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Pacifica’s rings of silence

by David Zatz on

Reviewers have commented on the quiet interior of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans, and have praised its combination of ride and handling.  According to FCA US engineer Jeff Tibbenham, it’s a matter of rings.

torsion rings - 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

As the engineer in charge of body structure, Mr. Tibbenham said that deflection — the twisting of the car body by rough roads — leads to squeaks and rattles, which have a major impact on owner satisfaction. To fix that, Chrysler placed five reinforcement rings around the Pacifica (see the illustration).

“These rings work together to minimize the effects of deflection caused by uneven roads,” said Mr. Tibbenahm at a recent conference.  The added torsional stiffness also helps in cornering.

The market seems to be responding; the Pacifica commands higher transaction prices than the outgoing Town & Country did, and has shot up to the #2 sales spot though supplies of the new minivan may still be limited in some areas, and the “base model” slot is handled by the Dodge Caravan.

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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