2016 Detroit Motor Show LIVE: Chrysler axes Town & Country and introduces 2017 Pacifica [gallery] image

The US automaker has decided to retire the long running Town & Country moniker, replaced by the all new generation of the minivan that will from now on be called the Pacifica.

The MPV segment has been hit by the same crisis that has engulfed regular passenger cars – the SUV/crossover fever. But that doesn’t mean automakers are ready to give it up without a fight and a main contender for delivering a powerful blow might become the new 2017 Pacifica. Chrysler has taken the model to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with a design that looks sourced from the new 200 and has been developed on an all-new FCA platform. External dimensions have remained more or less on par with the predecessor, but the new architecture comes with a significant weight loss of at least 300 pounds (136 kilograms), with the Pacifica tipping the scales at 4,330 lbs (1,964 kg). The cabin also shows its 200-inspired traits, though with different materials and colors and the regular minivan amenities. Owners will also get an 8.4-inch touchscreen for the Uconnect infotainment system and can also opt for the new rear-seat entertainment system using dual 10-inch touchscreens. Long rides will be a joy in the Pacifica thanks to the total interior volume of around 200 cubic feet (5,663 liters) and the huge cargo capacity of 140.5 cu. ft. (3,978 liters) when using just the front row. The 2017 Pacifica carries the popular Stow ‘N Go seating function.

Under the hood the minivan will boast a naturally aspirated V6 engine with 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, mated to a nine-speed auto. The Pacifica Hybrid gets the same mill but sporting 248 hp and 230 lb-ft and working together with a 16-kWh battery for an estimated fuel economy of 80 miles per gallon equivalent – electric range is of up to 30 miles (48 kilometers). Chrysler aims to deliver the 2017 Pacifica in six trim levels for the standard guise, and with two trim options for the hybrid version. Production is handled in Ontario, Canada at the Windsor Assembly Plant and first deliveries will come this spring followed by the hybrid later during the second part of the year.