2011 Dodge Caravan R/T: The “Man Van” Roars to Life


Auto shows are showcases for vehicles that push the boundaries of what is considered possible. Buzz is generated; speculation abounds over which models will make it to showrooms to which are only fantasies. Amid the exotic and futuristic, we’re proud to announce that one of the most talked-about vehicles at this year’s Chicago Auto Show is a Dodge Caravan.


Making its debut in our R/T line for 2011, the Dodge Caravan R/T (or “Man Van” as we like to call it) packs a Pentastar 3.6-liter engine delivering a best-in-class 283 horsepower and 260 lb/ft of torque under its hood. Our engineers also added R/T-exclusive black leather seats with red stitching, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a premium sound system and a performance-tuned suspension that will make you want to strap on a helmet and hit the race track.



We know what you’re thinking: “I’ll never get away with bringing this beast home.” We understand. Tell your Mrs. that the Caravan R/T has a new driver-selectable fuel-economizer mode: At the flick of a switch you can change the shift schedule, maximizing MPG. Tell her that the lower ride height and sweet spoiler give the Caravan R/T great aerodynamics and fuel economy. The 100, 000-mile powertrain warranty won’t hurt either.  It’ll work, we promise.


So why the Caravan R/T? Our President and CEO, Ralph Gilles, told Motor Trend “We have customers who love cars, who love the thrill of driving, but can only afford one car, ” and that “Our Dodge R/T models give buyers the chance to stoke their love of driving while still taking care of their families and responsibilities.”


The 2011 Dodge Caravan R/T brings the thunder home to the family starting this spring.


The van game just got real and in keeping it real, please drive responsibility and don’t text while cruising in the “Man Van”.



  • CJ
    Posted February 22, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I own a Chrysler Town & Country and a whole fleet of Mopar vehicles. I’m MOPAR to the core, but I don’t agree with putting the R/T package on a minivan. I think this marketing program missed the mark and took a notch out of the R/T prestige for your other performance cars. If you want sell more minivans – stick with convenience/entertainment features and find a way to bring the price down. I paid over $40k for my last minivan which is ridiculous.

    Posted February 22, 2011 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I say let Dodge try this idea of slapping R/T on everything and if it sells vehicles that will prevent them from going bankrupt, then so be it. However, if this does not produce the sales they are looking for, then only place the R/T logo on sports cars and do not have four or five levels of R/T like they do on the Charger. The R/T should only go on the Charger with the blacked out grille. An R/T road and track is too repetitious. By the way, the van looks good and could simply be called the Sport Edition.

  • Posted February 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    R/T Mini Van. Just when I thought Dodge was getting its acto together. Come on Man!!

    • Posted May 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I agree with everyone above, but also rlaeize Minivans depreciate at a much faster pace than any other cars.Also, the Dodge Caravan got a brand new design the following year so that only adds to the entire depreciation factor.Go for it. My family bought a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport in 2000 for $ 14,500 and it had 42,000 miles on it at the time! But since the MSRP was $ 28,500, you can see the deal we were getting..

  • moparman
    Posted February 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I’ve already beat this subhect to death, but, at least make all the “R/T’ vehicles V8s.

    That is one thing I am positive about, that no “R/T” in the ’60s or ’70s had a V6 (or even a small block).

    This my actually cause me NOT to buy a new car from Dodge. Why buy a Challenger R/T if it doesn’t mean anything anymore.

  • Hemi D
    Posted February 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Actually, the 1970-71 Challenger R/T was available with a 340 small-block. The Aspen R/T was also available with a 318 2 bbl. along with a 225 Slant Six.

  • moparman
    Posted February 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Ok, my bad, the 340 was actually a pretty good engine in those challengers, couple guys from my car club have them, I totally forgot those.

    As for the Aspen, again, a car that really should never have had an R/T on it, but at least it was a 2 door, and it had an option for a 360, which I would bet, was the preferred option. Something from it’s wiki page:

    “The performance R/T package came only on the coupe and featured a 318 cu in (5.2 L) V8 standard or an optional 360 cu in (5.9 L) V8 with either a 2- or 4-barrel carburetor.”

    Nope, no V-6 R/T Aspen.

  • moparman
    Posted February 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Oops, actually doing some research, it appears the Challenger T/A model had the 340, the R/T standard engine was the 383.

    Posted February 22, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    moparman, yes because the 340 had a six pack sitting on top of it in the T/A cars and it was a screaming machine. The 340 was designed specifically for high performance applications unlike the 318 which was primarily a two barrel motor. I knew a lot of 340 six pack cars that could outrun 383 big blocks. They were very quick off the line. Lighter weight and could rap at a higher rpm. My buddy would shift his at 6 or 7 grand. The six cylinder was a straight six (slant six) not a V6. They would last forever.

  • Jeff
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Actually, the 340 was an UPGRADE in the 1970-71 Cuda and Challenger RT. That’s right, the base engine was a big block 383. You had to pay MORE to get the 340 small block . The 340 Cuda and Challenger were quicker than the 383 cars because they were lighter and torqued up quicker. You also received suspension upgrades, which along with the lighter weight made them handle and stop better than the big block cars too.

    Regarding the RT needing to be a V8, I disagree completely. Last time I checked one of the quickest Mopars ever was the V6 Stealth RT twin turbo. The 4 cylinder Spirit RT and Daytona Iroc RT from the early 1990’s were no slouches either.

  • moparman
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    “Last time I checked one of the quickest Mopars ever was the V6 Stealth RT twin turbo.”

    How many of those do you see at cars shows or cruise ins these days? How many do see on the road? How many did you see actually running at a race track while the car was in production?

    Personally, I have never actually seen one of those cars in person, only a few pictures on the internet. Obviously having the R/T badge on the side did not make it a sought after and collectable car.

    I doubt there will be 2011 “man van” R/Ts going to car shows in 30+ years. The reality is, putting R/T on this thing is a short term attention getter, and a long term failure and insult for the legacy of the original R/T cars, and what they represent, and what the new cars COULD represent again.

    Posted February 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    moparman, I do not think any of us are disagreeing with you. The R/T badge should only be put on sports cars with a ‘racing’ package per say and the “Sport” edition badge should be put on the rest of this stuff. Although I have a neighbor with a mint condition black Stealth R/T that runs like a bat out of h@ll, it is still a car that will never be worth anything. Since it is very fast and could take on anything at the time, I can see why it had a R/T badge. As for a freaking minivan and an SUV, come on already. Again, if the sales are there to warrant it, so be it. A lot of times you cannot do the right thing in business; you have to do the things that make you money. At any rate, it makes for some better looking minivans and SUVs on the street, what the heck. Time will tell if they will do this again.

  • moparnut
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I’m kinda diggin what their trying to do but still don’t know that its set apart enough to be an r/t. Maybe if it had a v8?

  • peteMT
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    I like it. Why not? A minivan that handles!

    Maybe this model will get the multiair engine – or a turbo – rumored to be coming soon. That, and the 9 speed automatic would make for a fine, sporty van.

    How about B5 blue on this one?

  • PokerMunkee
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Common Dodge, give it a detuned 340hp HEMI with Awd and some 20″ wheels.

  • D50
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Gee, I hope Dodge doesn’t take many of the comments on RLD seriously, because there are some BAD ideas floating around here!

  • PokerMunkee
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Oh, and what’s with the big ugly antenna? Sticks out like a sore thumb! Can’t you guys integrate that into the vehicle somehow? It’s 2011, hello! My Magnum doesn’t have a stupid antenna and wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Posted February 26, 2011 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    If I could ever get my wife to drive a minivan she would want one of these…give it a tad more hp and she would be sold!

  • Ziggy
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink


    Make it LOOK like this, with just a touch more power(not the rumored ferrari v8 they mention…)from a S/C possibly, smaller, more discreet antenna, and MAYBE a large sunroof, then we’ll have somethin worth gettin.

  • Rich Vette
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    As a previous TC and Caravan owner the R/T has me a little interested.In 1989 I ordered a short wheel base Caravan with a 2.5 turbo and 5-speed manual rated at 150hp it put the Monte Carlo SS and 5.0 Mustangs to shame of that era.Presently I own a HHR SS 2.0 turbo 260 hp 5-speed manual,whch is a hoot to drive.I need to find out the performance times to compare.The 0-60 times would have to come in at around 6 seconds and 1/4mile of 14 seconds.

  • JR
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Hey, I agree with Ziggy about the sun/moonroof.
    But I like the rest of the van just as it is.
    The big fuss in this forum seems to be about the “R/T” & “ManVan” monikers.
    Call it whatever you want, but if I could order one with a sun/moonroof, I’d have it on order.
    We bought the 1st “ManVan” back in 1993 (I think) & put over 238K miles on it.
    It wasn’t called an R/T, rather an ES & was available only in the short wheelbase version.
    Ours was white (like the Dodge “centerfold” photo) with burgandy leather interior.
    & the 1st US built V6 offered in the Chrysler built minivans – the 3.3L.
    It sold a lot of Chrysler built minivans to our bicycle racing friends.
    Give us a break & put a sun/moonroof on the options list for the R/T.
    Then we’ll get back with our dealer & order one.

  • Timothy
    Posted March 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Not a bad look. But correct me if I am wrong…….R/T = Road and Track? Where does the “track” on this take the kids to the Drive-In, wait, Drive-In’s are virtually obsolete, but to my point, where does this ride fit in on the “track” part of Road and Track? We all know where, say the ’70 Challenger R/T, e.g. Hemi or 440 six pack fits in.

  • Posted April 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Thats an interesting point of view, though I am not sure if I agree.

  • Posted April 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I agree this is a really thoughtfully written article, thanks for writing this!

  • Posted April 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    That is a very interesting way of putting it, I am not sure if I concur.

  • Posted June 24, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    I own a taxi service and I would love nothing more than to buy 10 of these units to put in my service. The customers would love to ride in these vans! The drivers would enjoy driving them for there 12 hour shifts also.

  • Matt
    Posted March 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I think it is a cool idea..just finish it with a Hemi…it would sell…too much is being out on the R\T what it means blah, blah ,blah…just build it they will come…

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *