Chrysler to build hybrid minivan?

Chrysler's first production hybrids will go on sale in September in the shape of the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen Two-modes. However, as GM has learned this spring, even having the most advanced hybrid powertrain on the market may not be enough to save the full-size SUV. So Chrysler like other manufacturers is also developing other hybrid models. Aside from the the big Ram pickups which inherit the Durango setup in 2010, Chrysler hasn't said which vehicles will get a hybrid option, other than that all options are being examined. One vehicle that would seem to be ripe for a two-mode hybrid application is the Grand Caravan/Town & Country minivans. For the trucks GM will supplying Chrysler with hybrid transmissions. Later this fall, GM is launching a Two-Mode hybrid version of the Saturn Vue with a transaxle version of the system. It is not inconcievable that GM could supply the same front wheel drive hybrid transmission to Chrysler for the minivans. The hybrid system and battery could be fairly easily packaged in the van. Since many vans are used to shuttle kids around town to various events, a hybrid option might work well in such a vehicle. It could also make the minivans a very viable platform for use as cab in places like New York that are mandating hybrid taxis in coming years.

[Source: Windsor Star]

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