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E-Evo coming to replace LX, RT?

by David Zatz on

Analyst Dan Minick wrote that he believes Fiat has Chrysler working on a new E-Evo platform which would allow for the integration of large cars, minivans, and large crossovers, similar to the C-Evo/CUSW platform which is able to spawn a large number of C and D sized cars and crossovers. The E-Evo would encompass both LX and minivans, allowing for much more flexible manufacturing, with Windsor and Bramalea able to make the same models at the same time. With this in place, if there was sudden demand for minivans while large cars slackened, Chrysler would be ready to answer.

chrysler LHS

The change would also allow Chrysler to compete once more in the large-front-wheel-drive market, which was abandoned when Daimler redesigned the LX models to be rear wheel drive (and AWD) only. When high performance is not an issue, many consider typical front wheel drive strengths to include lighter weight, more usable interior space, and better snow traction. Using a more flexible platform would allow Chrysler to make both front and rear wheel drive large cars. While the original LH platform allowed this flexibility, it was never used.

car review

The creation of a new platform would also ease the creation of a full-sized Pacifica-type crossover, pushing the minivan to a single brand in North America instead of the two it currently occupies (down from three). Conceivably, a large light pickup with relatively limited capacity could also be produced, if gas prices rose to the point where more pickup buyers with low towing and hauling weights would consider trading off unused or rarely used capacity for economy.

minivan side

Development of E-Evo is most likely being led by Chrysler engineers with Fiat SpA involvement, and is likely to be on the new NX software. Replacing the current Lx and RT platforms with a common new platform would also avoid some software transition issues.

The use of a new platform and architecture for both large cars and minivans would resolve numerous small rumors, including large front wheel drive cars and a “minivan-based pickup” (so rather than being based on a minivan chassis, as rumored, it would be based on the same chassis as a new minivan — and might even precede the new van).

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