Sergio Marchionne knows that SUVs sell, and he's apparently quite close to signing off on one that would share a platform with the Chrysler Pacifica minivan. If the development process goes smoothly, the vehicle could be ready as soon as mid-2019.
“It’s there. We have the car designed and we’re ready to go," Marchionne told Motor Trend about the Pacifica-based crossover. "The platform is ready, and the plant can take it. We can probably get it up and running in 18 months.”
Marchionne didn't offer any details about the Pacifica-based vehicle, but using the minivan's big platform suggests it would be a three-row model. Presumably, they would share engines, too. This would give the SUV a 3.6-liter V6 with 287 horsepower (214 kilowatts) and 262 pound-feet (355 Newton-meters) or a plug-in hybrid version of that engine running on the Atkinson cycle with 260 hp (194 kW). A rugged, off-road oriented model seems unlikely because Chrysler would want to compete with its strong-selling Jeep products.
Chrysler would build them both at its plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
The company was allegedly close to introduce a Pacifica-derived crossover earlier but decided that it was better to continue Dodge Grand Caravan production. At the time, the SUV's design would have made the vehicle a competitor against models like the Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander.
Gallery: 2019 Jeep Scrambler Spy Photos
Marchionne also told Motor Trend that Jeep has pushed back the launch of the Wrangler pickup (above) to late 2019 instead of the previous plan of introducing it early that year. The division can't afford any loss of Wrangler production at its Toledo, Ohio, factory. While one portion of the plant ramps up building the new model, another section would keep assembling the old one. When production of the next-gen Wrangler is up to speed, the area putting together the current one would switch over to the truck.
Source: Motor Trend