Chrysler Town & Country prototype destined to bring EVs to the massesEnlarge Photo
The third and final production-intent electric prototype unveiled by Chrysler today is arguably the most important of the carmaker’s future electric vehicles as it is likely to be the highest seller of the trio. Designed around the more mainstream Town & Country minivan, the prototype showcases Chrysler's new ‘Range-Extended’ plug-in hybrid module in a front-wheel-drive application.
Like the Jeep Wrangler plug-in
revealed earlier, as well General Motors’ own Chevrolet Volt
, the Town & Country plug-in combines the drive components of a pure electric-vehicle with an integrated small-displacement petrol engine used to charge its lithium-ion batteries.
The prototype features a 255hp (190kW) electric motor with an instantaneous 258lb-ft (350Nm) of torque. This is enough to accelerate the vehicle from 0-60mph in around nine seconds. While not as impressive as the previous Dodge sports car
and Jeep Wrangler plug-in prototypes, the Town & Country model still promises a respectable 40 mile electric-only driving range, and a 400 mile range using just 30 liters of petrol for topping up the batteries between charges.
Front-wheel-drive applications such as in the Town & Country prototype make the most sense for electric vehicles as this configuration is usually more efficient than rear and all-wheel-drive designs. Not surprisinly, Chrysler is planning to develop other front-wheel-drive electric vehicles but no other details have been released yet.
2008 Dodge EV Lotus-based electric sports car
2008 Jeep EV electric SUV concept
2008 Chrysler Town and Country EV concept