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The 2018 minivans’ killer app

by David Zatz on

Some time ago, pundits talked about a gadget’s “killer app” as being the division between success and failure. For the Mac, as one example, the original killer app was desktop publishing.  In the early days, the Mac was the #1 alternative to pricey typesetting setups, knives, and melted wax.

Chrysler’s minivan “killer app” has long been its stow-and-go seating, unique among vans, with seats that fold entirely into the floor and can convert a passenger van into a cargo van in minutes. The original vans had removable seats, as competitors do, but those are heavy and have to be hauled out and stored.

They tried, in 2008, to make a new “killer app” with tables and reversing chairs, but these did not last long; the public yawned, as they did with the overhead storage racks and dual videos.

For 2017, Chrysler will be hitting the ground running on several fronts. We expect a “foot wave” door opener, using the key fob for verification, using technology first used by Ford. A hybrid would likely also be a first, though Toyota still has time to race in with a hybrid Sienna; some expect Chrysler to boast either 80 miles of electric-only range or 80 MPGe.

Those who have seen the van seem happy with it. One commented,  “The front end style will be a hit. The side is good and the rear looks like a crossover.”  Another wrote, “The interior will make it a huge seller.”

We will find out next week.

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