Buyers looking for excellent fuel efficiency need not look further than the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. With a highway-cycle fuel-economy rating of 28 miles per gallon given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is 12 percent more efficient than the model it replaces and it now holds the record for fuel efficiency in the minivan category.
In addition, the new Chrysler minivan was found to be nine percent greener than the previous model. FCA Product Development COO and Head of Product Portfolio Management for FCA’s Group Executive Council Mark Chernoby explains that the new Pacifica isn’t just engineered for today’s enjoyment but is designed and crafted with the welfare of its customers many years down the road.
This is why, the company created one of the cleanest vehicles in its category. The new minivan’s nine percent improvement compared to the previous model is based on its Global Warming Potential (GWP), an industry-adopted means to gauge the all-inclusive environmental impact of a vehicle from its production, to its delivery, and eventually to its fuel consumption figures while being used.
FCA US LLC engineers determined the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan’s GWP by using industry-standard software taking into consideration how much impact it may have on the environment after 124,274 miles or 200,000 kilometers of operation. Chernoby explains that in gauging the effectiveness of new fuel-efficient technologies, the total environmental impact is an important factor to consider, as it takes into account activities done in the production stage.
In terms of fuel efficiency, the all-new Pacifica is way ahead of its predecessor. For example, it has a city fuel economy rating of 18 mpg, up 5.9 percent from the old model while its combine-cycle fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg, up 10 percent from the previous model. This high fuel efficient is made possible, at least in part, by its redesigned 3.6 liter V-6 for the gas-powered version, a direct descendant of the Pentastar V-6 which was included three times in Ward’s 10 Best.
The new engine features two-step variable-valve lift (VVL), engine-weight reductions that aimed to boost performance and efficiency as well as cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) but still remains true to the Pentastar brand of engine smoothness.
The nine-speed automatic FCA US TorqueFlite transmission enables the vehicle to have impressive smooth shifts, launch capability and that highly important fuel efficiency. This is the first time that a nine-speed automatic transmission was fitted to a minivan which gave it a wide 9.81 ratio spread and a unique calibration geared toward efficiency and smooth gear changing.
Featured in the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the all-new FCA vehicle architecture designed for front-drive E-segment minivans, characterized by a stiff yet light unibody structure.
This new minivan uses around 22 percent more high-strength steel than the previous model, 48% of which is composed of the even stronger advanced high-strength steel for that maximum strength and stiffness trimming down overall weight. As a result of these enhancements, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is around 250 pounds lighter but it still managed to outdo its competitors with its torsional rigidity measured to be twice that of other brands.
The overall weight reduction of the vehicle is achieved by the use of light-weight materials. For example, the cross-vehicle instrument-panel beam offers greater stiffness without weight increase due to the addition of magnesium in its manufacturing. This magnesium based material is also demonstrated in the inner structure of the car’s liftgate – and industry first high-volume of magnesium. The minivan’s drag co-efficient of just 0.300 is the best in its segment.
The all-new minivan benefits from other light-weight materials. Its magnesium cross-vehicle instrument-panel beam affords greater stiffness without adding weight. The inner structure of the new minivan’s liftgate marks the industry’s first high-volume application of magnesium of this kind.
Further technological enhancements are slated to be available soon, with the planned Engine Stop-Start (ESS) technology to be followed by the Pacifica Hybrid – which would make it the first electrified minivan. Expected efficiency rating is 80 miles per gallon based on the U.S. EPA standard and it comes with an impressive maximum range of 30 miles on pure electric mode.