AUBURN HILLS, Mich., July 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
- Altair Enlighten Award auto industry's only honor to mark engineering achievements in weight-savings
- All-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan nearly 250 pounds lighter than model it replaced
- More than half of Pacifica's weight-savings from innovative body structure – advancements that also contribute to superior crashworthiness
- Weight-conscious design further contributes to all-new Pacifica's class-leading highway fuel-economy rating
- Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid have garnered more than 50 awards
FCA US LLC's 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan has won the full-vehicle category in the fifth annual Altair Enlighten Awards for innovation in automotive lightweighting.
Engineers blended high-strength steels, aluminum and magnesium to craft a body structure that is 168 pounds lighter than that of the minivan model it replaced in FCA US showrooms. The total vehicle weight differential is nearly 250 pounds.
"The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is a testament to our team's engineering capability," said Phil Jansen, Head of Product Development – FCA North America. "It's not only lighter than the vehicle it replaced; it's longer, wider and more efficient. The Pacifica has also earned superior safety ratings and widespread media acclaim. We are proud to add the Altair Enlighten Award to its list of team achievements."
Weight reduction is a key contributor to improved fuel economy. In highway driving, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica earns a best-in-class rating of 28 miles per gallon (mpg) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Its combined city/highway rating of 22-mpg is unsurpassed in the minivan segment, while the all-new vehicle's unique construction also benefits the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.
With an EPA rating of 84 miles-per-gallon-equivalent (MPGe), the Pacifica's electrified twin rewrote the record books as the industry's most efficient minivan of all time.
Against this backdrop, the Pacifica – which is longer and wider and seats one additional occupant, compared with its predecessor – earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, along with a five-star crash rating from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Among the innovative aspects of the new Pacifica's design is its tailor-welded-blank door structure, which utilizes ultra high-strength hot-stamped steel, and its hydroformed loadbeams, also made from ultra high-strength steel. These and other advances enhance crashworthiness and contribute to torsional stiffness that is 88 percent greater than that of the vehicle it replaces.
In addition, the all-new Pacifica minivan also makes strategic use of aluminum. Its hood and sliding doors are made of the lightweight material.
Further, the Pacifica's liftgate comprises an aluminum outer panel bonded to a cast-magnesium inner panel – one of the largest cast-magnesium automotive components in high-volume production. The combination of the two materials contribute to weight savings of 18.5 pounds per vehicle.
With today's presentation of the Altair Enlighten Award at CAR's Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid have received a combined total of more than 50 honors, including North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.
Founded in 1985, Altair is focused on the development and application of simulation technology to synthesize and optimize designs, processes and decisions for improved business performance. Privately held with more than 2,600 employees, Altair is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, USA with more than 67 offices throughout 23 countries, and serves more than 5,000 corporate clients across broad industry segments. To learn more, please visit www.altair.com.
The Center for Automotive Research is a non-profit organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Its mission is to conduct research on significant issues related to the future direction of the global automotive industry, organize and conduct forums of value to the automotive community and foster industry relationships. For more information, visit the CAR website: www.cargroup.org.
About Chrysler Brand
The Chrysler brand has delighted customers with distinctive designs, craftsmanship, intuitive innovation and technology all at an extraordinary value since the company was founded in 1925.
Whether it is the family-room-on-wheels functionality of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan, the groundbreaking, bold design of the Chrysler 300, or the simple elegance and extraordinary driving experience of the Chrysler 200, Chrysler brand vehicles reward the passion, creativity and sense of accomplishment of its owners. Beyond just exceptionally designed vehicles, the Chrysler brand has incorporated thoughtful features into all of its products, such as the innovative center console with pass through storage and sliding cup holders in the Chrysler 200, the industry-exclusive Stow 'n Go seating and storage system on the Chrysler Pacifica and the fuel-saving Fuel Saver Technology in the Chrysler 300.
The Chrysler brand's succession of innovative product introductions continues to solidify the brand's standing as the leader in design, engineering and value. The premium for the Chrysler brand is in the product, not the price.
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SOURCE FCA US LLC