If Chrysler Added a New Sedan to the Lineup, What Would It Be Like?
After the Chrysler Pacifica replaced the Town & Country, and following the discontinuation of the Chrysler 200, Chrysler is down to two models – the Pacifica and the 300. So, if Chrysler decided to add a new sedan to the lineup, what would it be like? With consumers and manufacturers leaning towards crossovers and hybrids, and autonomous vehicles being the new trend at auto shows, we have a couple ideas.
To make things simple, let’s call it the Chrysler SP, short for Chrysler “Special Project”. Now, the Chrysler isn’t known for sports cars, but if it wanted to make a sedan that looks good, it would take some styling cues from the discontinued Chrysler 200. Aesthetically, it has more going for it than the 300 and could more easily pass as a sports car. However, a sedan doesn’t need to be a sports car to drive well.
In terms of the Chrysler SP powertrain and drivetrain, we’re thinking a hybrid or electric vehicle. Every brand seems to pop up with one or the other. However, since Chrysler has yet to step into electric vehicle (EV) territory, they may be more keen on making another hybrid. They did a great job with the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid after all. In the Hybrid minivan, Chrysler made use of an eFlite transmission made by FCA, designed with a planetary gearset and a one-way clutch, to optimize the efficiency and power output of the engine and two electric motors. This implementation actually landed the engine on the 2017 WardsAuto 10 Best Engines list. It would be safe to assume a similar implementation would be used in a hybrid sedan.
Employing engineering features like regenerative braking is a must, and although fairly new, making the Chrysler SP a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) would be most beneficial. Many consumers who purchase a PHEV do so because they like the ability of driving on zero-emissions, but also have the gasoline engine as a backup power source. So taking a chance and building a parallel hybrid system that can (A) use both, the electric motor and engine in conjunction, (B) use just the electric motor, and (C) use just the gasoline engine. Doing this not only offers drivers a choice, but adheres to their driving style, which is always nice. Plus, look at the driving range for the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid – 33 miles on electricity, 566 miles when combined. A vehicle that weighs less will surely get more mileage.
The 2017 Chrysler 300 comes with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) as the drivetrain. Factually, front-wheel drive (FWD) is better for driving in conditions like snow, whereas AWD can handle all-weather conditions. However, the AWD system Chrysler uses only engages AWD when a loss of traction is detected, so it would be best to build the Chrysler SP with this system and with FWD as the default.
Lastly, Chrysler has had a partnership with Google brewing for awhile, primarily based on their Google Waymo self-driving car project. With Chrysler’s current semi-autonomous Pacifica concept, Chrysler would be better off making their next sedan a semi-autonomous vehicle. A semi-autonomous vehicle is one where the cabin is mostly the same, where the driver is in full-control, but the vehicle can be switched into full-autonomous if the driver so chooses, allowing the vehicle to drive itself.
This would be a better vehicle for millennials than a minivan, and of course with millennials comes all the modern tech such as wireless connectivity, wireless charging, music streaming Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, an infotainment system, Bluetooth voice-command, and at least an app for connecting to the car, scheduling recharge times, checking battery levels, etc. Throw in a nice sound system and the latest automatic features to go with the semi-autonomous vehicle theme, and not only will this new sedan attract the millennial generation Chrysler claims it wants to attract, but it will be safe too.
What do you think of the Chrysler SP concept? Does it have everything you’d want in a sedan? Let us know on our Facebook Page.