The next-generation Chrysler 300 may ditch its rear-wheel drive heritage in favour of a front- and all-wheel drive platform.
Earlier this week, Fiat Chrysler (FCA) chairman Sergio Marchionne met with workers at the company’s factory in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, to thank them for their efforts in getting the Chrysler Pacifica people mover into production.
Marchionne told the media, “This plant and this architecture is capable of making the 300 successor, the front-wheel, all-wheel drive successor”.
When pressed if that meant that the next-generation 300 would be based on the Pacifica’s platform, Marchionne denied that that was what he meant. The outspoken CEO clarified that “it’s not a commitment”, but rather a statement that the Windsor plant was “capable” of making such as a sedan.
The current- and previous-generation Chrysler 300, and the Dodge Charger and Challenger, utilise versions of the company’s LX platform. The LX architecture dates back to the DaimlerChrysler era, and incorporates many components from the ‘W211’ Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which was in production from 2002 to 2009.
Reports have indicated that replacements for Chrysler 300 and its siblings have been delayed until 2019 or even later. Earlier rumours had suggested that the Dodge Charger and Dodge Barracuda would be replaced by vehicles based on a new rear-wheel drive architecture based on the one that underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulia and the upcoming Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV.
The new Chrysler Pacifica people mover will eventually replace the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, and the export-only Chrysler Voyager. Unlike the earlier minivans, though, the Pacifica is strictly a left-hand drive proposition for the moment.
Note: The current-generation Chrysler 300 is pictured in this article.