Minivans of the Future Appear in Detroit


Two very different visions of the future of the minivan made are on display at the 2012 North American International Auto show.

The Nissan e-NV200 combines the battery-powered drivetrain of the Nissan Leaf with the platform of the company’s small conventional van that will be serving as New York City’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” starting in 2013.

Click here for a full review of the Nissan Leaf.

With a front end and interior designed to resemble the ones on the Leaf, the e-NV200 promises a similar range of 73 miles per charge, but with substantially more passenger and cargo room than the compact car can offer. Although the vehicle is not yet set for production, Nissan says it has already undergone real world testing by mail carriers in Japan and is currently being used by FedEx.

On the other hand, the Chrysler 700C is literally more about style than substance. The two-tone people carrier is displayed on the automaker’s stand to gauge the public’s reaction to this take of what the next Town and Country could look like. Festooned with flowing lines, bulging rear fenders and – coincidentally – almost leaf-shaped side windows, if nothing else the 700C is a far cry from today’s offering.

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Of the pair, the 700C is the important one, as Chrysler has announced it is killing the Town and Country’s sister car, the Dodge Grand Caravan, in 2013, leaving the next generation of the company’s best-selling mom-mobile to carry the minivan mantle into the future.

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