Chrysler crossover SUV to boost lineup

Sergio Marchionne

Chrysler has shrunk to almost a one-trick pony over the past few years, but a Pacifica-based SUV should hopefully expand its shrinking lineup.

The crossover SUV will be based on the large people mover, and according to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, could be ready within the next 18 months.

This is crucial given the Subaru Ascent will be hitting the market soon, plus Volkswagen has already confirmed it will have a large crossover to sit alongside the Atlas.

Speaking with Motor Trend, Marchionne confirmed that the Chrysler crossover SUV is not just in the works, but well along in the planning stage.

“We’re still playing with that thing,” Marchionne said. “It’s there. We have the car designed and we’re ready to go…The platform is ready, and the plant can take it. We can probably get it up and running in 18 months.”

Marchionne also said that Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) played with various versions of the vehicle, including both another MPV-style car, and a crossover, each based on the same platform that underpins the Pacifica.

The crossover should have been introduced even earlier, but FCA wanted to make sure it was right. If it does stick to the plan, then the timing should be perfect for the company, but any delays will cause Chrysler some financial woes. After all, running a showroom on only two vehicles (300 and Pacifica) isn’t exactly ideal.

The Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario will be building the new SUV, but what’s even more interesting is the fact that there may even be a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Remember the Jeep Yuntu concept which eventually spawned the the Jeep Grand Commander? It came with a PHEV powertrain, though back then no details were offered. Still, it’s possible that such a driveline could end up in the Chrysler crossover.

The advantage is that for a large vehicle there’s still plenty of torque, while keeping emissions low – Bentley has just done the same thing with its large SUV, the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid.

There’s no word on what the styling will be like, other than wearing the winged badge, but we’ll bring you more details as they come to hand.