The editors at WardsAuto have named the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and its new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 hybrid propulsion system to the Wards 10 Best Engines list for 2017.
This unique powertrain allows the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid achieve a total driving range of 566 miles, while also providing an electric only range of 33 miles while returning combined fuel economy of 84 MPGe.
“We were wowed by the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid’s seamless operation,” says WardsAuto Senior Content Director Drew Winter. “The eFlite transmission shifts between pure electric mode and a combination of electric and gasoline engine propulsion without a hiccup.”
eFlite, the Pacifica Hybrid’s distinguishing electrically variable transmission, is an in-house FCA US innovation. It was developed by a team of engineers assigned exclusively to the task of delivering a high-efficiency powertrain within the functionality envelope customers expect from minivans.
Conventional electrification schemes dedicate one motor to serve as a generator and a second motor, usually much larger, to deliver torque to the wheels. The new eFlite system uses a one-way clutch that enables the motor typically used only as a generator to also deliver torque to the wheels, depending on driving conditions.
The result is increased efficiency, refinement and improved component packaging.
The Pacifica Hybrid’s 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located under the second-row floor, keeping the rear cargo area as roomy as ever and preserving the third-row Stow ‘n Go seating and storage, plus room for seven passengers. Recharging can take as little as two hours using an optional 240-volt (Level 2) charger, available from Mopar through dealers.
With a 120-volt (Level 1) charger, which comes standard with the vehicle, the Pacifica Hybrid can be fully recharged in approximately 14 hours. The vehicle’s battery also benefits from charging by regenerative braking.
When the battery’s energy is depleted to a certain threshold, the Pacifica Hybrid becomes a part-time electric vehicle, like a conventional hybrid, to maximize energy and efficiency. Power to the wheels is supplied by the electric drive system or supplemented by a specially adapted new version of the award-winning gasoline-powered Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6.
The EPA last month gave the all-new minivan a rating of 10 in its Green Vehicle Guide. The score relates to a vehicle’s combined performance on fuel economy and greenhouse-gas emissions.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles earned a spot on Wards 10 Best Engines list for the seventh consecutive year.