Report: Chrysler Town & Country to Add Open 'n Go Doors, 9-Speed Auto

New minivan should launch early next year.

One of the many updates for the new 2017 Chrysler Town & Country is the addition of an "Open 'n Go" feature for the liftgate and sliding doors. According to Automotive News, the new feature will allow minivan owners to open a door by waving their foot under it -- a feature employed by several other automakers to open trunks and liftgates.

The 2017 Chrysler Town & Country will also use a 9-speed automatic transmission with an updated version of its 3.6-liter V-6 engine, AN reports, which should significantly boost fuel economy compared to today's 6-speed automatic transmission. The new Town & Country is likely to debut at the 2016 Detroit auto show in January; Chrysler previously showed the minivan launching in early 2016 on its five-year plan slides.

AN reports that two electrified versions of the 2017 Chrysler Town & Country will be offered. An all-wheel-drive model will use an electric motor to power the rear wheels, while a full plug-in hybrid model will debut toward the end of 2016, as had also been confirmed earlier in Chrysler's product-planning slideshow.

Chrysler is also expected to launch a seven-passenger crossover in 2017 that will be based on the next Town & Country. Dodge, meanwhile, will kill off its version of the minivan, ending the Grand Caravan nameplate after several decades of production.

The current Chrysler Town & Country is shown.