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LOWER-PRICED LUXURY MINIVAN TO DEBUT FOR 2000

Chrysler hopes to extend the range of its Town & Country minivan this fall by adding an LX trim in both front- and all-wheel-drive packages.

These two models will join the Town & Country LXi in front-wheel-drive and the Town & Country Limited in front- and all-wheel drive.

The existing models are already priced well in excess of $40,000, and it's likely that the LX might be placed below $40,000 to make it more appealing. To get the model down to that kind of price range, Chrysler Canada will make optional a bunch of stuff that's standard in the other models.

So the LX front-drive model will get the 3.3-litre OVC V-6, an engine that was not available in the Town & Country before. It produces 158 horsepower at 4850 and 203 pound-feet of torque at 3250 rpm.

The LX AWD will get the 3.8-litre V-6 that uses 180 horsepower at 4300 rpm and 240 pound-feet of torque at 3100 rpm to drive the other models.

All Town & Country models will get the 4-speed automatic transmission.

Other features that are standard in LXi and Limited that become optional in LX includes the rear heater/air conditioner, a security alarm, 16-inch wheels, a stereo with a CD player, and leather seats.