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.
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.
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 Pacifica Hellcat Canceled, FCA Reports
Just hours after TopSpeed broke the news that FCA would be building a 707-horsepower minivan, the automaker has abruptly canceled the project. The news comes from a company insider close to the action. “I just know it’s not happening,” the unnamed source said.
Answers unfolded when we contacted Mike Manley, the global head of both Ram and Jeep brands, about the cancellation. “Honestly, I can’t have the Chrysler guys using my Grand Cherokee Trackhawk powertrain and stealing my customers away. The Jeep project was started first, plus I’m not allowing the Pacifica to make my Jeep look slow!”
While this sort of inter-company drama is rarely leaked to the media, it makes sense for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to reside atop the Hellcat heap. Such a vehicle would further boost the Jeep brand’s market presence in preparation for the upcoming Grand Wagoneer launch. That high-end, ultra-luxurious SUV is set to compete with the Cadillac Escalade and BMW X5. FCA would be foolish to thwart its own progress.
Speaking of being foolish, you, our loyal readers, might be considered one should you believe any of this. Yep, happy April Fools day. And no, FCA is not building a Pacifica Hellcat – and it never was. (At least to our knowledge!) We also never had a “candid conversation” with Ralph Gilles, though we’d never turn down the opportunity. We hope you had as much fun reading these jestful Pacifica Hellcat stories as we had writing them.
Continue reading to see our full coverage of the Pacifica Hellcat joke.
The Pacifica Hellcat – Industry Game Changer Or Inevitability?
At this point, you’ve no doubt heard the news that Chrysler is cramming the supercharged Hellcat V-8 into its Pacifica minivan, while also adding AWD, performance suspension, and all the accompanying bells and whistles needed to harness such prodigious output. While it might seem a bit crazy at first blush, we should have seen it coming.
I’ll explain. These days, high-level performance is available in just about every shape and size imaginable. Sure, you still have the traditional lead-sled muscle cars and nippy track carvers – those never went away. But if you look around, you’ll also notice 200-mph luxury cruisers, hot rod SUVs, and all-electric super sedans. With that in mind, the Pacifica Hellcat actually makes sense.
Which raises a few very interesting questions – what should we expect from the competition, and more importantly, what will the future of performance vehicles look like now that the Pacifica Hellcat is a reality?
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat Test Mule Spotted
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.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is building a Hellcat-powered Pacifica minivan! That’s what Ralph Gilles, FCA’s Head of Design, tells TopSpeed in an exclusive phone interview. The automaker, with the help of SRT’s engineering team, will produce the heavily modified family-hauler for the 2017 model year.
You may recall Gilles’ January Instagram post of a hand-drawn sketch showing a low-slung Pacifica-looking vehicle with low-profile tires on large wheels and pronounced aerodynamic features. The post, which has received more than 700 likes and 60 comments, started the Pacifica Hellcat rumors.
“The Instagram post was something done in pure fun over dinner,” Gilles said in the phone interview. “But it quickly turned into something else. It made the email rounds here at the office and soon ended up in Sergio’s inbox.” Gilles laughed, saying he thought he was in trouble when FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne called him into his office. “Mr. Marchionne didn’t sound amused when he paged me, but when I walked in his office, he had my sketch printed out. ‘Can you build it?’ he asked. I told him ‘absolutely.’” Gilles admitted the project requires a sizeable investment, both in cash and engineering hours.
SRT’s engineering team is handling the project. The Pacifica‘s chassis is being completely reworked in order to fit the Hellcat V-8, eight-speed automatic transmission, and AWD configuration. Gilles says the powertrain is borrowed from the upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – itself a Hellcat-powered SUV with AWD.
Though the final design hasn’t been set in stone, Gilles did give us a few ideas how the high-powered minivan will look. “It’s the perfect sleeper,” he chuckled during the candid conversation. We then had our in-house designer construct what the Pacifica Hellcat might look like. There’s also more details about the vehicle past the page break.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica
FCA has officially pulled the covers off its completely redesign minivan, sporting all new look, a vastly improved interior, and a slew of new technology, entertainment, and safety features – all riding on an all new platform. It’s so new in fact, FCA calls it the Pacifica. Gone is the Town & Country name along (with what FCA hopes) is the stigma about driving a minivan.
It’s no secret Chrysler basically invented the minivan segment back in the 1990s. The 1990 Town & Country revolutionized family travel, combining the space and versatility of the then-popular full size van with a car-like driving characteristic wrapped in a medium-sized package. Thirty years later, the minivan is suffering against the crossover SUV with young, hip parents choosing style over functionality – refusing to “give up” and buy a mommy-mobile.
It’s also blatantly obvious FCA is shooting for the moon with hopes of erasing that stigma of minivans. The new 2017 Pacifica wears a very attractive face, welcomes passengers with an upscale interior, and even offers a hybrid version that appeals to the eco-friendly crowd.
Will the Pacifica be enough to reignite the minivan segment? Perhaps. Chrysler has typically ran the segment, even in recent years with its aging Town & Country. Honda, Kia, Nissan, and Toyota offer highly competitive products, though none seem on the same level as the Pacifica. If any automaker has the chance to impact minivan sales, it’s FCA.
Update 03/21/2016: Chrysler announced the 2017 Pacifica will come with a pre-installed User Guide Application within the 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system that helps guide users in learning their vehicle. It’s basically a digital copy of the owner’s manual.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.
Ralph Gilles Sketches A Possible Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat
Let’s be honest, the minivan segment has pretty much fizzled away, much like the station wagon did a while back. With the invention of the crossover and the drop in the price of gasoline in recent years, the desire for larger, gas-sucking family haulers is going stronger than ever. The minivan segment refuses to die, however, as a few manufacturers are still pushing the hope that soccer moms everywhere will continue to persuade their husbands into keeping a minivan in the driveway. That was made pretty clear earlier this month when FCA pulled to covers off of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.
What if the minivan became more of a “guy’s ride,” though? Would it revive the minivan segment and drive up sales in an otherwise struggling segment? Well, FCA’s Head of Design, Ralph Gilles, has apparently been wondering that himself. Just a couple days ago, the man behind FCA’s design team sat down for dinner and ended up sketching his vision of what a Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat would look like with nothing more than a crayon and some brown paper.
Looking at his Instagram post, where the sketch went public two days ago, the idea has been pretty well accepted by a lot of his followers. Comments like “This needs to be a thing!,” “This has SEMA written all over it. Do it do it,” and “Oh I beg you to make it” fill the comments section below the post that, at the time of this writing, has more than 650 likes. It is no indication that a 707-horsepower minivan is in the works by any means, but now that we’ve seen the Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee testing, there is no telling what might come next.
Continue reading for the full story.
Chrysler has made a massive splash at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit with its all-new Pacifica minivan. Slated to replace the long-tooth Town & Country minivan for the 2017 model year, the Pacifica boasts several innovations on top of its good looks and swanky new interior. Leading headlines is the hybrid version. Not only is this a first for Chrysler, but it’s the first hybrid system found in a minivan.
The addition of the hybrid powertrain should help Chrysler clinch sales. The hybrid market is growing, but the choices of vehicles is limited. Families growing out of their Prius or Volt should find the Pacifica’s available eight-passenger seating most spacious. FCA is quick to point out the addition of the hybrid’s batteries does not impede interior space or cargo room. Sadly though, hybrid owners will have to give up their Stow n’ Go second-row seats.
Chrysler spent considerable attention to the Pacifica’s new looks. The minivan ditches the old, tired looks of the outgoing Town & Country for something more modern and fresh. The corporate design language is clearly seen in the front while everything rearward enjoys all new shapes. This is done in hopes of lessening the stigma of driving a minivan. The crossover SUV segment is hot these days, driven by people who don’t want to be seen as a professional parent. The Pacifica might not single handedly change that, but it should win over a handsome number of buyers.
Let’s dive into what makes the Pacifica Hybrid tick and its differences from the standard Pacifica.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.