Next-Gen Chrysler Town & Country PHEV Debuting A Year Early

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Minivan shoppers will have a new option to consider in 2015, as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed plans to introduce a PHEV variant of the Chrysler Town & Country late into the coming year.

Automotive News reports the PHEV will be based on the next-generation Town & Country, originally scheduled for arrival in 2016 as stated by Marchionne during FCA’s investor day back in May. Other PHEVs are also in the works, including a full-size crossover for Chrysler. That said, Marchionne warns that electrification can’t fix everything:

I think you need to be very, very careful if you think that electrification, given its inherent limitations on range, especially in markets like the U.S., will effectively displace combustion. It will never provide the travel distance that you require, especially based on what we know today about the storage capabilities of batteries.

I keep on running into this fundamental economic obstacle of overcoming the cost equation of electrification. You can’t. You can’t unless there is a wholesale change and a fundamental shift in the pricing structure of cars.

The new PHEV, powered by a gasoline/battery pack combo, might outgun the Toyota Prius in the fuel economy game, according to Chrysler brand chief Al Gardner. The ur-hybrid in PHEV form for 2015 nets 95 mpg in electric-only mode, and 50 mpg combined in hybrid mode.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Koshchei Koshchei on Oct 07, 2014

    This is a good vehicle to put a hybrid system into: The platform is extremely reliable and sturdy, and gets good highway (

    • Luke42 Luke42 on Oct 07, 2014

      They’ll put the battery under the floor. My Sienna is built on a truss that looks like the “torsion box” that furniture makers like to make. There’s plenty of unused volume in there. It’s a packaging challenge for sure, but there’s probably about a cubic meter of air town there. I but a an automotive design team could do a lot with that.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Oct 07, 2014

    Finally. I understand why no one has done the hybrid minivan thing yet (because minivans are usually low-margin vehicles, and you can milk consumers harder with a crossover) but it's still nice to see. I'm surprised Toyota was bested in this enterprise, but I suppose they sell every Highlander Hybrid they make, and at a good profit.

    • See 2 previous

      Toyota Estima (or Previa) has had a hybrid version since 2001. If you want a larger minivan then Toyota sells the Alphard as a hybrid.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Oct 07, 2014

    Nobody is going to mention how rock-solid Sergio's time frames for new models are?

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Oct 07, 2014

      Yah! Like when the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokees came out in March 2013. Or that the 2016 Grand Cherokees are coming out in March 2015. Hey! Whatever sells 'm!

  • AlfaRomasochist AlfaRomasochist on Oct 08, 2014

    This ... could actually work for us. I'm intrigued.