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2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven

Though the badge says “Hybrid,” the important thing to know about the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid right off the bat is this: It’s actually a PHEV. You plug it in, and it runs on electricity for the first several miles of your day.

As I found during a week at the wheel of the electrified minivan, if you have the right commuting or parking situation, you might find yourself using little or no gasoline.

It’s noteworthy Chrysler is the first automaker to put a PHEV minivan on sale in America. For a brand with only three models in its showroom nowadays, this was an even bigger home run than the non-hybrid Pacifica that birthed it. The hybrid takes a great, competitive minivan and makes it truly special — even buzzworthy.

Best of all, it’s the kind of plug-in vehicle that just makes sense for a huge number of families. It’s not much more expensive than any comparably equipped competitive minivan, yet it gets an EPA-estimated 84 MPGe. It’s remarkable because the Pacifica Hybrid squeezes that kind of efficiency out of a big, practically sized, attractive family hauler instead of a small, weirdly styled car wrought with compromises.

After spending a week with the Pacifica Hybrid, I find myself hoping I see a lot more of them on the roads — and hoping FCA has the good sense to adapt this powertrain to other vehicles we might not normally associate with hybrid efficiency. Chrysler 300? Ram 1500? Jeep Grand Cherokee? All have the potential to be transformed into segment-changing vehicles if they can incorporate the Pacifica’s hybrid system.

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2018 Chrysler Pacifica S Appearance Package

2018 Chrysler Pacifica S Appearance Package

For those families with “attitude”

There you are – sitting in the parent pick-up line at the kids’ elementary school. You’re looking at the never-ending row of gray and silver SUVs, crossovers, and sedans. You feel trapped – stuck in a rut of perpetual boredom fed by routines and complacency and made worse by cookie-cutter transportation. You need to escape this automotive purgatory. But you’re a good parent and know you can’t shuck the responsibilities of chauffeuring your brood to and from their various activities. What’s the solution? The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat or Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk? No, those are just overkill on horsepower and underwhelming on people room. No, you need space. You need seven or eight seats. You also need vogue styling. You aren’t the average PTA parent, after all. Well, Chrysler has a solution. Meet the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica S and its murdered-out S Appearance Package.

For the 2018 model year, the Pacifica can be had with the S Appearance Package for an extra $595. It’s available on the Touring Plus, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and the Limited model. It’s blacked-out theme spans from its black paint and Gloss Black accents to its 18-inch wheels in a hue called Black Noise. Tim Kuniskis, head of Dodge, SRT, Chrysler, and Fiat, said, “The Chrysler Pacifica definitely stands out in the school drop-off line, and its class-leading style has won over many new customers. The Pacifica’s S Appearance Package takes that style to the next level and offers our customers yet another unique personality that further differentiates Pacifica from the rest of the segment.” Kuniskis is right about that – no other minivan offers such a blacked-out appearance package.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chrysler Pacifica S Appearance Package.

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FCA Boss Hints At Front-Wheel-Drive System For The Next-Gen Chrysler 300

FCA Boss Hints At Front-Wheel-Drive System For The Next-Gen Chrysler 300

Sergio Marchionne says it’s possible, refused to make a commitment

Intentional or not, FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne has hinted on a significant change for the next-generation Chrysler 300, one that involves a shift to front-wheel drive for the traditionally rear-wheel drive full-sized luxury sedan. Marchionne made the comments during the Chrysler Pacifica’s launch in Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario production facility.

The FCA boss stopped short of confirming his comments when asked to clarify on them. He likely realized that his words could be taken out of context so instead, he clarified that the Windsor facility is “capable” of making a production run since it’s possible to use the underpinnings of the Pacifica for the next-generation 300. The facility in Ontario will be the production base of the new minivan and while it would be interesting to see a front-wheel drive 300, Chrysler signing off on such a proposal could entail moving the production of the 300 from its current facility in Brampton, Ontario. The proximity between the two facilities – around 217 miles – could make for an easy transition and would see the 300 leave behind the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger in the Brampton facility.

That said, Marchionne’s comments should be taken with a grain of salt considering that he set the record straight, saying his comments shouldn’t be treated as a commitment to a dramatic shift in production strategy. But it does open the possibility of seeing the next-generation 300 come with a front-wheel-drive configuration. Having that should equate to a more refined driving experience, improved fuel economy, and a bigger and more efficient use of interior space, three characteristics that are likely to be high on the checklist of prospective customers for the next-generation 300.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 Chrysler 300S Alloy Edition

2016 Chrysler 300S Alloy Edition

The Chrysler 300S just got more sophisticated thanks to its new Alloy Edition package.

Launched in 2011, the second-generation Chrysler 300 received a facelift for the 2015 model year. The update brought a much larger grille, revised LED headlamps, a sportier rear end,and higher-quality materials on the inside. However, the facelifted second-gen 300 also came with a bit of bad news, as Chrysler decided to discontinue the Hemi-powered SRT model. Although the beefed-up sedan did get a similar refresh, Pentastar decided to sell it only in markets such as Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and the Middle East.

With a third-generation model set to arrive sometime in 2017, you’d be tempted to think that the current 300 will be left to go out of production without much hubbub. Fortunately, Chrysler won’t let that happen just yet and the 300S Alloy Edition that’s scheduled to break cover at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show is proof that the full-size four-door is alive and kicking.

Available on the 300S trim with all-wheel drive and a choice of two drivetrains, the 300S Alloy Edition will be launched alongside a similar version of the smaller 200S.

“Chrysler brand embodies Detroit style, and our new 200S and 300S Alloy Editions are a perfect meld of our engineering innovation and craftsmanship, forged with cutting-edge colors and materials inspired by the Motor City’s ingenuity and creativity,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands of FCA North America.

Updated 02/16/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the car’s official debut at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. Check the "Pictures" tab to see them.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chrysler 300S Alloy Edition.

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Its Official: North America Won't Get The Refreshed Chrysler 300 SRT

Its Official: North America Won’t Get The Refreshed Chrysler 300 SRT

If you were hoping to plant your rear end in a refreshed version of the 2013 Chrysler 300 SRT, you might as well settle for the current model. The updated version of the 300 SRT isn’t going to be released in the United States. Between declining popularity here, and Fiat Chrysler’s intentions to make SRT a Dodge-only performance brand, it doesn’t make sense to release it here. It will, however, be released in Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and New Zealand, among other markets throughout the world.

For those of you who haven’t paid attention for the past couple years, SRT is all about performance. When you compare the 300 SRT to vehicles like the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat, the 300 SRT just doesn’t appear to stack up to where Chrysler wants to go with the SRT brand name. Naturally the inability to have it will naturally make you want it more, so I might as well tell you what you are missing out on. In other markets, the 300 SRT will come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 that puts out 470 horsepower, and updated styling all the way around. Interested in my thoughts? Read on, then let me know what you think.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2013 Chrysler 300

2013 Chrysler 300

It wasn’t that long ago when the Chrysler 300 was being panned as a Bentley copycat. Times have changed though, and the 300 has become a real pillar in the full-sized, semi-premium class of vehicles.

While the old styling of the 300 did evoke a feeling of luxury to the model, it still felt like the design as borrowed to a certain extent. But the current-generation 300 was redesigned with a more original look to it and it has done wonders to improve the overall appeal of the sedan.

The 2013 model sticks to this look but also has a number of improvements that further illustrates why the 300 has turned into one of Chrysler’s most important models.

It’s easy to see where Chrysler really turned up the heat on the 300 and the risk it did in doing so has been rewarded with a car that now looks about as smooth and as original as any car Chrysler has produced in recent years - with plenty of creature comforts to go with.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chrysler 300 after the jump

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Rumormill: Lancia May Turn the Chrysler 300 into a Two Door

Rumormill: Lancia May Turn the Chrysler 300 into a Two Door

Ahh, rumors in the automotive world spread just about as fast as the rumor that the captain of the football team was kissing the head of the girls’ chess team under the bleachers at the homecoming dance… And we love ‘em. The latest rumor is an interesting one that actually has a fair amount of validity.

Lancia is one of the many companies under the protective umbrella of Fiat Automobiles S.p.A. and it loves to borrow its models from Chrysler, add a few small touches, and call it their own. One of the latest models to make the Lancia conversion was the Chrysler 300, which prances around Europe bearing the name “Lancia Thema” (image above). That’s not the rumor though, as we already know all about that.

The rumors being whispered are that Lancia really wants a full-size coupe for its European market and the only car available to possibly satisfy this itch is the Chrysler 300. Ask any custom coach builder and he will tell you that turning a four-door body into a two-door car is not as tough as you may think, but going the other direction is nearly impossible.

So, if Lancia decides to hack up the B-pillar on the 300, shorten the opening a little and slap two fewer doors on the 300, would this model make it to the U.S.? The two-door full size car essentially died with the downsizing of vehicles in the late-1970s, but a small niche market may be in order.

This also spawns the possibility of Chrysler finally satisfying its nostalgia buffs by taking the two-door blueprints that Lancia would create and turn that into a two-door Charger. The pair of extra doors have always been a thorn in the side of Charger buffs, so Chrysler could breathe a little extra life into both models – not like the 300 needs more life, but extra sales can’t hurt – by offering two-door models of each.

This is certainly an interesting rumor to ponder and we are more likely to see pigs fly before we see a two-door 300 and Charger, but we’re telling you there’s a chance.

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2012 Chrysler 300S by John Varvatos

2012 Chrysler 300S by John Varvatos

Charity auctions are always a great way to find special cars to buy, while also getting a chance to donate to a worthy cause. On Tuesday, March 20, 2012, the John Varvatos 9th Annual Stuart House Benefit will be host to an auction with a one-off, special edition Chrysler 300S designed by John Varvatos and inspired by his collections. All of the proceeds of the auction will benefit The Rape Foundation in support of Stuart House. Currently, the bid is at $48,546.

This special edition Chrysler 300S will be distinguished by a special set of custom 20" wheels in a satin carbon finish and a very cool black paint for the interior. The interior also get seats and door panels decorated with black woven leather details and flat woven Heather fabric which brings an elegant Menswear appeal to the vehicle. The instrument panel, console lid, and door armrest are wrapped in black leather, while the steering wheel features a black two-tone color combo with an accent 360 ring. All of these elements are combined with satin chrome finishes.

Under the hood, the engine remains unchanged: the 3.6-liter Pentastar engine delivers a total of 292 HP and is mated to an all-new segment-exclusive ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.

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