2011 Chrysler Town & Country Minivan Refreshed and Powered by New 283HP Pentastar V6

These are the first official photos of the 2011MY Chrysler Town & Country minivan that has been facelifted to entice more buyers away from the likes of the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna people carriers. Key changes include some subtle cosmetic tweaks on the outside, a refreshed interior boasting higher quality materials, improved driving dynamics and a new Pentastar V6 engine.

The updated Town & Country gets Chrysler's newly styled and smaller in size corporate grille along with redesigned front and rear bumpers, a resculptured hood, new tail lamps and a reworked tail gate featuring the firm's new badge and a chrome strip that runs the full width of the car.

Interior revisions include the newly designed instrument panel and steering wheel with integrated controls that allow the driver to operate the radio, cruise control, hands-free phone and other vehicle function, plus a new heating and cooling control system. Chrysler says it has also upgraded the cloth and leather seating materials and added new "soft touch" plastics on the door panels.

Under the hood, the biggest change for the 2011 model is the addition of the Chrysler Group's new Pentastar V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 3.6-liter unit produces 283HP and 260 lb.-ft. of torque achieving an estimated EPA fuel economy rating of 17mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

That's compared with the previous 197HP 3.3-liter and 230HP 3.8-liter and V6 units on the 2010MY Town & Country, which returned 17/24mpg and 16/23mpg respectively.

The automaker said that the 2011MY people carrier also benefits from improvements to the driving dynamics, a new fuel economizer mode that helps maximize fuel economy and reductions in noise, vibration and harshness plus equipment upgrades.

Built at the Windsor Assembly Plant, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Chrysler's revamped minivan will arrive in U.S. showrooms in the fourth quarter 2010.