Chrysler Town & Country Plug-In Van Confirmed For 2016

FEB 24 2015 BY JAY COLE 42

The Chrysler 700c Concept Hints Toward Next Generation 2017 Town & Country Plug-In Minivan

The Chrysler 700c Concept Hints Toward Next Generation 2017 Town & Country Plug-In Minivan

Chrysler’s First EV Offering – A Plug-In Town And Country Is Coming In 2016 As A 2017 Model

Chrysler’s First EV Offering – A Plug-In Town And Country Is Coming In 2016 As A 2017 Model

First rumored in 2013, then appearing on Chrysler’s ‘future product plan’ in 2014, more news that the Chrysler plug-in Town & Country is a real thing (and coming soon-ish to a dealer near you) has materialized.

Online supplier documents obtained by Automotive news show the next-generation minivan from Chrysler (body code RU) will offer an “optional plug-in hybrid powertrain” as previously foretold by CEO Sergio Marchionne last year.

It should be noted however, that the last time we heard directly form Mr. Marchionne (from the Paris Motor show last October), that he said the next gen Town & County van would be arriving a year ahead of schedule, in late 2015.

Given our familiarity with the program, and the current generation’s (body code RT) build-out plans at the company’s Windsor, Ontario plant, we were a little skeptical the program could be moved up so aggressively.

As it turns out, the ‘old schedule’ turns out to be the right schedule, as it the van will indeed debut as a 2017 model in 2016.

A "RT" Based Chrysler Town & Country Was Originally Planned For Production Over Five Years Ago Before Fiat Took Control Of The Company

A “RT” Based Chrysler Town & Country Was Originally Planned For Production Over Five Years Ago Before Fiat Took Control Of The Company

The next T&C will be a little taller and wider than the current version, and feature a more Fiat-inspired interior.  As per those online documents, the van will feature a  8.4 inch touch-screen Uconnect infotainment system, and also points to a “customizable 7-inch display screen in the instrument cluster.”

As for the plug-in capabilities, that is still mostly a secret, other than Chrysler CEO Al Gardner promised to deliver “75 miles per gallon.”

Most following the car expect the van to have an all-electric range of about 30 miles, slightly less than the 40 miles originally promoted at in 2008 under the old ENVI vehicle program, that also featured an all-electric sports car, and extended range jeep.

Automotive News, Hat tip to the SatinKnight!

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42 Comments on "Chrysler Town & Country Plug-In Van Confirmed For 2016"

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The ENVI Circuit broke my heart once before, so we will wait and see what comes into production with Fiatsler.

Will the van also come with the, “Please don’t buy any of them” marketing scheme?

A PHEV minivan would have huge appeal in the US, especially when gas prices inevitably rise again. It’s on Fiatsler to screw this one up.

That said, I have tremendous faith in this company to do just that.

Yeah, Sergio’s continual bashing of an EV requirement makes him cry everytime a 500E is sold.

Chrysler is pretty much dead…. FCA is just a transition name until they rename the street the headquarters in on “100 Chrysler Drive”. The new small Jeep is basically a Fiat.

Nothing wrong with all this in the abstract, and the Fiat 500E is a pretty good electric from what I’ve read, since they intentionally don’t sell it much.

But with their current CEO, and, being a partially family controlled company, I really don’t see too much EV innovation out of this particular firm..

But agreed that the first company that comes out with a decently sized family hauler EV or PHEV for a reasonable price, is going to walk away with the sales.

The Nissan E-nv200 is already there. But PHEV minivan will have a lot more appeal.

I guess, unlike Tesla’s shareholders, Fiat shareholders don’t want to sponsor the losses from selling EVs. PHEVs is definitely a better bet at this time.

@SeeThrough

You own one, remember?

LOL

Josh asked:

“Will the van also come with the, ‘Please don’t buy any of them’ marketing scheme?”

Only 30 miles of EV range sounds like an -excellent- “please don’t buy any” marketing scheme to me.

Honestly, with so much talk about “200 mile” EVs, why would anyone bother to design a new plug-in EV with even less EV range than the first version of the Volt?

In other words: Here we have just another California compliance car.

It’s… Almost sexy, for a van. Huh.

Don’t worry, they’ll fix that. This is the concept after all.

Will it be a California-only compliance car?

I suspect it will be fleet-only. Thinking USPS. But Jay seems more optimistic that it’ll be sold to the public.

Why would the USPS want an upscale minivan?

It might say Ram Van on the side.

Correction:Ram C/V Tradesman

Because they already ordered them once before, http://www.government-fleet.com/channel/leasing/news/story/2009/04/chrysler-reveals-all-new-electric-minivan-concepts-to-usps.aspx.

That was before Sergio got ahold of the program.

Seems like it could be a good fit. I’m still pretty much counting on Chrysler to screw this up.

California compliance is mainly about zero emission vehicles, so this really wouldn’t qualify. It would get some benefits in California though.

The car should debut at Detroit in January, and the gasoline-only version in production starting in/around April. The timing of the PHEV version is unknown. I suspect, but don’t know, that it will be at least a few months behind.

I have to imagine a plug-in minivan would be a big hit with parents. But with Chrysler/Fiat’s lack of large scale EV experience I imagine it’ll be an expensive vehicle.

As long as there is no price gouging this will most likely be my next vehicle purchase. Sure I’d rather have the Model X but can’t justify the cost. I was hoping GM would come out with a 7 Seater based on the Volt platform but it doesn’t seem like they want to. 30 miles would cover all of me or my wife’s daily driving.

Ha! F you Sergio . . . you had no choice to start building more plug-ins despite all your whining. I’m glad to see the King of mini-vans entering the plug-in arena. Be sure to have a decent electric range. How about AT LEAST 30 miles.

30 miles? Nope. Previous discussions, and the noted “75mpg” in this article are consistent with a “0 miles EV”, which means small battery, which means not being able to push the soccer team around without an engine. Think, “enhanced stop/start”.

I don’t know how Sergio can be good at math, if he can’t size a battery. This is a moment Lee Iacocca might have lead, instead of “getting out of the way”.

Well if it is a plug-in, it is certainly much more than start-stop. I agree that they probably won’t hit my desired 30 mile minimum but hope springs eternal.

It seems insane to me when these companies don’t release PHEVs with 16KWH batteries because with the tax-credit, the government is effectively paying for the battery up to 16KWH because cell prices are now below the $417 for each kilowatt hour of battery capacity.

Actually Chrysler long ago seeded top market share in the segment to Honda and Toyota and are now in a distant 3rd place.

And herein lies the promise of a plug-in minivan, maybe it could regain lost market share by being the first again?

Don’t forget that the E-NV 2000 is out in Europe/Japan and could also move into the US market and scoop up potential e-minivan buyers.

“Actually Chrysler long ago seeded top market share in the segment to Honda and Toyota and are now in a distant 3rd place.”

What have you been smoking? Put down the crack pipe. 😀

If you add Chrysler and Dodge minivan sales together, they sell more than twice as many Toyota minivans and also twice as many Honda minivans. Even individually, both the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan outsell the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey. Chrysler has top market share in the minivan segment. It’s not even close.

2014 Sales:

Chrysler Town & Country 138,040

Dodge Grand Caravan 134,152

Toyota Sienna 124,502

Honda Odyssey 122,738

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GoSGPFlmJqQ/VKraaX_Sl3I/AAAAAAAApY0/gTnCC1f6C7Y/s1600/USA_minivan-sales-chart-2014.jpg

http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2015/01/usa-minivan-sales-figures-december-2014-year-end.html#more

That is surprising. I was thinking perhaps the Honda Odyssey was number one in sales. I see far more of them – Sienna second, than Chrysler products. One thing for certain, the engine and transaxle of the Chrysler product has always been it’s weakest point.

Design-wise, the Odyssey has just gone downhill until today, it’s weirdo rear quarter window and ugly sliding door slot pretty much make it ugly as a duck. The Chrysler vans have Stow-N-Go and that’s their biggest asset. While boring as a box on the outside, those stowable seats are a big bonus. My take is that they’ll keep the basic Stow-N-Go architecture, and stuff batteries in those places the seats normally would fold into.

If they could get a genuine 30 miles AER from it, and – if they can keep some of the flowing, interesting lines of that concept…We might see a sales winner here, and a bridge to a Volt-like EREV van or CUV in the future.

Price compare the 3 and you’ll see why they sell so many. You get a little more for your money with the Japanese but not by much and stowNgo is a crazy useful feature. I put seats up and down at least once a week in my 2009 GC.

again, a vehicle no one ever dreamed of driving.

MAKE A DAMN SLEEK SEDAN

Per Sven above, it looks like there is 500,000+ sales per year with just the top 4 minivans. That is a lot of potential plug-in buyers.

They might not be cool, but they are useful. I am sure plenty of people will see the use in not stopping for gas as much.

Chrysler Town and Country outsold the entire EV segment all by itself last year. And you say no one ever dreamed of driving it? Gotta wonder what you think that says about EVs.

Guess you aren’t married and have no kids.

Funny when we make such broad comments like “No one…”. Shows how narcissistic many of us are. Vans are really cool when you open your mind. Think about this – camping with the family; hauling stuff and keeping it dry; being able to haul the kids and all their flotsam and jetsam; making Costco runs without that dance where you end up stuffing that 50 pack of toilet paper into the middle by folding down seats and having your kid sit on somebody’s lap!

2,000,000+ people/yr don’t think twice about laying down $30,000+ for a pickup truck, then another few thousand dollars for a fiberglass canopy that breaks their backs when loading and unloading. Vans represent a very clever way to haul stuff, keeping it more secure in back than in a truck, dry and more accessible.

All these things are reasons not to expect GWh of battery storage will be something Chrysler gets itself into having to provide. You’ve listed the number 1,2,3,4..reasons these things are great.

It won’t surprise me if it will be a blended PHEV performance, upping the net mpg only. That might be worth it, at the price they won’t want to move. It won’t, however, have 30 miles of electric range. You can bank on that.

1. With an electric motor it should certainly be the case that they can get along with a 4 cylinder.
2. I wonder if they’ll be able to keep the stow ‘n go seats: I have had Chrysler minivans for 20 years and I love this feature. With good packaging, the batteries can go in the front and in the back, and allow the seats to fold down.
3. Style, shmyle: I want to be able to continue to put 4′ x 8’ plywood and other such large objects (like my electric motorcycle) in the minivan, and utility must come first.

+100

I won’t believe it until I see it.

I think it takes a dad of young children to remember the days of trying to change diaper in the back seat ( or trunk ) of a car. The stress of trying not to hit the car next to you as your butt bumps the passenger door. Then there’s the fiddling, fussing, clipping, unclipping of kids in car seats – oh the back-breaking thought of it all! Elon Musk has a passel of kids. My kids are getting older, and it’s funny just how quickly you forget those baby/toddler days as you move forward! Still, though – I remember, and my lower back remembers. Elon Musk isn’t crazy or just selling gimmickry with Falcon Wing doors. Anything that improves accessibility to the back of a car is welcome in spades! It’s only America’s sheer fright of minivans making one look unsexy that make them necessary to move metal out the factory door. Otherwise, the sliding side door is a gift from heaven. I’d take a Model X with sliding side doors, and re-inventing the wheel to make them happen wouldn’t be necessary. The whole deal is space and avoiding smacking the car next to you in a world where… Read more »

“It’s only America’s sheer fright of minivans making one look unsexy …”

That fear never stopped Americans from getting fat and unsexy …

+100 You only state the sheer, sad truth, my man!

I’ve been writing to Chrylser, Toyota, and Honda roughly once a year since 2000 (on PAPER, shortly after each NAIAS), asking for a plug in hybrid Minivan.

Having recently priced the three regular model minivans, I can say it’s unlikely I’ll be interested in the Japanese brands. A decently equipped conventional Japanese model starts at around $35,000 while the Chryslers, similarly equipped, are about $24,000. That’s enough of a difference to replace the whole powertrain if something goes wrong.

Even if there’s a huge premium for the plug-in hybrid in the Chrysler, it’s still likely to be $10,000 or more less than the projected $50,000 price I’ve seen for the Toyota hybrid, which is due soon, but not even a plug in.

So I’m really interested in this development. It’s long overdue.

I’d also love to see GM apply their Voltec to this segment.

I’m with you Michael. Have you looked a the resale value of them too? Tesla aside I don’t think any other vehicle holds it’s value like a used Honda Odyssey. How in the world can something that from day 1 gets crayons, chicken nuggets, and buggers ground into the carpet only lose 10% of its price after 3-4 years?

My minivan is lucky to get 20 mpg so going to 75 mpg is a huge improvement.

Car companies need to make money and consumer need to buy cars that are affordable to them. Don’t see a minivan with the traditional $10,000 -$15000 additional cost of electric added on making sense.
Not an expert but take away government subsidies and the electric cars wouldn’t sell at all.

True you are not an expert.

Conversions add $10k plus to an electric vehicle.

Dedicated ground up electric vehicles would only cost about $4k more than a comparable ICEv. You can save that much in gas in about 40k miles.

Most consumers are short sighted and stupid. And place too much emphasis on up front cost and not total operating cost.

But everyone is not that stupid. Teslas sell well and would still sell well without incentives although demand would be pushed down maybe 10% or so.

No one is stopping the legacy automakers from making a ground up dedicated EV.

And no the LEAF is not a dedicated ground up EV. It is based on stretched Versa platform called B0. Nissan calls it EV platform when used in LEAF but it is exactly the same as B0.