Kim Kardashian

Remember the first time you saw a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica driving away from you and wondered, “What is it about that minivan that looks so familiar?” You weren’t imagining things. In fact, you were completely engaged in the process, just as Chrysler intended.

Thanks to engineers coming forward with admissions, we know why the Pacifica had a ring of pure recognition among testers: Its backside mimicked some of the most famous booties in the star world.

Kim Kardashian. Eva Mendes. Beyonce. All those lovely ladies who warbled acted, and selfie’d. According to sources, designers carefully studied their backsides utilizing high-tech software to create a Pacifica that would have drool appeal on a secondary, subconscious level.

Yes, all those curves were completely intended. And if they gave you a lift, you know why.


Using Stars to Sell Cars

The idea of using stars to peddle vehicles is as old as time itself. For more than a century, manufacturers have hooked up with the rich and famous to get people to invest in new wheels. However, what seems to be a novel idea is to use physical parts of the stars to achieve a particular “look” – and without having to pay those stars a thin dime.

Says Derrick “Der” E. Aire, a notable car aficionado with years of experience evaluating new automobile trends, “Chrysler has completely opened the door to a new way of seeing minivans.” The prolific author and much-requested podcast guest continues, “So often, we think of a hybrid minivan as the vehicle of the soccer mom, the matriarch of the family. By subtly introducing a sexuality into the back end, the minivan becomes attractive to the patriarch, too. Basically, neither mom nor dad must use persuasion to get a new vehicle: They both want this set of wheels for different reasons. It’s a brilliant strategy.”

An insider who asked to remain nameless due to her management position with a Chrysler dealership echoes Aire’s sentiments. “From the moment we unveiled the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica to the public in our showroom, the guys flocked to it. ‘Let me see that trunk space again,’ they kept saying. I can’t tell you how often we ended up opening and closing the tail of the minivan. It was like they were mesmerized. When we found out about the connection to the rear ends of famed butt-babes like Shakira, it all made perfect sense. Now, we don’t even wait until they ask to see inside. Opening the back is a part of our sales technique.”


The New Method of Designing Vehicles?

With this intriguing concept, and it’s obviously successful outcomes, what will happen among Chrysler’s competitors? That’s the question that we poised to Amp L. Buttz, who has spent years watching the evolution of car design.

Buttz believes that Chrysler has completely changed the rhythm of car creation, making wind tunnels less important than Hollywood gossip and glam. “It’s fascinating to watch how people respond to a vehicle that’s more Kylie Jenner than science-guy-who-developed-an-aerodynamic-back. Suddenly, people have a real connection to the vehicle, an attraction on a completely unexpected level. To think that competitors of Chrysler will turn away from this gold mine is ridiculous. They’ll excitedly take their turn.”

Yet this could easily lead to problems with proportioning and balance of minivans, Buttz cautions. As he notes, if designers and manufacturers tinker too far from the acceptable look and function of vehicles, they might find themselves in hot water – and not the kind that makes for a sultry, bubbly TMZ shot.

“The issue is one of being cognizant that we can’t turn minivans into the female body,” he asserts. “For instance, if we were to exaggerate a minivan to the proportions of Jennifer Lopez, we would lose the ability for families to safely ride anywhere. So everyone has to play it safe when it comes to not going overboard.”

At the same time, makers may discover that they don’t have to completely reinvent the look of a minivan. A few tweaks here and there, a lift in the backside, and the results might be the same. That’s what researchers at Boots University are studying.

A group of graduate program students have undertaken a research project they expect to release in mid- to late-2018. The project centers around how involved a visual change has to be in the trunk area of a vehicle to cause a human visceral reaction. They expect to work with more than 2,000 subjects of varying ages to determine who is most susceptible to, say, a Nicki Minaj inspired rear, and who isn’t in the least bit moved by junk in the trunk.

To date, they have only begun their wide-ranging study, but early findings suggest that Generation X and Millennials seem to be most moved to buy vehicles with human characteristics in the rear portion. Even females show an affinity toward hybrids like the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica instead of other minivans in the same class, regardless of make or model.

These initial discoveries will be fleshed out further by the Boots University grad students and may lead to a new wave of understanding the connection between vehicle buyers and design.


Does Performance Matter?

Of course, regardless of the look of a minivan’s rear, its overall performance must matter. Even if it has the most curvaceous, eye-catching boot, it’s unlikely to sell if it doesn’t have the records to back it up. That’s where the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica does an excellent job. Not only does it merge starlet cheeks with hybrid functionality, but it does it while earning high ratings.

At the end of the day, a minivan might not be much different than any performer. A singer can look as good as possible, but buttocks don’t sell out concerts. In other words, there has to be something firm beneath the appealing flesh.

The same is true of any minivan or other vehicle that attempts to woo buyers using cheeky motives. Sure, being the stunner on the block is great, but it’s not enough to win the battle in the showroom.


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