Chrysler ushers in the oddball of NAIAS with Pacifica Hybrid minivan

Pacifica Hybrid

Among the oddities at the NAIAS this year has to be the Chrysler’s Pacifica Hybrid.

Since conventional wisdom doesn’t allow for a “soccer mom minivan” and “hybrid” to live in the same sentence, apparently the Detroit-based manufacturer knows something we don’t (read on to see how it does make Canada’s day, though).

While a Tesla minivan this is not, what it may be is interesting. Viewed as possibly “a primary electric vehicle” by the company management, the Pacifica Hybrid plug-in is still powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar engine, which uses the Atkinson cycle.

Chrysler is mum about price and the availability of this family mover, but it does seem like big families in Canada and elsewhere – where, we don’t quite know here at CFB – are the target market. This marketing tactic is predicated on quite an interesting concept, as articulated by Chrysler chief engineer on the Pacifica Hybrid named Kevin Mets.

Mets spoke with Autoblog and his explanation was that his car was for buyer that desires “an electric vehicle that doesn’t have to compromise in size.”

Uhh. Really?

As interesting as this is since the Pacifica is a hybrid, Mets’ statement is quite misleading: A hybrid is not fully electric.

That the Pacifica does have some nifty specs including an all-new dual-motor transmission and two electric motors that are paired with the Pentastar engine is certainly true.  The powertrain also includes a 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger and the DC-DC inverter.

For those wondering what Detroit’s Chrysler brand likes Canada so much: the Pacifica Hybrid will be produced on the same non-hybrid Pacifica manufacturing plant in Windsor, Canada (Side note: Isn’t pop star Justin Bieber from there? Jussayin’)

Again, the good folks over at the Autoblog – an Internet Brands owned web property, I may add – point out that Chrysler “has been making minivans since 1983” in that location. The li-lion electric battery is coming from South Korea’s LG Chem.

Cool stuff.

Photo Credit: Chrysler

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