Marchionne: AWD Minivan Will Lose Stow 'N Go or Gain Electric Motor

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

Move over, Toyota. You won’t be the only automaker hocking an all-wheel drive minivan when the new Town & Country arrives next year.

According to Sergio Marchionne, the next minivan will get all-wheel drive, but something’s gotta give.

Packaging constraints as they are, and the Town & Country’s features as they are, the next generation minivan can only bring all-wheel drive to fruition in one of two ways: ditch Stow ‘N Go to free up space under the passenger floor or implement a hybrid system with an electric motor driving the rear wheels. “It’s not that complicated. We’re exploring both,” said Marchionne, Automotive News reports.

Considering the popularity of Stow ‘N Go for Chrysler’s minivan twins, the latter option seems most likely, and it isn’t without precedent.

Starting with the second-generation Cube in Japan, Nissan offered a system called “e4WD” that sent power to the electrically-driven rear wheels when the front wheels slipped. It also eliminated the need for a center coupling and reduced parasitic loss typically associated with mechanical all-wheel drive systems.

The new Chrysler minivan will debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in January before heading off to dealers later the same year as a 2017 model.

[h/t AutoGuide]

Mark Stevenson
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4 of 22 comments
  • MattPete MattPete on May 21, 2015

    Stow-and-go sucks. For the record, my wife went for a Honda Odyssey because of the 3-across seating in the second row. I thought the T&C was a better drive. Why does S&G suck? Well, if you have kids who need child seats, you'll never use it. Beyond that, I found the S&G seats to be thin, and the headroom lacking. I kept thinking that lowering the seat into the S&G underfloor area would have yielded more headroom and seats with more padding. S&G sounds cool, but there are too many trade-offs. Jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none.

  • Curt in WPG Curt in WPG on May 22, 2015

    I love the Stow-n-go on my Dodge and would be PO'd if they dropped that feature. Even when we don't have the seats folded down the bins under the floor are useful for storage. Not having to remove seats is a big plus, especially if you need to reconfigure on the fly when hauling a longer item. I have 2 kids and moving the seats was never a problem before, very easy not they're just using the normal vehicle seatbelts. I really don't get the need to AWD on a van. I drive in a city that has winter from November to April some years - heck we had 5 cm last weekend (the other months are just bad snowmobiling) and with a good set of winter tires - not all season, not all weather - winter tires have never had any problems. Always makes me shake my head when people think they need a Yukon 4x4 for 3 days of snow a year. As long as I can still get a FWD van with S&G I'll be happy.

  • Fabriced28 Fabriced28 on May 22, 2015

    Electric all wheel drive exists for some years as the hybrid system on PSA cars: Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4, Peugeot 508 RXH, Citroën DS5 Hybrid4. It seems not to be a cause for concern. I don't see how you could do it without a battery pack, even if it's a small one.

  • Dtremit Dtremit on May 27, 2015

    I don't think they're debating ditching Stow 'n Go for all minivans, just the AWD equipped ones. There were patent drawings for next-gen seats circulating months back.