Only a few days ago Chrysler pulled the wraps off its all-new 2017 Pacifica Minivan. Given the response and popularity the new Pacifica has gained in the past weeks, it’s a mighty positive prospect for the company. Chrysler, however, has probably got one more trick up its sleeve- a high-performance Hellcat version of the minivan!
Recently, Chrysler’s global head of design Ralph Gilles shared a sketch of Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat through his Instagram account. The design gives a rough lead as to what to expect once the Chrysler Pacifica goes under the knife at the company’s performance division - SRT (Street Racing Technology).
What’d it be like?
For the uninitiated, the SRT division is famous for turning normal and sedate Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models into borderline monsters. The Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat, if such a thing ever comes out, will be powered by the company’s third-generation HEMI engine that currently powers all the Hellcat models.
The engine is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 petrol motor that churns out 707bhp and 881Nm of torque. Power transmission duties are carried out by an 8-speed automatic transmission.
While most of the Hellcat models such as the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat coupe and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat sedan are rear wheeldrive, the latest Hellcat-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk gets a 4-wheeldrive option. The Chrysler Pacifica is expected to come in either of the two options; although 4-wheeldrive is most likely to have the engine mounted in a longitudinal position now.
Other changes will be mostly visual in nature. As is the case with other Hellcat models, the Pacifica Hellcat will have a prominent hood scoop, larger lower intake in the front fascia and other visual tweaks that will scream aloud its racing pedigree. The renderings shown by the design head also shows the minivan to have front fender vents, larger and muscular wheel arches, new 7-spoke alloy wheels with “Y-shape” spokes, etc. At the back, the Pacific Hellcat gets large chrome dual-exhaust tips while there’s a chunky rear diffuser added to the bumper as well.
The Hellcat version will of course trade efficiency in favor of performance. Expect fuel economy figures to drop significantly. However, fuel efficiency must be the last of the prospective customers’ concerns when going for a HEMI V8 powered Hellcat model!
How soon will it come?
The odds of the Chrysler Pacifica hitting the production anytime soon seem bleak at the moment though. This year the company will be launching the standard petrol-powered version of the car – one that replaces the Town & Country minivan. Next year, the company will be introducing the hybrid powertrain in the minivan to cater to a larger audience. Squeezing the Hellcat model between the two in a year’s time will be a tall order for the company.
Having said that you can’t rule out the possibility of the Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat to rule the market. Its launch in the market may not be imminent, but once the regular models of the minivan establish themselves on the market, the next step would be to move the game forward- and we can’t think of anything else but the Hellcat version to do that!