Chrysler Group has patented an enhancement to its Stow 'n Go seats for a future minivan that enables the seats to collapse using a smaller space. The patent drawing shows the Stow 'n Go seats folding below the floor as they do in the current design. The amended design is considered an improvement since drivers would not have to move the front-row seats fully forward just to stow the second-row seats.
The amended design also creates a flat floor with two pieces: one hinged to the floor while the other forms part of the seat back. The current design has one piece hinged to the floor covering the collapsed seat.
However, it is not clear whether the enhanced Stow 'n Go seat design will be employed in Chrysler’s upcoming replacement for the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans that are expected to arrive in 2015, or in a subsequent model.
Chrysler unveiled Stow 'n Go seats on 2005 model year minivans and upgraded it three years later by simplifying the seat folding process into a one-button operation. “Compared to the competition, our research shows that Stow ’n Go™ is clearly a superior seating solution in the minivan marketplace,” said George Murphy, Senior Vice President – Global Marketing, Chrysler Group. “There’s simply nothing else like it.” [source: Chrysler]