It’s ironic that we see the 2017 model in the company of Dodge sister models, as the Grand Caravan is not going to get another model year.
The two photos taken by The Windsor Star give us our first clear look at the all-new Chrysler model that most expect will debut in January at the North American International Auto Show. None other than Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said so, and the date is marked on our calendar.
Production is slated to begin on February 29th, 2016, at the FCA Windsor plant in Ontario, Canada. However, not a lot is known at the moment.
As we said at the beginning of the story, the front end is a telling part of this prototype. Headlight design is nearly identical to that of the Chrysler 200 sedan. The second picture also shows part of the upper grille and the lower bumper.
The American minivan market has been hit hard by increased SUV demand, particularly of the 7-seater kind. We expect Chrysler to respond with a larger yet lighter minivan. Engine choices should include a 2.4-liter Tigershark making 184 hp base model and a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, delivering 296 hp. However, a new 3.2-liter with turbocharging and direct injection has also been rumored. Chrysler will continue to rely on the 9-speed automatic gearbox it’s installed on many of its vehicles, including Jeeps.
On the inside, expect to see more attention to detail, several components from the 200 sedan and the 8.4-inch UConnect infotainment system.
Reports from February suggested all the brands of the Chrysler Group will go diesel by using a 2.2-liter engine developed for the Alfa Romeo Giulia. However, the Dieselgate scandal puts this in jeopardy.