Years ago, Volkswagen made a top of the line car, the Phaeton, and a crossover, the Touareg. When I reviewed them back to back, I realized they were essentially the same — same powertrains, same chassis, same interior — except that one was a tall wagon and one was a sedan.

For years, there have been rumors that Chrysler was considering a large front wheel drive sedan to replace the current Chrysler 300 — something along the lines of the Concorde, 300M, and LHS. With the new Chrysler Pacifica being praised for its interior (which shares quite a bit with the 200) and handling, it seemed like an answer to the question of how to differentiate Dodge and Chrysler.

The Charger and 300 are quite similar in most ways; but making Dodge all rear wheel drive, while keeping Chrysler front wheel drive, would differentiate the divisions and allow both to grow without confusion.

Sergio Marchionne today called the Pacifica’s architecture flexible enough that the plant could build the next-generation Chrysler 300. He said “that’s not a commitment,” but engineering would have to be under way at least sometime this year to make a 300 out of shared-with-Charger, shared-with-Maserati, or shared-with-Pacifica ingredients.

A front/all wheel drive Chrysler 300, with a PHEV variant and more interior room than the current model, is indeed possible — as the rumors have claimed for years.