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    Spying: Next Chrysler Town and Country Does A Strip Tease At Windsor Assembly


    • The Next Town and Country Gets Slightly Revealed

    The next-generation Chrysler Town and Country has been kept under wraps for most part. That was until earlier this week when The Windsor Star was somehow able to get shots of the next-generation van as it was being loaded into a transport truck at the Windsor Assembly line.

     

    From the couple of shots published, we can tell that the next-generation van will be using design from the 700C shown at the Detroit Auto Show in 2012. The front looks to have a similar shape the 200 sedan, while parts of the side match up to the 700C concept.

     

    Its expected that we'll be seeing the production version of the Town and Country at the Detroit Auto Show.

     

    Source: The Windsor Star

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    We'll I have to say I am not impressed. The concept does nothing for me either, but then I am an SUV guy not a mini van guy.

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    Captain Picard is hailing FCA.  He wants his shuttle craft back in the Enterprise hanger.

     

    Moving beyond the snark, why would any car company still mass produce mini-vans?

     

    No one has more than three kids any more.

     

    I will give FCA credit if they actually call it the Town and Country and not adopt the sheep-like alpha/numeric model "names" that is plaguing the industry today.

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    It kind of reminds me of how a bullet train's front end is curved and how the locomotive cab is all streamlined.

     

    In person, the 200's sheetmetal looks very fluid and all looks like it's all formed from one piece. It looks spectacular in white. Hopefully this does the same.

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    My 2015 town and country all of a sudden looks that much better. Should be an easy decision to leave when the lease is up now.

    Was checking out an odyssey today that was parked nearby. That would be good if the rear ass didn't hang over so much.

    People still may have interest in vans, they just want AWD which sends people to crossovers.

    We have two kids but three row vehicle still sees frequent use for family and kids friends. The van gets the same mpg as a mid size crossover anyways.

    Just freaking add all wheel drive to the option sheet.

    And don't make it ugly like this new one might unfortunately be.

    Sergio if he screws up chryslers signature product should be burned at the stake. Imagine if he got his merger with GM.

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    Wait, i went to the article, I think you guys are looking at the 700C which is the only full picture and just the concept.  From what little I can see from the camoed models, it is more reminiscent of the mid 90s minivans which is a good thing.  Honestly, it isn't like the Odyssey or Sienna are anything but huge bags of ugly anyway........


    The Aztec for this decade.

     

    :retard:

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    Captain Picard is hailing FCA.  He wants his shuttle craft back in the Enterprise hanger.

     

    Moving beyond the snark, why would any car company still mass produce mini-vans?

     

    No one has more than three kids any more.

     

    I will give FCA credit if they actually call it the Town and Country and not adopt the sheep-like alpha/numeric model "names" that is plaguing the industry today.

     

    There is still a relatively large market for minivans, more than enough to keep them in production.  Just look at the monthly sales numbers.

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    Captain Picard is hailing FCA.  He wants his shuttle craft back in the Enterprise hanger.

     

    Moving beyond the snark, why would any car company still mass produce mini-vans?

     

    No one has more than three kids any more.

     

    I will give FCA credit if they actually call it the Town and Country and not adopt the sheep-like alpha/numeric model "names" that is plaguing the industry today.

     

    There is still a relatively large market for minivans, more than enough to keep them in production.  Just look at the monthly sales numbers.

     

    Very true as you still see a large amount of Chrysler, Toyota, Hyundai and Honda mini van sales.

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    This will not be resolved within a discussion thread, but here are two questions to ponder.

     

    1)  Apart from maybe the Ford Flex, what other true mini-van is being offered by GM and Ford?  The average price of a new car is just too high for a modest family to buy one of these things at the dealership.  The demographics don't add up in the long-term to keep these around.

     

    2)  Should Sergio have FCA market the hell out of these mini-vans in the same way he has done so with the Hellcat?  The only "American" mini-van in the game? 

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    This will not be resolved within a discussion thread, but here are two questions to ponder.

     

    1)  Apart from maybe the Ford Flex, what other true mini-van is being offered by GM and Ford?  The average price of a new car is just too high for a modest family to buy one of these things at the dealership.  The demographics don't add up in the long-term to keep these around.

     

    2)  Should Sergio have FCA market the hell out of these mini-vans in the same way he has done so with the Hellcat?  The only "American" mini-van in the game? 

     

    Yeah, that is true, but the Kia Sedona especially comes really nicely equipped just at $30k. And the defunct Caravan sold a lot because of its low price. Again, automakers are thinking about more than just sales now, but I don't think the minivan will quite just die away yet.

     

    And there's always going to be 3 different target demographics, two of which we rarely think of. There's obviously the growing families.

     

    There there's fleets. Minivans make great livery vehicles. They're very efficient in terms of utility for the price you pay.

     

    But there's also families that tend to their elderly parents. It's a no brainer. Minivans offer excellent accessibility, part of why taxi fleets have plenty of them and middle-aged folks who want to live near or take care of their elderly parents have them as well.

     

    Minivans might just become a segment ruled by a very small oligopoly of brands, but it doesn't change the value proposition.  

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    The fleet sales cannot be ignored.  Great point.

     

    FCA also makes Work van versions of their mini-van, the Ram C/V.   In the Ram lineup, it gives them a Small, Medium, Large for work vans. (Promaster City, Ram C/V, Promaster)

     

    I've been seeing lots of C/Vs lately

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    minivans are the king of handicap conversions.

     

    Ford Flex, if updated and lower in price, would sell a lot more.

     

    New Kia van is seeing an uptick, the Japanese Sienna and Odyssey always do well.

     

    Grand Caravan sells well because its price is reasonable.  We got our Town and Country via lease, that was the best way to get it and not lose our ass, it got to the point that most of the three row CUV's are simply unaffordable.

     

    With  the minivan segment I think it is still about making the wrapper attractive and putting AWD on the option list in addition to price.

     

    Really, think about it.  Why can't Ford take the Fusion and stretch the wheelbase 4-6" and make Flex 2?  In Ford's case its because they sell a lot more Explorers.  If there were a new Flex out at a price similar to what we got the Town and Country for, it woulda been a no brainer, duh Ford > Chrysler.  No reason why Ford can't design a second version of the funkwagon and sell 40,000 of them a year.

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    • By William Maley
      It may not be the electric Pacifica we were hearing about last month, but Chrysler does have an electric minivan concept that will be debuting later today at the Consumer Electronics Show. Meet the Portal concept which Chrysler describes as "created by millennials for millennials."
      The Portal does look like something from the set of Blade Runner with an interesting front end, massive wheels, and a set of huge double-sliding doors. The Portal rides on a 118.2 wheelbase, making it slightly smaller than the Pacifica. Inside, the seats are mounted on rails that allow them to move fore and aft, fold flat, or be removed completely. There is also a prominent LCD screen that runs the length of the dashboard, along with a touchscreen mounted in the center. Finally, there are 10 docking stations for various smartphones and tablets.
      A single electric motor provides the motivation for the front wheels. Under the floor lies a 100-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can provide an overall range of more than 250 miles. When plugged into a 350-kW fast charger, the Portal's battery pack can be recharged to have a 150 mile range within 20 minutes. 
      Like most concepts being shown now, the Portal boasts autonomous driving technologies; in this case, Level 3 tech. This means a driver can let the vehicle drive on its own under certain conditions on the highway. Chrysler says the technologies in the Portal can be upgraded to feature such things as facial recognition and voice biometric technologies.
      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      The Chrysler Portal concept is designed to keep the driver and passengers connected – to each other, to the vehicle and to the surrounding world.
      Starting with today’s widespread use of the Internet and social media for communication and information, the FCA User Experience (UX) team, and an internal UX Tiger team from the Panasonic Automotive Advanced Engineering function, jointly picked a blend of emerging and future technologies to engage the next generation of vehicle users.
      “When our teams began imagining the user experiences inside the Chrysler Portal, we set out to identify a long-time supplier partner who could help push the limits of customization and personalization,” said Scott Thiele, Chief Purchasing Officer for FCA NV and Head of Purchasing and Supplier Quality for FCA – North America. “Working with Panasonic Automotive on this concept vehicle is just one example of how FCA is engaging strategic suppliers early in the development phase to bring to life innovations that can become industry benchmarks.”
      Tapping the Panasonic Cognitive Infotainment (PCI) platform as the foundation of the UX feature set, the Chrysler User Experience team matched future consumer needs (life, finances and new technology) to those new technology solutions now exhibited in the Portal concept.
      “Working together, FCA and Panasonic Automotive are showing a more cognitively enhanced set of technologies that can give drivers and passengers a superior, more accurate, just-in-time in-vehicle experience,” said Tom Gebhardt, President, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America.
      “In fact, we are so delighted by the partnership, Panasonic has created a complimentary technology exhibition to further showcase our joint interests in UX, software, hardware, and cloud services specifically featuring a unique e-commerce retail use case.”
      The battery-powered Chrysler Portal concept electric vehicle was unveiled today at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
      Facial recognition, voice biometrics provide a seamless, personalized experience
      For members of the millennial generation, the target audience for the Chrysler Portal concept, technology is more than a tool – it’s an integral part of their lives.
      The hub of this technology is the mobile phone. The Chrysler Portal concept is engineered to seamlessly detect and connect with passengers’ mobile devices, expanding the social canvas.
      Recognition and user authentication is the next level of personalization and a primary driving factor for the user experience. Facial recognition and voice biometric technologies work together to provide a seamless personalization experience. As a result, all passengers can set up individual and group settings for an enjoyable, customized experience. For example, facial recognition tells the Chrysler Portal who is in the vehicle and how to automatically configure preferred settings, such as music, lighting, vehicle temperature, heated or cooled seats, etc. Internet cloud-based technologies, combined with facial and voice recognition, keep those preferred settings in sync should a passenger move to another seat.
      Accessing technology inside the vehicle is naturally intuitive using a blend of voice controls with familiar touch controls. With an array of microphones inside the Portal concept, voice control is available to all occupants. Advanced speech software can identify who is speaking to accurately determine an action, such as which display screen to access. Embedded interior and connected portable device cameras also facilitate conversations and interactions.
      Want to play music tailored for an individual, such as a child? Simply say, “Play Johnny’s ‘Naptime Favorites’ playlist.” Personalized audio zones enable each passenger to listen to their own content isolated to their seat without the need for headphones. 
      Facial recognition enables the Chrysler Portal concept to track the driver’s directional gaze, as a result, the intensity of the high-mount display screen can automatically dim or increase to help reduce eye strain. If the driver is looking at a specific location on the display and a critical notification occurs, such as an oncoming emergency vehicle, a message pop-up in the area where the driver is looking helps reduce reaction time.
      Turn road trips into social memories
      Social media plays a large role in the lives of many Millennials. In the Chrysler Portal concept, sharing content between passengers is as easy as a swipe to the right. A personal tablet or mobile device becomes a community display screen via a docking station in the Chrysler Portal’s headliner, making it easily viewable by second- and third-row passengers. Media such as music, images and videos from personal devices can be shared with a simple upward swipe to the display screen. The community display is ideal for road trips with family and friends. At a glance, infographics show the progress of the vehicle to the trip destination. 
      The Chrysler Portal concept also takes into consideration each passenger’s media preferences and enables them to contribute to the road trip experience. Using predictive intelligence, passenger preferences can be merged to create an overall community setting that can help the group find destinations and plan the best route, select a restaurant, and play music and videos everyone can enjoy. 
      Once a route is set, it can be added to the community display so all passengers can monitor the trip’s progress. At the lunch break, passengers can use the technology in the Chrysler Portal concept to order from a quick service restaurant via voice or touchscreen without rolling down the window or leaving the vehicle, a real convenience in inclement weather. If someone is not sure what to order, the system’s intelligence can offer suggestions based on the passenger’s personal settings. With ecommerce, there is no need for cash or a credit card as the payment can be securely transacted from the vehicle while in transit.
      Once at the destination, interior and exterior cameras can capture the moment with a selfie, which is then automatically downloaded to everyone’s personal device and can be shared via social media.
      Affordable, upgradeable technology designed to be added as needed
      Keeping the user experience affordable, the Chrysler Portal concept’s in-vehicle technology is designed to be adaptable and upgradeable. Cost-conscious consumers are able to decide what technology they want to add and when they want to integrate it into their vehicle, such as adding technologies to meet the ongoing needs of a new family.  For example, the vehicle’s short-range wireless network enables parents to connect a baby monitor camera to a seat, with the image appearing on the high-mount display.
      Another way consumers could integrate their personal devices is by using the Chrysler Portal Concept Companion App. Once downloaded to a mobile device, the companion app has the ability to customize vehicle lighting, control vehicle and home settings, lock/unlock doors and operate other functions from any location. 
      Advanced driving assistance
      A key element of the Chrysler Portal concept’s user experience is the graphic-rich, high-quality information available to the driver.
      The hub of this information is the high-mount display, located above where a traditional instrument panel would be placed. Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) technology in the display makes the screen brighter and sharper. The technology embedded in the Chrysler Portal collects a wide spectrum of visual, sensor-based and infrastructure data; organizes and configures the information for display; and tailors the presentation to keep the driver’s attention on the highest priority functions.
      The display, which spans nearly the entire length of the instrument panel, is positioned higher intentionally for greater visibility and to aid the driver keeping his/her eyes on the road. Maintaining visibility with the horizon helps reduce the possibility of motion sickness while interacting with the 3-D graphics, especially if Level 3 autonomous driving mode is engaged.
      The length of the screen enables three zones of information. The first section of the screen, located in front of the driver, offers traditional vehicle information, such as speed. The middle section displays a 360-degree situational awareness view, such as surrounding vehicles, GPS information and points of interest, and can be viewed by other vehicle occupants. The third section can be used for media sharing, status updates of passengers, such as their seat temperature, music or videos being played and a view of them.
      During Level 3 autonomous driving, the display communicates the status of the vehicle and the surrounding environment. Should the vehicle come to a stop or perform a quick maneuver, the viewable display makes it clear to all occupants the status of the vehicle.
      The Chrysler Portal concept is constantly using Vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication that enables the vehicle to “talk” with the public infrastructure, Internet, and other vehicles via an array of sensors. For example, if an approaching ambulance is out of sight, V2X systems will notify the vehicle that the ambulance is approaching. Graphics on the high-mount display will communicate the oncoming ambulance by simulating its approach and direction, and the audio system will provide cues that the vehicle is approaching.
    • By William Maley
      Back in May, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made a startling announcement. The two would partner on building 100 specially prepared Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans with Google's autonomous driving technologies to be used for testing. Today, Waymo (the offshoot of Google's self-driving program) and FCA revealed what the van would look like.
      Yes, the van looks a little bit goofy with sensors sticking out on the front fenders and under the grille, along with massive radar dome. Other changes include major modifications to the chassis, electrical system, powertrain, and structure. Considering this took around six months, it is quite the achievement.
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months. They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer of Waymo in a statement.
      The vans will join Waymo's test fleet early next year.
      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
      Press Release is on Page 2


      CA Delivers 100 Uniquely Built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans to Waymo for Self-driving Test Fleet
      Waymo and FCA reveal first look at fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan Program kickoff to full vehicle assembly completed by technical teams in six months December 19, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and FCA announced today that production of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans uniquely built to enable fully self-driving operations has been completed. The vehicles are currently being outfitted with Waymo’s fully self-driving technology, including a purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems, and will join Waymo’s self-driving test fleet in early 2017. Waymo and FCA also revealed today the first images of the fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicle. 
       
      This first-of-its kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan thereby leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo’s fully self-driving technology.
       
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo. “They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”
       
      Waymo and FCA co-located part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the overall development process. In addition, extensive testing was carried out at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona, as well as Waymo test sites in California.
       
      “As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part of our daily lives.”
       
      Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 1.2 million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Waymo better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Back in May, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made a startling announcement. The two would partner on building 100 specially prepared Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans with Google's autonomous driving technologies to be used for testing. Today, Waymo (the offshoot of Google's self-driving program) and FCA revealed what the van would look like.
      Yes, the van looks a little bit goofy with sensors sticking out on the front fenders and under the grille, along with massive radar dome. Other changes include major modifications to the chassis, electrical system, powertrain, and structure. Considering this took around six months, it is quite the achievement.
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months. They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer of Waymo in a statement.
      The vans will join Waymo's test fleet early next year.
      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
      Press Release is on Page 2


      CA Delivers 100 Uniquely Built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans to Waymo for Self-driving Test Fleet
      Waymo and FCA reveal first look at fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan Program kickoff to full vehicle assembly completed by technical teams in six months December 19, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and FCA announced today that production of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans uniquely built to enable fully self-driving operations has been completed. The vehicles are currently being outfitted with Waymo’s fully self-driving technology, including a purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems, and will join Waymo’s self-driving test fleet in early 2017. Waymo and FCA also revealed today the first images of the fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicle. 
       
      This first-of-its kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan thereby leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo’s fully self-driving technology.
       
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo. “They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”
       
      Waymo and FCA co-located part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the overall development process. In addition, extensive testing was carried out at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona, as well as Waymo test sites in California.
       
      “As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part of our daily lives.”
       
      Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 1.2 million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Waymo better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.
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