The Unboring Minivan? 2017 Chrysler Town & Country Comes Into Clearer Focus

Chrysler 700C concept

A fresh report from Automotive News has gathered many previous details on the 2017 Chrysler Town & Country and added some new tidbits to provide the clearest, most concise picture yet of the next-generation family hauler.

The industry paper expects the van to take styling cues from the 200-esque 700C concept, pictured above, which quietly debuted at the 2012 Detroit auto show with absolutely none of the typical PR offensive. If the new T&C does indeed look anything like the 700C, it would bring a radical look to a segment in which the Honda Odyssey’s “lightning-bolt” window line counts as outrageous.

Among the new bits: The T&C will receive hands-free, foot-operated side doors in addition to its liftgate (all falling under Open ’n’ Go branding); all three rows will offer USB ports for recharging; and Chrysler plans to add an onboard vacuum cleaner like that of the Odyssey. Offering lots of goodies will ensure the Town & Country is well-equipped to battle the Odyssey and Toyota Sienna when it becomes the only minivan in Fiat-Chrysler’s stable once the Dodge Grand Caravan—the van itself, not the nameplate—is discontinued after 2017.

Automotive News also re-asserts details we’ve heard before, such as the electric-motor-based all-wheel-drive system, the plug-in-hybrid variant that’s due by the end of 2016, and the new direct-injected V-6/nine-speed automatic combo that’s expected to dramatically increase fuel economy. The new minivan, AN says, will enter production next February in Windsor, Ontario, and we already know it will start at around $26,000. Expect to first see it at this fall’s L.A. auto show or in January at the Detroit show.

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