After spending 9 years and 80K miles on a Gilroy era Chief, I can weigh in on this one.
Indian actually did two things right with the 2002-2004 Chief. The engine was/is a beautiful looking design and well highlighted in the frame. The frame was an wonderful piece of work. It was sturdy (I know a rider who bounced off a mountain face and the frame wasn't tweaked.) and it was very well balanced. Not Vision balanced but easily X-bike balanced.
IMHO, the Indian community will quickly reject any attempts for Polaris to install a Freedom engine into an Indian. We'd accept the guts (heck, we did from the Evo) but visually it cannot even resemble a Freedom engine. I'm unsure if the engine/trans/primary combo would be accepted or the right-side drive.
As for the Indian/Victory relationship, I think we need to look at the history. HISTORICALLY, Indian is a premium brand. Polaris continues to say the price point will stay high for the brand. That said, the flagship will always be expensive, likely near 30K. They might develop a smaller bike, as eluded to in the article, but it won't be cheap either. I imagine a Scout (akin to the Vegas) for right at 20K.
In keeping the history in mind, both of Indian and Polaris' business practices, I fully expect the relationship to be one of Lexus to Toyota. Like it or not, it makes zero sense to compete with yourself in the business of making money. I see good things to continue for Victory and much better, near great things, for Indian. Face it, when the brand has been drug in the mud for the last 10 years, it can only go up.
Well, that is my .02. I accept change.