You might remember that back in March of this year, the MoparInsiders team had been hearing information that an all-wheel-drive (AWD) version of the Chrysler Pacifica in the works. Also at that time, we had been hearing from Unifor union officials that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) had been updating the assembly line at the Windsor plant (which builds the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Pacifica, and new Chrysler Voyager) to accommodate the new AWD variant minivans.
Since then, we have received tons of e-mail asking about when is an AWD version coming. However, until now, we haven’t had a lot of information about a scheduled release date.
The Automotive News stated earlier this year, the AWD variant of the Chrysler Pacifica would be coming along with the mid-life cycle refresh, and we are now happy to say we can confirm this statement. According to our sources at the Windsor Assembly Plant, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica and Chrysler Voyager models will receive a mid-life cycle refresh, which includes a new front and rear fascia, revamped trim-levels, AWD offering, as well as an updated Hybrid (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or PHEV) offering as well.
We are hearing from our sources within FCA that the 2020 model year will be the last year for the legendary Dodge Grand Caravan model, and from that point on, Chrysler will be the only nameplate carrying the minivan torch. The new mid-life cycle refresh shouldn’t disappoint those who have found fault with Pacifica’s design. While the side profile of the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager will still feature the same side profile as the current models, the front and rear styling will be aimed to attract the Grand Caravan customers as well.
With a new front fascia that harkens back to the third-generation Chrysler Town & Country (1996 to 2000) with some elements from the current Chrysler 300 thrown in for a sportier and more aggressive front appearance. The new Chrysler grille is more prominent and is similar in size to the current Dodge Grand Caravan’s rather than the narrower Chrysler 200-based styling of the current Pacifica’s. The Pacifica will feature the new bold grille with a texture similar to those found on the 300 and prominently wearing the Chrysler winged badged above the halfway point of the grille, similar to the 300.
All-new full LED headlights will be standard across the Pacifica line (we still aren’t sure if the Voyager will get the LED treatment though). Headlight housings are smaller, giving the grille a bolder look, and still retain a unique LED signature daytime running light that wraps three-quarters around the headlamp. LED foglights are also present on Pacifica models, with chrome accents above the fog lamps on certain models.
Around the rear of the vehicle, not a whole lot has changed in the styling department. However, the most stand out feature is the revised taillights. The Pacifica retains the overall shape of the current tail lamps; however, it gets a bit of Dodge-like flair with a new LED signature that runs across the back of the vehicle, attaching the taillights on both sides.
The subtle changes to the looks of the Pacifica should help blend some of the popular Dodge-like features to help attract more of the Grand Caravan’s buying base.
As we said before, the new AWD system will be very similar to the system that made its debut recently on the Jeep Renegade and Compass PHEVs at the Geneva International Motor Show. The Jeep crossovers showcased a new AWD system called electric all-wheel-drive (eAWD). The eAWD system provides traction to the rear axle without the use of a driveshaft but through a dedicated electric motor. This allows the two axles to be separated and to control the torque independently in a more effective way than a mechanical system.
This system would allow the Pacifica to offer an AWD system with the additional use of the class-exclusive Stow & Go seating option, as well as for the Pacifica Hybrid models that ditch the Stow & Go seats for a battery pack system stored in the same space as the Stow & Go bins.
Our sources at the Windsor plant, are telling us that there has been about two dozen of the pre-production 2021 Chrysler Pacifica models built for feedback and should be seen soon in camouflaged forms on roads soon. We are hearing that the new 2021 Chrysler Pacifica could make its debut during an upcoming auto show during the first-quarter of 2020 (we are thinking the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto). We aren’t sure of just when the new Pacifica and Voyager will be launch, but we expect the Canadian market to get the Voyager upon the launch of the 2021 model.
Stay tuned as we continue to bring you more 2021 Chrysler Pacifica information in the very near future.