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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T, You're No "Man Van"

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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T

Dear Dodge,

It has come to my attention that the 2011 Dodge Caravan will be available in R/T trim and is known internally as the “man van.”  

As a single father of two, I’m still hunting for a vehicle that combines all the space I need for my kids with the raw performance of a sports car.  A supercharged Range Rover Sport, BMW X5 M or Porsche Cayenne Turbo may do the trick. But they are out of my, and the average fathers, budget.  An Audi RS6 sits high on my want list, but it carries a base price of $158,614 in Germany and isn’t available in the States.  Even the Audi S4 Avant and S3, which could be more financially obtainable, are not available Stateside.

So the idea of a high-performance vehicle, even if it is a minivan, that fits my kids, hound dog and all of our gear, sounds like a dream come true.  And after reading the specs for the new 2011 Dodge Caravan R/T, I realized it’s still a dream. There is nothing about the Caravan R/T that will have me running to my local Dodge dealer anytime soon.  For me, I am less interested in the 506-watt stereo, black leather seats with red stitching and cutting-edge entertainment.  Although I want them, they don’t help with the performance.  And I can get leather and fancy electronics in every other minivan.

I’m a man, a father and sports-car nut who needs to haul the family. I want something that gurgles and sounds like a monster.  I want to take on the Cayenne Turbo with seating for seven. I want to run down 60 mph like I’m in a ridiculously tuned turbocharged Caravan of the '80s. I would even be willing to give up some handling, it is a top heavy van, for raw straight-line performance.

A Dodge Caravan R/T equipped with the 360-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI, would’ve gotten my attention.  Mating it to a six-speed manual gear box, would’ve gotten me out of my chair.  And running it through a rear-wheel biased all-wheel-drive system, would’ve gotten me to the dealership.  That my friends, is a “man van.”

Sincerely,

A father of two in search of the perfect family-performance-vehicle

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Comments (6)
  1. Yes I agree. When I saw the photos of the interior I was thinking "finally someone got a clue on what they're supposed to look like on the inside". The exterior looks nice too.
    I was actually starting to get interested in this thing. But as I started looking through the photos for the R/T V-8 Superbird engine, I had to take my finger off the "Buy-It-Now" button.
    Maybe next year?
     
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  2. @Justan and Tanglewood - Great comments. Maybe Dodge will take notice and, hopefully, do something about it. It's good to know there's interest, but it also looks like Dodge needs to beef up what the R/T has to offer if it wants to have a true "man-van."
     
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  3. I agree too! I've always said that if they took the minivan, dropped in a hemi and made RWD or AWD and charged around $30-$40k, they'd sell a million of them. I'm not looking for my van to handle on par with a BMW M3, although if they could make it happen, I'm all for it, but to slam the gas and go 0-60 in 6 sec in a minivan would be ideal! I still like what they've done and I'll def look at them because it's the best in terms of minivans out there to date, but it's not the "Man-Van" I was expecting either. Come on Dodge, do us the favor and make fathers all over the world trade in their trucks, suvs, and mustangs for a RWD or AWD HEMI powered minivan. Make it a 6 speed or even DSG, and I'll buy 2! And you could take every piece of leather, sound system, etc to keep the price down because if it's the base model interior that makes it a reality to have a 13 sec 1/4 mile minivan, I'd compromise.
     
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  4. What about the Jeep GC SRT-8?
     
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  5. Immo - the Grand Cherokee only seats 5. The closest thing I've found is the Ford Flex 3.5L Twin-Turbo Ecoboost (0-60 in 6.6 sec). But it doesn't have sliding doors and my wife hates it....
     
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  6. Fuel economy people, that is what's needed in todays market. A good preforming diesel engine would be a an exceptional addition to any manufactures minivan line. These are available in Eroupe right now, why not in N. America?? Honda's 2011 Odyssey gets 28 EPA on the Hwy, a diesel model should best that number by at least 5 mpg. I'm ready to buy right now, but no one makes a model that is sold in the US. At $3.39 a gallon for gasoline, and you want to drop in a Hemi??? Yah it would be fun for a while, but fuel economy never goes out of style. Let's face it, when it comes to minivans, Dodge is running a distant 3rd, and is near the back of the pack when it comes to handleing. A Hemi powered brick isn't something I would want to haul my family around in. Get back into the hunt, Dodge. Do what you did years ago when you were first to market with the minivan. Be inovative, go diesel... Again, MPG never goes out of style.
     
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