Rumors and Omissions: Chrysler’s Product Future Remains Hazy, but Might Not Be As Threadbare As You Think
The one product almost assuredly joining the brand is the Portal, a minivan-type vehicle based on the Pacifica platform. FCA heralded this model with a funky electric greenhouse masquerading as a concept vehicle, though it isn’t known whether a production model would completely eschew internal combustion engines.
While the obvious place to build this model is the company’s Windsor assembly plant, home to the Pacifica, the Portal’s arrival in 2020 might coincide with the death of the amazingly long-running and forever affordable Dodge Grand Caravan. As we told you recently, America still loves the Grand Caravan, and it loves you.
While Allpar didn’t have anything to say about the rumored full-size model, which was expected to carry the oft-used Aspen name and appear for 2021, it did detail a potential assembly line replacement for the 300. Okay, swallow your grain of salt now. The rumored model, it seems, is a crossover or wagon-type vehicle that uses the modified LX platform coming for the 2021 Charger and Challenger; presumably, it would be built alongside the Dodge cars at FCA’s Brampton assembly plant. (This would be very good news for the plant’s future, if true.)
Given the amount of mystery surrounding Chrysler’s future, anything’s possible. Brampton will have the capacity when the 300 leaves, and it’s nearly certain it will leave — FCA has specifically avoided mentioning a 2021 revamp for the 300, and sales of that sedan are nowhere near as robust as they once were. AN sources claim it’s gone in 2020. It’s worth noting that Ford’s Explorer and the Lincoln Aviator adopt a rear-drive platform for 2020.
Confusing things even more are comments made by Marchionne at last January’s Detroit auto show. When asked about a future Chrysler crossover, the chief executive told Motor Trend, “It’s there. We have the car designed and we’re ready to go,” adding that the model would use the Pacifica platform.
“The platform is ready, and the plant can take it. We can probably get it up and running in 18 months,” he said. It now seems Marchionne was likely talking about the Portal. Or was he?
Are you exhausted yet? One thing’s for certain: a Chrysler with only two models is not a proud Chrysler.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]