Think minivan. If images of a cabin full of kids in soccer uniforms, milkshake-stained seats full of comics, and floors full of ice-cream wrappers don’t flood your mind, you’re doing it wrong. But, don’t feel too badly, Chrysler wants you to have a new idea of the minivan. So, in actual fact, if you don’t equate the minivan with the idea of a rubbish-filled school shuttle, you’re ahead of the curve.
The company that brought you the original minivan has big plans for the reinvention of the iconic people carrier. That is why the brand new Pacifica is set to shake things up with some brand new features.
Before you start expecting increased numbers of cup holders and new, never-before-seen shades of beige – relax. Chrysler is looking to make the minivan, dare we say, cool.
The Big Chrysler Idea
The outside of the Pacifica is a good place to start looking for revolutionary ideas, and it won’t disappoint. Chunky chrome and racy grilles are beautifully accented by sleek, speed-inspired headlights. These precede a sportier aero package that looks as if it won’t topple if the car is steered around a corner at more than 40 kph.
Indeed, the aerodynamics are said to be class-leading by the company, as is the interior volume and ride quality. The chassis is the stiffest in the car’s class, but it’s also the lightest, ensuring some good acceleration and cornering speed.
That alone is not enough to distance the minivan from school and grocery runs. But, fortunately, that’s not all Chrysler has up its sleeve.
Rebirth of the Minivan
The new Pacifica happens to be spearheading a move of minivans into hybrid technology. Not only does the Pacifica have an EVT (electronically variable transmission), it has a dedicated engine for each set of wheels. Its hybrid technology delivers excellent fuel economy, and it can even go around 50 kilometres in all-electric mode.
If that’s still not enough to convince certain sceptics that this is something more than a minivan, perhaps the tech will. Up front there is a 7” display that offers plenty of apps, navigation, media, and so on. The rear features 10” touchscreens that can be used for movie-watching, game-playing, or web-surfing. The premium audio system that accompanies the screens also features noise-cancelling technology, which helps create total immersion.
Other than that, there’s the adaptive cruise-control, lane departure warning, park assist, forward collision warning, and a host of other safety features.
Chrysler might not be trying to get people to trade in their sports cars for minivans with the new Pacifica, but the company is certainly trying (and succeeding) to have people see minivans in a completely new light.
Image credit: http://primeiramarcha.com.br/2016/01/chrysler-pacifica-substituto-do-town-country-e-mostrado-em-detroit.html