Under the hood of the updated Grand Caravan is just one engine, the company’s new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, that makes a best-in-class 283-hp and 260 ft-lbs of torque. It replaced the old 3.3-liter, 3.8-liter and 4.0-liter helping Chrysler cut costs, while a new Fuel Economizer Mode lets drivers save on fuel.
Other upgrades include a 12 millimeter lower ride height and other adjustments to help reduce drag to improve fuel economy. Outside, the Grand Caravan gets Dodge’s new corporate “split crosshair” grille.
The biggest changes, however, might just be on the inside, with a new “super” center console and completely revised dash, with higher grade materials throughout. Plus, it’s the first minivan with a heated steering wheel option.
For 2011, the Grand Caravan will be offered in our trim levels: Express, Mainstreet, Crew and the “Man Van” R/T. (Targeted at dads, could R/T mean a a HEMI V8? We hope so, but doubt it).
The 2011 Grand Caravan will go on sale later this year.
GALLERY: 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan
Official release after the jump:
The Originator is Back With an All-new Attitude — The New 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan: New Heart, New Moves, New Soul
October 28, 2010 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Dodge continues its product onslaught with the reveal of the new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, a minivan with the driving dynamics of a performance sedan – and a little bit of attitude.
Dodge believes that just because a driver needs the versatility of a minivan doesn’t mean that the experience has to be boring. So engineers redesigned and retuned virtually every system in the new Grand Caravan’s suspension. That major suspension overhaul, combined with a new V-6 engine that delivers best-in-class horsepower, gives Grand Caravan drivers a dynamic driving experience that other minivans in the segment just don’t deliver. Get behind the wheel, and enjoy a driving experience once never thought possible in such a functional vehicle.
At the heart of the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan is an all-new powertrain. The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. This potent combination replaces all three of the previous minivan engines. Gone are the 3.3-liter, 3.8-liter and 4.0-liter V-6 engines, all replaced with one high-tech, high-performing and highly responsive motor that hits the sweet spot between power and efficiency.
With the Pentastar engine, the new Grand Caravan delivers best-in-class horsepower (283 hp compared with 197 hp in the previous 3.8-liter V-6 engine) and more torque (260 lb.-ft. versus 230 lb.-ft.) without sacrificing fuel economy. It features a new driver-selectable Fuel Economizer Mode. With the flip of a switch, drivers can change the transmission shift schedule to maximize their fuel efficiency. In addition, a 12 millimeter lower ride height, new premium, lower-rolling resistance tires, a new spoiler and reduced brake caliper and rear bearing drag all contribute to Dodge Grand Caravan’s excellent fuel economy.
Dodge has also redesigned the 2011 Grand Caravan to match its new attitude about driving. A new front fascia that sports the new Dodge signature “split crosshair” grille, a new hood, quad headlamps, all of which combine to give the face of the 2011 Grand Caravan a more aggressive look. A new, more sculpted rear fascia and liftgate, new rear “ring of fire” LED taillamps and new Dodge badging complete the look from front to back.
Owners will step inside to an all-new world-class interior for 2011. A modern, new one-piece instrument panel is more intuitive for the customer with improved ergonomics and larger, redesigned gauges. An available new “super” center console provides clever functionality and storage for the active commuter, as well easy driver/passenger access with a pass-through storage space for larger items, like a purse. Trim rings in the console glow an ambient blue-green color, which allows passengers to find the items they are looking for at night. The Grand Caravan also features more comfortable, larger Stow ‘n Go seats with a new, easy to use one-touch fold down function. New, premium seating materials and new door trim are soft to the touch. A minivan-first heated steering wheel option and the best storage in the segment round out the improved interior.
Standard safety and security features include front seat mounted side air bags, a new driver side knee blocker air bag, supplemental three-row side-curtain air bags, electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring and remote keyless entry. The available Safety Sphere package of features includes ParkSense® rear park assist system, a rear back-up camera, blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection system, rain-sensitive wipers and automatic headlamps.
The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan will be available in four configurations that fit almost any lifestyle: the Dodge Grand Caravan Express, Grand Caravan Mainstreet, Grand Caravan Crew, and arriving in spring 2011, the ultimate “Man Van,” the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T. The R/T is where versatility meets performance and attitude. Uniquely designed both inside and out, the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T proves a driver doesn’t have to give up a spirited driving experience or their identity when they have a family. The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T throws down the gauntlet for a whole new level of cool transportation for families on the go.
With sleek, athletic styling; smart, cutting-edge entertainment features; flexible seating and cool storage options; the reliability of a 100,000-mile warranty and models that fit specific lifestyles, the new Dodge Grand Caravan moves families where they need to go in a way that makes the journey of life easier.
The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan will be built at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and will arrive in showrooms later this year.