This might be one of the biggest surprises of this year’s Detroit Auto Show, and it’s not even a supercar or something exotic.
Chrysler‘s new 2017 minivan is not called the Town & Country, but rather the Pacifica. That’s right, just like the crossover Celine Dion used to shill 10-plus years ago.
But this all-new Pacifica isn’t a crossover, it’s indeed a minivan – one that Chrysler claims has 115 innovations for the segment. The first is the fact the Pacifica will be available as a plug-in hybrid.
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Although details are a bit scarce at this time, Chrysler has stated that the heart of the hybrid Pacifica will be an electrically variable transmission that houses two electric motors, both capable of driving the vehicle’s wheels. Electricity is stored in a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery and the estimated all-electric range is pegged at 30 miles with city fuel economy expected to be around 80 MPGe.
Those looking for a more conventional minivan can opt for Chrysler’s latest version of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that makes 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque in the Pacifica. Like pretty much every FCA product, a nine-speed automatic transmission will be standard.
The Pacifica is slated to offer class-leading aerodynamics and should inhibit less body roll than Chrysler’s current crop of minivans. The company has also worked hard to make an incredibly quiet interior and, like always, will offer an eight-seat option.
Other highlights inside the Pacifica include Stow ‘n Go seating, an integrated vacuum, hands-free sliding doors, hands-free liftgate and a tri-pane sunroof. The later features two sliding panoramic sunroofs and a fixed-glass pane over the third row.
If you have a big family or run a daycare, the Pacifica includes five seating positions that accommodate LATCH child safety seats. Or, if your children are of driving age, the Pacifica can come equipped with the KeySense programmable key fob that places limits on speed and audio volume. It will also mute the audio when front seatbelts are not buckled and will not allow occupants to disable certain features like the forward collision warning or rear parking sensors. And if you want to be a real Debbie Downer parent, it also allows the blocking of SiriusXM Radio channels.
Continuing on the technology front, the Pacifica can also be had with 360-degree surround view camera, ParkSense parallel and perpendicular park assist, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica will be available in six trim levels and the Pacifica Hybrid in two. Expect to see it in dealer showrooms later this spring while the Pacifica Hybrid is slated to arrive in the second half of the year.
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