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Minivan mules and reality (updated)

by David Zatz on

2016 Chrysler minivan

Several publications have now posted spy shots of the next-generation Chrysler minivans, with some alleging that the styling cues indicate a new Dodge Caravan, but one Allpar source says these should not be taken too seriously.

“The current mule pics Car & Driver have show a 200 front fascia and a Durango rear fascia. That is not the true shape, which is still in the early stages. There are plenty of mules driving around, but no true pilots for a few more months yet.”

Another source recently said, “The next generation minivans that we have been seeing all have Durango fasicas — taillights, dashboards, and steering wheels at the minimum.”

The minivans were originally projected to be entering production around January 2015, and the Windsor plant is still scheduled to be closed late this year and back in service in early 2015. Allpar expects the sole new minivan to be the 2016 Chrysler Town & Country, with the current Dodge Caravan remaining in service for a year or two until its crossover-style replacement is ready, based on leaks from the CTC.

Some have suggested dubbing the new minivans Voyager, with the upper models named Voyager Town & Country (as a trim level), to maintain the higher-end nature of the Town & Country name; however, that function would also be accomplished partly by keeping the RT Caravan around, at least for the first year or two.

The new minivans, according to Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne, will have an independent front and rear suspension, an AWD option, and, possibly, a late-production hybrid powerplant.

For more renderings, projections, and patent information, see our 2016 Chrysler Town & Country page.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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