Chicago Show 2011 Highlights: 2011 Dodge R/T Models

Mopar purists might cry foul, but Dodge continues to apply its famous R/T badge to lesser vehicles; the company just released information on the R/T versions of the Journey crossover and Grand Caravan minivan. The initials date back to the muscle-car era, of course, where they originally denoted high-performance machines from the house of Dodge. Both the Journey and Grand Caravan debuted today at the Chicago auto show and arrive in dealerships this spring.

The R/T is based on the Journey Crew and comes with that trim level’s 283-hp, 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6. This version of the crossover receives a retuned suspension and different tires that Dodge says make it more nimble than its brethren, which sounds to us like slapping Nikes on one koala bear and calling it more athletic than the rest. Visual punch comes from the addition of 19-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, and body-colored grille crosshairs. Inside, the treatment entails red-and-black cloth upholstery with power front seats, remote start, three-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever with red stitching, and Dodge’s Uconnect navigation system with satellite radio.

Starting at $28,995 in front-wheel-drive configuration or $30,695 with all-wheel drive, the Journey R/T is priced identically to the Crew model, making it the second-costliest version save for the high-zoot Journey Lux.

When Dodge first introduced its refreshed Grand Caravan, we were promised a sporty trim that was jokingly referred to as the “man van.” The official R/T moniker is more politically correct, but we still wish Man Van had been approved for production. Machismo comes courtesy of sportier suspension tuning, body-color exterior trim, and unique 17-inch wheels, and there’s an all-black interior with a nine-speaker, 506-watt sound system. Oh, and a subwoofer. Power is delivered by the 283-hp Pentastar V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic.

The black seats are upholstered in red-stitched and perforated leather, and the steering wheel and shift lever are wrapped in hide, too. The changes are kind of cool, but anyone hoping for more performance upgrades—like, dare we mention it, a manual gearbox—will be disappointed. The Man Van starts at $31,430, making it the most expensive Grand Caravan on sale today. The next most expensive, the Crew, runs $29,530.

Thanks to: Car and Driver


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