When Chrysler announced that the upcoming 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Launch Edition would get all-wheel drive, not only was it a surprise considering that the 2021 version was just around the corner, but also an example to just how popular the outgoing Pacifica was with family buyers. The Launch Edition has now made its way to dealer order books, and it aims to bring all-wheel drive capability at a value focused price.
The odd thing that buyers might notice is that the Launch Edition uses the exterior styling of the outgoing model versus the 2021 Pacifica for its visual presentation. FCA’s head of passenger cars in North American Tim Kuniskis revealed that they chose to do this based on the strong popularity still enjoyed by the current generation Pacifica stating “Reaction was overwhelmingly positive when we announced that the new 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will offer AWD capability. We know there is demand for AWD capability along with Stow ‘n Go seating, and the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica AWD Launch Edition allows us to get our customers the all-weather capability they want even sooner,”
The Launch Edition uses the Touring L model as a base, with the S Appearance Black Noise package thrown in for a more potent styling statement. It rides on bigger 18-inch wheels that features a dual spoke design as well as a black finish. Michelin Premier self sealing tires are wrapped around these stylish hoops and help provide extra confidence in the even that they are punctured by a nail or other sharp object. Meanwhile, the interior features black Mickinley leather seats and contrasting Light Diesel Grey stitching. Brushed metal trim is also splashed throughout the cabin, and customers can add optional extras such as navigation and a massive tri-pane panoramic sunroof. Ultimately though, the spotlight is on the Pacifica’s all new all-wheel drive system which can send 100 percent of its power to the rear wheels if needed. When the extra traction is not needed, it can also disconnect itself in a bid to improve fuel economy. In addition to the fore-mentioned disconnect feature, the all-wheel drive system also uses some interesting parameters to turn itself on or off. This includes things such as how cold the exterior temperature is, the use of the windshield wipers, as well as how rough the road conditions are.
Pricing for the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Launch Edition will start at $40,240 with deliveries expected to begin in the third quarter. As for the 2021 Pacifica, that model will also be arriving in dealerships soon, but it will appear closer to the fourth quarter of 2020. In the meantime, the 2020 Launch Edition will serve as an opportunity to see how the all-wheel drive system works in the Pacifica out in the real world, and look for FCA to use some of the lessons learned in this application to fine tune it for the 2021 Pacifica.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.