We get e-mail all the time about the Chrysler brand. The most common question is when is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) going to get rid of the dying Chrysler brand. To put it bluntly, it’s not. The Chrysler brand has taken a back seat to some of the “cash cows” (or vehicles that are old, that have all of their tooling paid off, that still sell well and make loads of profit for the company). Models like the Dodge Grand Caravan, which continues to outsell its younger Chrysler Pacifica sibling and the popular three-row Dodge Journey. These vehicles continue to sell well, and FCA is taking advantage of it.
According to our sources inside of FCA, there will be up to 5 vehicles in a Chrysler brand lineup by 2023. Of course, the Chrysler Pacifica will stay. While we do say goodbye to the Chrysler 300 after the 2020 model year, the Chrysler brand will aim itself at more of a mainstream people mover brand. That brand will consist of mainly crossovers and MPV (minivans).
The first all-new vehicle we are will see is the long-awaited midsize Chrysler crossover. This vehicle would replace the Dodge Journey, as Dodge branches itself off as more of a performance brand. The three-row Chrysler crossover would more than likely be based on the popular Jeep Cherokee’s compact U.S. wide (CUSW) architecture. We believe that such a vehicle would be based on the three-row CUSW Jeep Grand Commander.
While it would carry similar dimensions to the Grand Commander such as wheelbase, the Chrysler version would feature unique styling all its own. The Chinese-market Grand Commander is not a rock-crawler and does not offer an off-road “Trailhawk” variant. It is more focused on being an “urban crossover,” a similar fate is in store for the Chrysler version.
Grand Commander also hints at what could be in store for such a Chrysler-based vehicle. The Grand Commander is powered by the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder found in the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. While the Grand Commander offers the engine in two output offerings, we believe it would follow suit of its Cherokee sibling and deliver the 270 horsepower variant for the North American market.
In the Chinese-market for 2019, Jeep will be offering a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version of the Grand Commander. The PHEV version features a similar system to the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid; The Pacifica Hybrid uses a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery, located under the floor under the second row of seats with an all-electric range of 33 miles (53 km) before switching back to using the gasoline engine. The battery can be fully recharged in two hours using a 240-volt plug-in system. We wouldn’t put it past FCA to give Chrysler a PHEV version of the upcoming crossover here to North America.
Our sources tell us that the three-row Chrysler crossover would be built alongside the Jeep Cherokee at the Belvidere Assembly Plant (BVAP) in Belvidere, Illinois. Our sources also mention that this vehicle would be coming to market in the 2021 model year.