Chrysler Isn’t Dead Yet, and This New Production-Ready EV Concept Proves It
There was something for everyone at Stellentis’ Electric Vehicle Day last week. Be it the electric Ram or the Jeep Grand Cherokee plug-in hybrid, not to mention a Dodge electric muscle car. However, the company did not forget Chrysler, whose illustrious past is little more than a shadow of what it used to be.
When Chrysler introduced the Pacifica Hybrid, it rattled to ever-shrinking minivan segment to its core. Not necessarily because it offered some new, ground-breaking technology but because it’s quite literally the only hybrid minivan on the market – at least until the Toyota Sienna lineup goes hybrid for the 2021 model year. Until then, however, the Pacifica gets to wear the crown. We drove the Pacifica just a year ago and we had somewhat mixed opinions about it – has anything changed this time around? Let’s find out!
You Have to Check Out This 1934 Chrysler Airflow That Pulled Into Jay Leno’s Garage
The Chrysler Airflow was supposed to be Chrysler’s forward-thinking hit that would re-write the book on automotive styling and, in the process, teach people that an aerodynamic car is the way to go. Only it didn’t. All that the Airflow did do was to buck the trend and almost tanked Chrysler. With its steel body and fountain-esque grille, it shocked customers rather than appeal to them but now, 86 years since its release, it’s universally accepted that the Airflow is among the very first mass-produced aerodynamic cars in the world.
2021 Chrysler Pacifica
Chrysler is still taking care of the Pacifica minivan and the best way to show that affection is by flaunting a refreshed version at the Chicago Motor Show. New for 2021 is the Pinnacle trim, which comes to join the likes of Touring, Touring L, and Limited.
Visually, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica nip-and-tuck revolves around the front end. Here, the minivan flaunts a redesigned grille, new headlights, and tweaked bumper. In the back, the only change sees the taillights spanning to the whole width of the car, which can now ride on 17- to 20-inch wheels.
On the mechanical front, the big news is the addition of an AWD setup - by the way, it’s the first such system to make its way into a Chrysler-badged minivan since 2004. The setup, which was tested over more than one million miles, mixes three sub-systems.
A power transfer unit splits torque coming through the nine-speed automatic gearbox and routes it to the rear drive module. The latter houses a wet clutch that fluctuates torque to the wheels and a one-speed transfer case. The power transfer unit and the rear drive module are connected by a three-piece drive shaft. A brake-lock differential is also part of the AWD setup, which can send torque exclusively to the rear wheels or to those wheels with the most traction.
On the road composure front, the Pacifica receives a rear sway bar and extra suspension tuning which sees the ride height go up by 0.78 inches.
Inside the cabin, passengers get to fiddle with the new Uconnect 5 multimedia setup which utilizes a 10.1-inch touchscreen (that’s 20 percent larger than the previous-generation). The new setup is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Plus, it can host up to six driver profiles, including a valet mode. What’s more, you can connect two phones simultaneously via Bluetooth.
Powertrain-wise, the Pacifica can be had with either a 3.6-liter V-6 good for 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque or in plug-in-hybrid guise, where the V-6 shares the chores with an e-motor for a total system output of 260 horsepower.
The Chrysler Pacifica was introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the Chrysler Town & Country, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the Pacifica Hybrid was launched. As a model that only has a couple of years under its belt, the Pacifica is still relatively fresh on the market and is one of the few minivans that are still in production for the U.S. Market. What’s even more interesting is the fact that Chrysler has managed to create its own little niche of sorts, as the Pacifica Hybrid – the model you see here – is the only hybrid minivan on the market. That means it doesn’t have any prerequisite standard to live up to and is responsible for setting its own standard. With it competing against non-hybrid minivans we have actually been very curious about how well it stacks up against the less-sophisticated competition.
Is the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid really worth buying in terms of fuel economy, comfort, and value? Is it a worth competitor for the new Honda Odyssey or nearly decade-old Toyota Sienna? Well, we managed to score a week with the Pacific Hybrid, and we set out to answer these questions and more. Here’s what we learned after spending a week with the market’s only hybrid minivan.
2019 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Pacifica 35th Anniversary Edition
It was not just Mazda which brought an anniversary edition model to Chicago Auto Show.The MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition might have stolen the limelight, but Chrysler and Dodge have launched anniversary editions of their minivans as well. Perhaps, they went unnoticed because they are humble minivans and not some fancy roadsters. Oh, automotive enthusiasts, thou art mean.
FCA Looking to "Wow" Chicago with A Pair of Special Edition Minivans
Thirty-five years after introducing the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is honoring the minivan OGs with a pair of 35th Anniversary special edition models, featuring the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Pacifica. Like most special edition models, the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan 35th Anniversary Editions are packed with exclusive touches, including fancy paint finishes and special badges. All special edition features come in the form of packages. The special edition package is available to a range of Pacifica and Grand Caravan models, including the Pacifica Hybrid. Pricing details have yet to be released, but the 35th Anniversary packages for both the Pacifica and the Grand Caravan will be available sometime in summer of 2019. The Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan 35th Anniversary Editions will debut at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.
Chrysler to Ax the 300 and Shift the Portal Electric Van into Production
The Chrysler Portal Concept was unveiled last year at the Consumer Electronics Show. The electric van received a lot of attention, and perhaps because of that interest, FCA has given the green signal to commence production. According to Automotive News, the van will hit the assembly line; however, it will come at the cost of the 300 sedan in the brand’s lineup.
A Reported Takeover Of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is Now Coming from South Korea
Hyundai has been identified as the latest company to engage Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over a possible takeover bid that would bring the American automaker to the Korean auto giant’s side. According to the report, the bid is expected to take shape sometime this summer as FCA starts planning for the eventual exit of current FCA chief executive officer, Sergio Marchionne.
The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Goes Aggressive with a new S Appearance Package
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is getting a shot of personality courtesy of the new S Appearance Package that costs just $595. The new package adds plenty of new elements, giving the van a more aggressive appearance that should do the trick in shedding the physical stereotypes normally associated with minivans. The option will be made available in the fall when 2019 models go on sale.
Chrysler isn’t on the Chopping Block Yet; Fiat to Retreat, Become Euro-Only EV Brand
FCA’s investor meeting has taken place, and the official word is that Chrysler will carry on as a North-American.-only brand and Fiat will become a Euro-only EV brand. To take things even further, a company spokesperson has also said that Dodge won’t be killed off either. That’s a pretty bold move from FCA considering how unpopular Chrysler and Fiat have become here. What happens with these brands next, however, will determine whether or not they’ll continue to stick around long term.
Sergio Marchionne May Kill Off Chrysler, Remove Fiat from the U.S. Market
The Chrysler brand has had a good run with roots that trace all the way back to its formation in 1925. A rich and iconic history, however, isn’t enough to keep a brand going and it looks like the Chrysler nameplate may get killed off just a few years before it’s 100-year anniversary. That’s the word from an Automotive News report that Sergio Marchionne could kill off the brand at the June 1st investor’s meeting in Balocco, Italy.
Chrysler to Send Thousands of Pacifica Minivans to Waymo
Fiat Chrysler is supplying Google’s self-driving division, Waymo, with “thousands” of Chrysler Pacifica minivans for testing on public roasts. Waymo already has a fleet of 600 FCA vehicles, which were supplied after the two companies formed a partnership in 2016. The fleet already includes vehicles capable of fully self-driving thanks to Waymo’s autonomous driving systems were installed.
John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, said, “With the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we’ve moved from research and development to operations and deployment. These additional vehicles will help us scale.”
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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.
The 6.2-Liter Hellcat V-8 Is Finally Available As A Crate Engine
Chrysler’s famed parts division, Mopar, is officially offering the mighty 6.2-liter Hellcat Hemi V-8 as a crate engine anyone can order. The package is called the “Hellcrate” and includes a brand-new engine with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty. The optional Crate Hemi Engine Kit adds all the parts needed for a plug-and-play style engine swap into nearly any vehicle. The announcement comes as the 2017 SEMA Show kicks off in Las Vegas with thousands descending Sin City for all things in aftermarket automotive upgrades. This marks the first time the Hellcat V-8 has been available directly from Mopar. Before this, gearheads were left scouring junkyards for wrecked Hellcat Chargers and Challengers hoping to find a working engine.
“Never before has a supercharged, factory-direct 707-horsepower crate engine kit been offered, and we are proud to be the first to deliver a solution enthusiasts have demanded,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Mopar for FCA. “This ultimate powertrain option fits the needs of owners and fans who demand iconic performance.”
The Hellcrate, combined with the optional engine kit, includes the powertrain control module, power distribution center, wiring harnesses, accelerator pedal, fuel pump control module, and all the necessary sensors scattered between the air intake and exhaust manifolds. In other words, the package makes it relatively simple to install the 6.2-liter Hellcat V-8 into any project car, providing you know what you’re doing. Additionally, there is a front-end accessory drive kit that adds the alternator, power steering pump, pulleys, and belts.
Naturally, the Hellcrate isn’t cheap. Mopar charges $19,530 for the base Hellcrate package and $2,195 for the Crate Hemi Engine Kit. The Hellcat engine joins the 6.4-liter Hemi and 5.7-liter Hemi V-8s, which retail for $9,430 and $6,135, respectively.
So, what would your power with a Hellcat crate engine? Let us know in the comments below.
2018 Chrysler Pacifica S Appearance Package
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.
Chrysler Douses Water On Hellcat 300 Rumors
It seemed too good to be true when we first heard about it. A Chrysler 300 packing Hellcat power? But Automotive News reported as much, saying that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was working on launching a Chrysler 300 that will use a supercharged Hemi Hellcat V-8 engine under its hood. The mere thought of it was perplexing, but stranger things have happened within FCA, so the thought of a Hellcat-powered 300 sedan, as improbable as it was, didn’t seem too far-fetched for FCA. Well, consider the bubble burst because a spokesman from FCA has spoken, needle in hand. There won’t be a 707-horsepower Chrysler 300 Hellcat.
Word comes from Motor Authority, which learned that there no plans for a supercharged Hemi Hellcat-powered 300 sedan. All those who thought that it would be an ideal send-off for the aging 300 will have to settle for something else because it just isn’t happening. On the one hand, it is disappointing here because a 707-horsepower Chrysler 300 is the exactly the kind of variant that would give the current-generation 300 a newsworthy send-off. The appeal is definitely there and the 300 has, at least in the past, housed a V-8 rig under its hood. On the other hand, it’s also a sigh of relief that Chrysler isn’t going in this direction. It can’t just rely on the Hellcat engine as a lifeline of sorts to jolt interest back in a model that’s clearly on its way out. FCA is better than that and to its credit, the automaker seems to understand that rationale too.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
FCA Could Be Bought by a Chinese Automaker
Formed in 2014, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) alliance has been doing very good these past three years, which is why Sergio Marchionne is on the lookout to either sell the company or make another merger with a big brand. FCA was refused by General Motors back in 2015 and Marchionne’s attempts to find a new collaboration have been unsuccessful so far. However, it seems that FCA is actually on the brink of finding a new owner. According to new reports, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has received at least one offer in August from a "well-known Chinese automaker."
That’s the word from Automotive News, which claims that the over was slightly higher than FCA’s current market value, but the Italian-American alliance rejected it for not being enough. There’s no detailed information as to what Chinese automaker made the offer, but speculation has it that FCA is negotiating with more than one company. Also, a source close to FCA said that company executives have traveled to China to meet with Great Wall Motor Co., while different sources claim talks with Dongfeng Motor Corp., Zhejiang Geely, and Guangzhou Automobile Group.
Continue reading for the full story.
Predicting FCA’s Plans For its Recent "Angel" Trademark
Proving yet again that the auto world can be a place rich in irony, Fiat Chrysler Automobile has filed a trademark for the name “Angel,” which the automaker plans to use on a “passenger vehicle” of some sort. Color me amused because, at the very least, FCA is turning its troll game up to a new level; the “Angel” name runs diametrically opposed to the identity of the automaker’s latest muscle car masterpiece, the Dodge Challenger Demon. So what gives here? What’s FCA up to exactly?
Unfortunately, your guess is as good as ours at this point because FCA didn’t exactly divulge details on what it has planned for the “Angel” name. All we know at this point, thanks to our friends over at Fiat Chrysler Authority, is that the name could be used on “trims and badges” of any future model. The fact that the trademark was only filed on July 17 means that this is a new deal for FCA. It’s got plans for the name at some point in the future. How it plans to use it, or if it does at all, is the question that all of us need some answers to sooner or later. You’ve got our attention, FCA. That much I’m sure of. Now, how about giving us some hints because, at this point, all we have are predictions on what you have planned for the “Angel” name.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
What’s The Best Sporty Luxury Sedan You Can Get For Less Than $50K?
At its most basic, a sport sedan should be a happy balance between two competing philosophies. The “sport” half of the equation should make it engaging, both in the way it drives, and the way it looks. A sport sedan should issue a dose of adrenaline when the hammer is down, and be a willing dance partner in the corners. It’s also gotta draw attention, turning heads as it goes, making its owner pause momentarily after exiting and locking the doors. Then there’s the “sedan” bit. A sport sedan isn’t supposed to be stripped down and basic – practicality and comfort are paramount. Often used as a daily driver, backside coddling should be there in abundance, complementing the car’s speed potential, rather than taking away from it. All told, it’s a big ask, but this segment has plenty of contenders vying for the title of best. In this comparison, we look at six of the top entries and sort them out, from first to last.
Listed in alphabetical order, this comparison will take a look at the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Chrysler 300, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. We’ve evaluated each in terms of exterior aesthetics, interior comfort and technology, powertrain and drivetrain specs, and chassis and handling. We’ve also included a glut of info in chart and graph form to help you make a quick comparison. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best sporty luxury sedan you can get for less than $50,000.
Continue reading for the full comparison.
Australia Could Get Its Very Own Hellcat Version Of The Chrysler 300
As you could probably guess, we’re rather fond of FCA’s monstrously powerful 6.2-liter Hemi V-8. You know, the supercharged badass in the Challenger Hellcat that lays down over 700 horses? If we had our way, that engine would be an option on every model FCA produces (and yes, we still think the Pacifica Hellcat should be a thing.) Luckily, it looks like we’re getting a little closer to that ideal with a possible Hellcatted version of the Chrysler 300 sedan.
The rumor comes from our friends over at Autoblog, who recently posted a series of spy shots depicting what appears to be some kind of 300 test mule. While the bodywork is more or less the same as any other 300 SRT model, the wheels are sporting incredibly wide 315-mm tires – the same rubber equipped on the recently released Challenger SRT Demon. In front, the 300 mule is also rocking SRT four-pot Brembo brakes, while the photographer reports that it’s got a burly blown V-8 soundtrack to accompany it. Could this be a forthcoming Chrysler 300 Hellcat? Read on for the details.
Continue reading for the full story.
Is FCA Bringing Back the Straight-Six?
News out of Auburn Hills regarding powertrain changes is becoming regular these days. First is was a rumor suggesting the venerable and widely used 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 will soon end production. Now sources are telling Allpar that FCA is toying with the idea of inline six-cylinder engines.
Chrysler has a long history of using inline six-cylinder engines. Major players include the AMC straight-six found in everything from sedans and budget muscle cars to Jeeps and pickups between 1964 and 2006. The iconic 4.0-liter I-6 found in Jeep products is perhaps the pentacle of Chrysler I-6 design and one of the most legendary Chrysler engines of all time. Sadly that engine met its demise with the introduction of the Jeep Wrangler JK in 2007.
Allpar speculates the new inline six-cylinder would be based on FCA’s current Global Medium Engine four-cylinder. Currently displacing 2.0 liters and found in the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the turbo-four makes 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque thanks to an intercooler, 16 valves operated by dual overhead cams, and direct fuel injection. Adding two extra cylinder to the GME could result in horsepower levels over 400 and torque levels beyond 450 pound-feet. That is, if power levels grow at the same percentage as the cylinder count.
So, could a 3.0-liter inline-six be on the horizon for FCA vehicles, including Ram, Dodge, and Jeep? Only time will tell, but the path to that end seems oddly clear. Consider the resurgence of rear-wheel drive vehicles, like the Alfa Romeo Giulia, along with new versions of current rear-wheel drive models like the Jeep Wrangler, Ram 1500, and even Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger.
Ford has already proved that turbocharged engines with smaller displacements can generate quite the kick, while providing impressively reliability despite outrageous payload and towing demands. Should FCA follow in the EcoBoost’s footsteps, we could see an impressively powerful yet butter-smooth straight-six under the hood of the next generation of FCA vehicles.
Continue reading for more information.
What is the Least Expensive Chrysler?
Chrysler’s cheapest vehicle used to be the 200 sedan, but that car went belly up in 2017. It was a decent car, but Chrysler’s poor build quality (just ask 300 owners about clunky front ends and constantly failing, $100, HID headlights) and lack of differentiation in design amongst models eventually led to the car’s demise. Today, the cheapest Chrysler you can get is the entry-level Pacifica, which starts out at $26,985 – not even $3,000 less than the entry-level Chrysler 300 sedan.
What is the Sportiest Chrysler?
Since Chrysler fancies itself as an entry-level luxury automaker, the brand doesn’t know the slightest about “sporty.” The only model that even comes close is the Chrysler 300C, but it looks more like a luxury sedan with cues stolen from a 2000’s Bentley and hair of German DNA hidden here and there. The only thing that helps its case is the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 under the hood that’s good for 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. It tops out at 149 mph and will get to 60 mph in just over six seconds. Of course, this is actually kind of amazing considering how boxy it is and the fact that it weighs nearly 4,400 pounds. It’s not exactly a corner bender, either, so it might be quick in a straight line and is RWD, but that’s about all it has going for it.
What is the Most Popular Chrysler?
The most popular Chrysler model is the Pacifica Minivan. For that last two years, Chrysler has managed to more than 118,000 examples of the Pacifica each year (double what it sold in 2016.) Its only runner up; the 300 sedan, saw sales figures of 46,593 in 2018, which accounts for the sixth year in a row that its sales have declined. At this rate, the Pacifica won’t only be the most popular Chrysler; it’ll be the only Chrysler. In the mid-2000s, Chrysler was able to move more than half a million vehicles each year. Today, its total sales, two-thirds of which come from the Pacific, totaled just 165,964 models for 2018, and that’s down from 188k the year before, 239k the year before that, and more than 300,000 in the years before that.
What is the Most Expensive Chrysler Model
Chrysler’s most expensive vehicle is the Pacifica Hybrid in limited trim. That’s the range-topping hybrid model and comes with an MSRP of $45,795 – just shy of $6,000 more than the entry-level Pacific Hybrid at $39,995. The range-topping Pacific Limited (non-hybrid) comes close at $44,695 while the Chrysler 300C – the range-topping 300 model – comes in at $41,945.
What is the Fastest Chrysler
No surprises here – the fastest Chrysler is the 300C sedan with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 that delivers a reasonable 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. It’ll hit 60 mph in around six seconds and tops out at below 150 mph. You didn’t think we’d say the Pacifica, did you?
Are Chryslers Reliable?
Chrysler’s have a bad rapport for being poorly put together, clunky, and generally undependable. And, rightfully so, the last-gen 300C had a horrible front suspension design that was always clunky and the whole headlight fiasco with HID ballasts failing once a month made things worse. Today, however, Chrysler is ranked No. 17 by J.D Power in its yearly, 2019 vehicle dependability study. That places it in the middle of the pack and one spot higher than Ford (sorry Ford guys) but below other industry leaders like Lexus, Porsche, Toyota, Buick, Mini, and even Volkswagen and Subaru. On that note, it’s the highest-ranking FCA company, however, with Jeep, Ram, Dodge, and Fiat falling much lower on the list. Fiat, for example, is ranked worst at No. 32. When you have only two models in your lineup, you kind of have to build reliable vehicles, right?
As far as cost of ownership goes, Repair Pal ranks the Chrysler brand, as a whole, at four out of five stars. It reports that the average annual repair costs only amounts to $531 — $100 below average – while the frequency of unscheduled repairs among all Chryslers on the road is 0.3 times per year. Only 11-percent of Chrysler’s unscheduled repairs are said to be severe. Perhaps Chrysler has made some improvement over the last decade.