The fully-electric Chrysler Portal minivan concept that Fiat Chrysler unveiled at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show will enter production in 2020, according to Automotive News. Late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne indicated at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit that while the Dodge Grand Caravan would soon go away, its replacement would be “a Caravan-like vehicle.”
“I need another minivan,” Marchionne told reporters. “It’s going to be inline with the Pacifica architecture.”
The Chrysler Portal minivan concept was designed after an in-depth study of Millennials’ automotive preferences. FCA found that those born between 1982 and 2001 want vehicles that are flexible and socially responsible, and pack plenty of advanced technology. The result was a battery-electric people-mover with up to 250 miles of range from a 100-kWh battery pack, and a single electric motor driving the front wheels. Just as important, the concept featured SAE Level-3 autonomous operation, meaning that thanks to an array of cameras, RADAR, and LiDAR sensors, it could theoretically drive itself for short jots, provided that conditions were right.
It’s unknown how much of that content might make it to a production Chrysler Portal minivan, nor whether the production version will have the concept’s same unusual styling, but it’s worth noting that both powertrain electrification and autonomy have become focal points for FCA. At its 2018 Capital Markets Day presentation in June, Fiat Chrysler shared its plans to invest some $10.5 billion into electrification over the next five years, and to leverage its partnership with Waymo in order to bring a fully-autonomous vehicle to market by 2023. The automaker has even partnered with BMW to co-develop a Level-3 autonomous driving system.
The 2021 Chrysler Portal minivan is expected to ride on the same platform as the Pacifica, with production most likely taking place at FCA’s Windsor Assembly Plant.