half of 2016.
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