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Next large car platform on its way

by David Zatz on

2014 Imperial

Chrysler is currently working on the next generation large car platform (the “E” class, according to European standards), which will reportedly encompass not only today’s rear wheel drive cars, but also front wheel drive and crossovers, possibly even integrating minivans. The goal would be to allow Chrysler to make the next-generation Durango, minivan, 300C, Charger, Challenger-or-Barracuda, Lancia Thema, and perhaps other vehicles in the same factories, interchangeably.

Front wheel drive is likely to re-appear in the large car line, allowing Chrysler to play against both the Avalon/Impala/Taurus crowd and the Mercedes/Caprice group; while rear wheel drive is better for high-end performance, a large number of buyers would prefer added space and fuel efficiency, which is easier to arrange with front wheel drive. The original LH platform was designed with the idea of having rear wheel drive added if needed, and the next-generation E platform will apparently finally make good on the promise, over 20 years later.

Pushing minivans and crossovers or SUVs into the mix would provide Chrysler and Fiat with more flexibility, especially since Maserati is to share the Grand Cherokee chassis and Lancia already shares the 300C.

The rendering above was done by JackRatchett, based on the 700C concept car, and shows a 300C Imperial, named in the current trend of mixing and matching. (See our upcoming vehicles page.)

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