Chrysler Pacifica, Re-designed, Lighter
All-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Engineered for Unparalleled Ride and Handling, Functionality and Versatility
- Built on all-new platform, all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan will deliver ride and handling capabilities on par with high-end premium sedans
- Best-in-class ride and handling for premium on-road performance and agility
- Best-in-class interior space/volume
- Best-in-class aerodynamic performance/efficiency
- “Vault-like” interior environment with low levels of wind noise, road noise, and related vibration/harshness characteristics
- Unmatched versatility begins with redesigned Stow ‘n Go seating and storage system, which is easier than ever to use with the innovative Stow ‘n Go Assist
- New Stow ‘n Vac system offers most powerful vacuum in segment for quick and easy cleaning
- Industry-first handsfree sliding doors and liftgate offer unparalleled customer convenience
- Segment-first tri-pane panoramic sunroof extends sunroof experience to third passenger row
- Standard Active Noise Cancellation further heightens interior cabin environment
Auburn Hills, Mich., Jan 11, 2016 – The engineering goal was clear from the outset. As the original inventor of the minivan, FCA US engineers were charged to develop an all-out, no excuses new minivan on their new architecture. The result: the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is executed to be the preeminent entry in its class with an unprecedented level of functionality, versatility, technology and style.
Tuned and calibrated on rural roads, thoroughfares, highways and validation facilities, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is engineered to deliver the ride, feel and comfort of a premium vehicle offering with precision-tuned handling and exceptional over-the-road comfort qualities.
Constructed on an all-new platform, Chrysler Pacifica will deliver ride and handling capabilities that not only exceed its primary competitors, but are on par with high-end premium sedans.
Lighter by approximately 250 pounds (model to model), stiffer and more aerodynamic than the outgoing model, Pacifica is noticeably more responsive with lower levels of body roll and enhanced agility to absorb and distribute road inputs, while serving its primary purpose of effectively moving people and cargo in a pleasing and refined manner.
Light and stiff body structure
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica features a light yet stiff unibody structure based on the all-new FCA vehicle architecture developed specifically for the minivan global front-drive E-segment. The upper body and frame are engineered as a single unit, enabling a more mass-efficient and stiffer structure. Unibody structures bring a superior foundation for achieving large premium sedan-like performance and agility.
Much of that credit belongs to the extensive use of advanced, hot-stamped/high-strength steels, application of structural adhesives where necessary and an intense focus on mass optimization. The Pacifica utilizes approximately 22 percent more high-strength steel than its predecessor, of which 48 percent is advanced high-strength steel for maximizing stiffness and strength while optimizing weight efficiency – the first FCA US sliding door offering to blend advanced high-strength steels and material mass optimization to this extent.
Enhanced chassis-to-body structure interfaces, such as suspension brackets and cradle attachments, are designed to ensure high stiffness at those points, thus abating low-frequency noise into the cabin while ensuring overall dynamic agility.
The overall result is a combination of solidity, stiffness, and mass efficiency, which minimizes noise and vibration; enables refined chassis tuning; and provides occupants a sense of security and stability.
Use of aluminum components combined with weight-optimized, thin-gauged, high-strength materials, enables truer chassis component tuning; quicker and “more exact” reaction to vehicle inputs (e.g. nimbleness and agility); and enhanced overall dynamic performance.
Specific steel components that contribute to the lightweight suspension system include:
- Thin-gauged front suspension cradle constructed of high-strength steel with “lightening holes” (e.g. “non-contributing” material was removed) on all models, as well as hydroformed front cradle side rails that enable a weight savings
- Thin-gauged steel trailing arms in the rear suspension enabled by a “blade-style” design that ensures strength and durability without mass
Independent rear suspension
The twist blade independent rear suspension allowed chassis engineers to provide Pacifica drivers the best of two worlds: the handling capability approaching that of a premium sports sedan with the smoother ride of a large luxury sedan.
The main rear suspension steel components consist of the following:
- Steel four-point isolated rear cradle with optimized weight/stiffness ratio to improve reaction to lateral loads and consequently improve handling performance
- Blade configured rear trailing arm linkages constructed of thin-gauge, high-strength steel that enables required packaging space while reducing mass and delivering stiffness/strength
Other mass saving features in the rear suspension include:
- Twin tube shocks with integrated rebound springs – a premium refinement in the Pacifica’s segment – ensure side-to-side rear stability without the need of a stabilizer bar and related mass
- Unique dual bushing configuration packaged within the trailing arms – double bushing configuration decouples vertical rates for steering from fore/aft compliance for ride comfort
Rear suspension cradle
The isolated rear suspension cradle is a stamped thin-gauged steel clamshell construction design with “lightening holes” for mass reduction. Its “full-perimeter” cradle with rubber isolators enables enhanced ride and handling control, as well as exceptional safety and durability performance.
Class-leading aerodynamic performance
Following 1.2 million CPU hours for CFD development and more than 400 hours of testing in the wind tunnel, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica features industry-leading aerodynamics.
Co-efficient of drag (CD) is .300, a rating that is best among its primary competitors and contributes to Pacifica’s exceptional fuel efficiency.
Exterior aero performance highlights include:
- Active shutter system automatically closes airflow through the lower intake opening when air intake is least needed, reducing drag on average of 10 percent. The all-new Pacifica is the first minivan offering equipped with the active shutter system. When closed, the shutter system enhances aero-performance by redirecting airflow around the front of the vehicle and down the sides, rather than through it. Whether the shutter is open or closed is based on engine coolant temperature and vehicle speed – for example, the system will open when the vehicle is traveling up a hill, pulling a trailer, or in hot city driving. The shutter system will be closed at highway speeds when less engine cooling is required, and aerodynamic drag is most significant
- Steeper and more swept windshield angle effectively channels air off the front portion of the upper canopy
- Aero-optimized front end and forward corners for smooth airflow above, below, and around the vehicle without compromising styling or engine cooling requirements
- Aero-shaped mirrors represent a significant aerodynamic win considering the amount of air transferred to the area as a result of the active shutter system
- Optimized rear notch angle – defined by the top of the relationship of the upper trailing edge of the decklid to the rear bumper – and rear fascia shape delivers a more refined appearance, reduced air turbulence, and a clean rear air wake
- Aero-designed sill claddings (also aesthetic “blister” elements that play with light while ensuring an organic surface appeal) that channel air away from the lower portion of the vehicle and enable airflow distribution around and away from the wheel openings
- Liftgate-integrated spoiler carries an optimized trailing edge shape for cleaner airflow separation in the rear portion for improved “air wake”
- Distinguishable roof taper that not only contributes to the Pacifica’s sophisticated aesthetics, but effectively channels air to the rear spoiler for enhanced aero performance
- Flat-surfaced, rear angled D-pillar design that incorporates an offset edge to the rear window and relating appliqué for undisturbed exit of air off the rear upper corners of the vehicle
- Front-fascia close-out panel prevents air from channeling into the engine compartment and related “air swirl” characteristics in the front structure of the vehicle
- Engine shield directs air downward, preventing air from channeling and rotating in the engine compartment
- Sill-mounted tire spats positioned forward of the front wheels essentially act as miniature air dams, kicking air away from the spinning elements and reducing drag in the process
- Driver and passenger side mid-floor belly panels are approximately 7.5 feet in length and positioned on either side of the center tunnel (applied on Touring models and above)
- Rear suspension shield positioned over the rear axle that deflects air downward for a clean exit through the back of the vehicle
- Rear air diffuser panel (located at what is traditionally the rear differential location) channels air between the rear wheels
- While the grille grates (upper and lower) have been stylized to convey Chrysler brand cues, they’ve also been optimized to ensure minimal air “swoosh”
- Wiper blades are optimally positioned to ensure better aerodynamics and enhanced downward visibility
- Hood seal closes off the front line of the closure to ensure air turbulence (and related audible events) is virtually eliminated
Best-in-class interior space
With the improved design and aerodynamics of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica, the interior spaciousness of the vehicle was not compromised.
In fact, the Pacifica has the longest wheelbase amongst its primary competitors and the widest combination of vehicle width and front/rear track, leading to a best-in-class interior volume/cargo space with total passenger plus volume behind the third row at 200 cu. feet.
The front row offers the most legroom in the segment and lots of options for storage, as the newly designed space between the center console and instrument panel is a great place to stow purses or larger items. The center console itself also provides storage for smaller items. New to the Pacifica is the instrument panel drawer that provides covered storage for items that customers want to have access to, but do not want to have left out in the open.
In the second row, the all-new Pacifica continues to offer Stow ‘n Go tubs that provide covered storage for bigger items.
The Chrysler Pacifica offers the most spacious third row in the segment, with the most legroom, shoulder room and headroom. Coupled with the added roominess and the tri-pane panoramic sunroof, all passengers are ready for any long road trip.
With the second- and third-row seats stowed, the all-new Pacifica provides segment-leading cargo capacity to easily fit an 8 x 4-foot sheet of plywood.
Source: FCA 2016 press release