Chrysler minivan disappearing seat innovation a top-secret mission for engineers, uses NASA foam..

Analog

Lifer
Jan 7, 2002
12,755
1
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Feldmaier had heard about a super-foam material used by NASA on space shuttles. It was supposed to be extremely durable and comfortable enough for the astronauts to sit on for weeks at a time. American butts needed that foam.

Chrysler bought it. Feldmaier tried three kinds of NASA foam before he chose one that still was comfortable after three hours.

The NASA connection seemed to fit the national security feel of the entire project. Those involved were instructed not to tell their families or friends why they were working 15-hour days.

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Kelemvor

Lifer
May 23, 2002
16,930
7
81
That's a neat story. However any time I hear NASA these days, it's usually like, OK, what crap are you selling.

The TemperPedic mattress es that say how many times in their commercial that the technology was "Originally developed by Nasa"

And I thnk thsoe stupid hovering saucer things say NASA in their commercial somewhere too.

Ah well, guess we'll see when they hit the streets.

 

GreenGhost

Golden Member
Oct 11, 1999
1,272
1
81
The "Space Age" is already over, but to many that implies the best technology available, esp. w.r.t. materials. I personally think any modern cell phone beats most NASA tech stuff, but that's too mundane.
 

GreenGhost

Golden Member
Oct 11, 1999
1,272
1
81
The demo is really pretty cool. I noticed in a friend's mid-90's minivan how much waste there is. The seats are very tall and look more like park benches. The front seats are real lazy-boys.
 

brtspears2

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2000
8,659
1
81
Looks neat. If you just leave the seats up, you get storage bins. Seats down, totally flat like a truck.

Now I remember those Ford Freestar commercials with that rear bin trunk.
 

Homerboy

Lifer
Mar 1, 2000
30,275
4,220
126
freaking GENIUS! This a huge selling feature for me in a minivan (buying soon)
Now if MOPAR could just build a good engine...
 

Freejack2

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2000
7,751
8
81
Well this should make Chrysler king of the minivans again. Though, do people even buy minivans these days? I thought everyone who bought minivans buys an SUV instead these days.
 

Pastfinder

Platinum Member
Jul 2, 2000
2,352
0
0
Damn, now that is cool. My parents own a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan, and those seats do bother your rear after some hours.
 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
24,510
13
81
Originally posted by: redly1
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
I can see it now: "Chrysler, we copy Honda!"

ZV
Considering Honda copied Chrysler first, I'd call that a moot point
Exactly how? By producing a minivan? Sorry, but vehicle type distinctions don't count. Otherwise everyone is just copying Henry Ford (or Daimler, depending on how loosely one defines a car). And besides, Ford came up with the idea for a minivan in the 1960's, Iococca saw it, and copied it when he went to Chrysler later.

I was refering to the "innovative" seat design, which Honda already has.

ZV
 

digitalsm

Diamond Member
Jul 11, 2003
5,253
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Originally posted by: GreenGhost
The "Space Age" is already over, but to many that implies the best technology available, esp. w.r.t. materials. I personally think any modern cell phone beats most NASA tech stuff, but that's too mundane.
NASA is leading the way in nanotechnology...
 

WinkOsmosis

Banned
Sep 18, 2002
13,990
0
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I don't understand minivans. Why do they only put two seats in the middle and front rows? That's a huge waste to have a huge vehicle that only seats 7, while my dad's Crown Vic and old Taurus can seat 6.
 

TheToOTaLL

Platinum Member
Oct 7, 2001
2,246
2
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Originally posted by: digitalsm

Originally posted by: GreenGhost
The "Space Age" is already over, but to many that implies the best technology available, esp. w.r.t. materials. I personally think any modern cell phone beats most NASA tech stuff, but that's too mundane.
NASA is leading the way in nanotechnology...
Pics? ;)
 

thedarkwolf

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 1999
8,980
94
91
Originally posted by: Homerboy
freaking GENIUS! This a huge selling feature for me in a minivan (buying soon)
Now if MOPAR could just build a good engine...

Their engines are fine. The trans was the weak spot and I haven't heard any problems with those in awhile.
 

EyeMWing

Banned
Jun 13, 2003
15,670
1
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Originally posted by: Homerboy
freaking GENIUS! This a huge selling feature for me in a minivan (buying soon)
Now if MOPAR could just build a good engine...
They had one once - but they didn't build it. 4Cyl Mitsu turbo, heart of the Turbovan and Turbododge.

(That's late 80's, early 90's when cars were still built to last more than 4 years. I have a 1989 Turbovan - I somehow doubt that in 2020, we'll see any model year 2004 minivans riding around)
 

Homerboy

Lifer
Mar 1, 2000
30,275
4,220
126
Originally posted by: WinkOsmosis
I don't understand minivans. Why do they only put two seats in the middle and front rows? That's a huge waste to have a huge vehicle that only seats 7, while my dad's Crown Vic and old Taurus can seat 6.
Designed for haulign kids... and kids crap. You ever go anywhere with a little kid? or 2? or 3? All the crap you need for em takes up space, and you gotta walk to the back to buckle them in, or get a toy or whatever.

Oh and for Soccer Moms to shop all day. Gotta have a place to put all those bags :)
 

PlatinumGold

Lifer
Aug 11, 2000
23,168
0
71
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: redly1
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
I can see it now: "Chrysler, we copy Honda!"

ZV
Considering Honda copied Chrysler first, I'd call that a moot point
Exactly how? By producing a minivan? Sorry, but vehicle type distinctions don't count. Otherwise everyone is just copying Henry Ford (or Daimler, depending on how loosely one defines a car). And besides, Ford came up with the idea for a minivan in the 1960's, Iococca saw it, and copied it when he went to Chrysler later.

I was refering to the "innovative" seat design, which Honda already has.

ZV
no, toyota and Ford copied honda. Chryslers is loosely based on Honda's, but you can't call that copying.

they are entirely different. Honda's floor is still much lower than chryslers BUT honda has almost NO clearence underneath.

chrysler has shortened the cabin if the pics i saw were at all accurate and they changed the angle of the seats. chryslers is much more innovative than hondas AND, the middle seats in the honda tumble FORWARD in the cabin whereas the middle seats in the chrysler tumble INTO the floor. not a small distinction.


 

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