Chrysler hasn’t given up on the idea of reinventing the minivan

Article by Christian A., on February 16, 2012

The 700C Concept that Chrysler presented at the recently held Detroit Auto Show was polarizing and controversial but the automaker has no plans to stop attempting to reinvent the minivan. Ralph Gilles, Chrysler Group's design chief, said that how consumers and the media responded to the 700C is similar to how the internal company talks went.

He asserted that 60% of the members of the public that they interviewed about the 700C is positive. However, if the 700C did become a production model, there would still be a group of people who wouldn’t want to drive the vehicle.

Gilles said that about 20% would be puzzled about the vehicle and would remark, “What are you doing?'" and that the rest would be praising them “for taking the experiment live." The 700C is quite the opposite of the Town & Country's boxlike design. The 700C's styling has often been referred to as swoopy.

The concept’s styling features a hood that is painted black, a radical-looking B-pillar that slopes to the rear and elongated leaf-shaped side windows. Gilles didn’t confirm if the 700C concept would be the basis of the next Town & Country. He said that Chrysler has been tracking the online public’s response to the vehicle.

Chrysler Group chief executive Sergio Marchionne said that a new type of minivan will be defined by the next-generation Town & Country. This model is slated to arrive in 2013 or 2014.

Under the 2011 model year of the Town & Country minivan, Chrysler revealed that it would have an exterior whose design was both elegant and smooth. It will be the first model to come from the brand that will carry Chrysler’s winged badge. On the front, there is a new hood including a new fascia and grille. The latter two take inspiration from the new 300 and will be used on all the new models that will have the Chrysler brand. Completing the changes on the front section are the projector-style fog lamps which set a rather high bar in terms of excellence.

Going to the rear section, the liftgate has a contoured back glass. On the rear as well are the fascia, liftgate that has the bright stripe, and the spoiler in the same color as the body. There is even a light bat and new taillamps that use LEDs. Looking at the side, there is a chrome molding that goes across the whole length and links the molding of the bodyside to the entire vehicle.

If the exterior is excellent, the interior is just as amazing as not only is it crafted beautifully but it also makes use of high-quality materials that have a soft feel. In addition to having innovative entertainment features, the 2011 Town & Country minivan also offers smart storage. There are even seating options offered like the Stow 'n Go seating that allows for a one-touch fold-down. A good suite of technologies inside this new offering is the Uconnect which not only allows touchscreen but has voice command as well.

These allow for easy management of the different media sources, various outputs, and even the handsfree phone and navigation. For those who want to ensure connectivity, Uconnect Web is offering as an option and transforms the model to a hot spot. Occupants of this minivan can thus have access to the web and go on social media or check email, among many others. Other features that prove the 2011 Town & Country is indeed a family vehicle are the Dual DVD entertainment system and the SIRIUS Travel Link, satellite radio, and Backseat TV.

With safety one of the many concerns that customers have, the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country has no shortage of it as there are at least 40 systems, related to security and safety, that are fitted as standard. Thus both driver and passengers get peace of mind whether it’s a short drive within the city or a long journey for a weekend vacation.

Standard safety systems include the Rear Cross Path detection, Blind-spot Monitoring, ParkView rear backup camera, ParkSense rear park assist system, and Brake Assist. There iare also the windshield wipers that are rain-sensitive, all-speed traction control, and electronic stability control.

On the inside, air bags are equipped as standard and these are mounted on the front seat, with an inflatable knee blocker version on the driver side. All of the three rows have side-curtain airbags with the driver and the passenger in the front fitted with advanced multistage air bags.

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Topics: chrysler, minivan

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