New high-performance van already undergoing prep for production

As Chrysler gears up to release the new Hellcat-powered Pacifica later this year, our spy photographers managed to snag a shot of a pre-production mule undergoing road tests just outside FCA’s Auburn Hills headquarters. While the mule lacks a few of the aerodynamic enhancements we expect to see on the finalized design, the plus-sized wheels and meaty tires are clear indicators of the van’s sporting intentions.

For now, it looks like the tester is equipped with lightweight, five-spoke rollers wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero rubber. Our photographer also managed to catch the tire sizing – 265/40/R22, leading us to believe the Pacifica Hellcat may get larger-diameter wheels than its Charger and Challenger siblings. Looking at the slim fender gap, it’s also obvious this tester is equipped with the Hellcat’s upgraded suspension package, which means Chrysler is already looking into real-world NVH development.

Hopefully, we’ll get to see the supercharged minivan undergoing furthering testing at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds soon, which should point to a timeframe for the debut of Chrysler’s latest performance model.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why It Matters

If you’re as excited about the new Pacifica Hellcat as we are, then this spy shot should come as fantastic news. Already, we’re seeing rapid progress towards a production-ready model, which makes sense given the Pacifica Hellcat’s position in the market. Obviously, Chrysler wants to get a jump on the competition before it has a chance to put up a fight, and considering the advancement seen in this spy shot, it appears as though the automaker has a sizable lead in the race to offer the first high-performance entry for the minivan segment.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full review of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat here.

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