The Chrysler Pacifica History
Chrysler had an initial design in 1999 as a concept vehicle called the Citadel. Since then, the Pacifica has morphed through a series of changes over the years. One of the changes included a transition from the concept to the crossover SUV and then to a minivan. The Chrysler Pacifica concept vehicle was a concept luxury.
Chrysler Citadel Concept (1999)
Before hybrids became something that drivers and companies everywhere were interested in, Chrysler released the 1999 Chrysler Citadel concept vehicle, which was a hybrid. It took 30 months to develop the Citadel for less than $1 billion and the 1999 Pacifica concept was developed to commemorate 15 years of the Chrysler minivan. The Chrysler Citadel Concept was incredible and it featured a front fascia as well as a raised roof that included a skylight, and it has overhead storage bins as well. The concept Pacifica looked a lot like the Town & Country minivan and could seat up to six passengers, with four first and second-row captain’s chairs and optional third row.
The Citadel Concept vehicle had an electric motor that powered the front wheels, along with the gasoline engine. The Citadel produced 253 horsepower, but when the electric motor was put in place, it added close to 70 units of horsepower which was in a similar performance house as the V8 vehicle. The interior cabin featured a dual-power sliding rear door and a back power gate.
Chrysler Pacifica Crossover SUV (2004 – 2008)
The Chrysler Pacifica crossover was initially built with just one trim level in 2004. At first, standard on the Pacifica was a 3.5-liter V6 engine. The V6 engine put out 250 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque.
The 3.8-liter engine made a comeback in 2007 as the standard engine in the base front-wheel-drive model, and it was accompanied by the 4.0-liter SOHC V6 engine which was added to the lineup. The 4.0-liter engine was a replacement for the 3.5-liter V6 in all of the other models. The 4.0-liter engine had a new (at the time) six-speed automatic transmission, and the base engine still had the four-speed automatic transmission.
The interior was equipped with luxurious standard features. Luckily for customers, the additional trim levels that were added brought the cost down to the base model. After the 2004 release, the Chrysler Pacifica included a standard third-row seating, an eight-way power driver seat and a four-way power passenger seat on all of its models. All of the Pacifica models came with a CD player, AM/FM radio, a seven-speaker, a 200-watt infinity audio system, power windows, dual-zone manual temperature control, and door locks, remote keyless entry, and numerous safety features such as five airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag and side curtain airbags that extend to all rows; four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system.
Chrysler Pacifica + Pacifica Hybrid (2016 – Present)
In June of 2013, there was a rumor that Chrysler was preparing to develop a new generation of their Town & Country minivan but the only hint given by industry analyst was that the new version could possibly be a crossover utility vehicle. In January of 2016, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the minivan was unveiled. It wasn’t named Town & Country, it was named “Chrysler Pacifica”.
The process was kept under wraps. When FCA filed to renew its trademark registration on the Pacifica brand, FCA’s Head of Passenger Car Brands, Timothy Kuniskis, denied that it was related to any of its new products. It was a standard industry practice to continue refreshing the companies trademark because “…you don’t want to lose names. Establishing new names is expensive.”
The Chrysler Pacifica and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid have reinvented how the public views minivans. The Chrysler Pacifica has an enhanced 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine which produces 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery which carries an all-electric range of 33 miles; the battery can be charged in two hours using a 240-volt plug-in system.
Once the battery depletes, the Pacifica Hybrid turns from a part-time electric vehicle to a gas vehicle, as the fuel efficiency is increased because the vehicle doesn’t always use gas and the electric motors power the front wheels and when the electric motors are no longer in use. The EPA reaches up to 84 MPGe when it runs on electric-only mode, and it delivers 27 mpg once in regular hybrid mode. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has a driving range of 566 miles which is perfect for those long road trips ahead.
From the Chrysler Pacifica SUV and Pacifica Hybrid minivan, Chrysler has a great way of reinventing their brand. Before the death of former FCA CEO, Sergio Marchionne, a five-year plan was put in place to electrify the FCA lineup by 2022. Here’s to hoping his plan comes to fruition.
Come see for yourself if the Chrysler Pacifica is the right vehicle for you at Hollywood Chrysler Jeep.
Photo Credit: OldConceptCarsblog.com