FCA begins Chrysler Pacifica production

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV launched production of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan Monday at its Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario.

The start of production comes less than two months after the automaker debuted at the Detroit auto show the highly anticipated vehicle that replaces the well-established Town and Country.

The plant, which employs about 5,500, was shut down for roughly 14 weeks to retool the facility for the new minivan, which also will be offered as a plug-in hybrid. The company's investment for the minivan program was $2.6 billion, up from an initial expectation of $2 billion. It also has hired 1,200 people since September 2014 to support the launch of the minivan.

The Pacifica, a name the automaker used for a midsize crossover in the 2000s, is powered by an upgraded 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine mated to a segment-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission. It is scheduled to arrive in dealerships this spring, followed by the Pacifica Hybrid model later this year.

The plug-in hybrid model will feature the same engine as well as an all-electric mode of 30 miles that delivers up to 80 miles per gallon equivalent in city driving, company officials said. The engines are mated to a segment-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission.

The Pacifica comes with more than 100 standard and available features. Available for the first time on a Chrysler minivan: a “Surround View” camera system, which uses four cameras positioned around the vehicle to provide 360-degree views, including a bird’s-eye perspective of the vehicle and its surroundings.

Other advanced available features include adaptive cruise control with braking capability, park-assist, forward collision alert and an all-new Uconnect Theater entertainment system that works with devices brought in to the vehicle as well as the Pacifica’s UConnect infotainment system.

The battery pack, stored in the second row bins used for Stow ’n’ Go, can be fully recharged in two hours using a 240-volt plug-in system, according to Fiat Chrysler.

mwayland@detroitnews.com

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