Grand Caravan R/T -“The Man Hauler!”


So you got 1200 lbs. of male cargo you need to transport in a hurry? Our 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T can fill that tall order. Its powerful yet fuel efficient 3.6L Pentastar V6 didn’t win numerous awards and accolades from the always skeptical motoring press for nothing. This little dynamo produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, enough to plant your testosterone occupants firmly in the  in Grand Caravan’s black leather seats. These great looking seats are an R/T-exclusive and have red stitching that give the interior more attitude and less shuttle bus feel. If you’re in the driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are at your controls. Should your buddies in the back get rowdy on the way to the game, a premium sound system with nine-speakers, a subwoofer and 506-watt amplifier will drown them out.


The Grand Caravan R/T will also bend corners without protest as the R/T package comes standard with a performance-tuned suspension that includes retuned front/rear springs and shocks, a 12 mm lower ride height and lower-rolling resistance tires. These features will make you want to strap on a helmet and hit the race track.


Speaking of hitting the track, that’s just what we did at the Texas Motor Speedway. Jefferson Bryant, a freelance automotive journalist shot this great video of the Grand Caravan R/T during the Texas Auto Writer’s Spring Roundup last week. We know many of you will never hit the race track but just in case you feel the need, our Grand Caravan R/T can take you and your buddies for heck of a thrill ride!



  • CJ
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I am a die-hard Mopar fan, but I still maintain that this marketing strategy missed the mark.

  • 440
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Good van for late 20-40 year olds who have kids and need a van and dont want to give up the sporty feeling of their old car..and dont want a granny style minivan..

    Good Job…wish the R/T had over 300 hp though..

  • dvntdodge
    Posted May 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink


    Posted May 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    It rarely rains in Texas and you have to find a rainy day to test the van.  All you had to do was wait 10 minutes. Everyone is wearing helmets…is this really necessary?  Maybe they should strap on the Hans device.  I do like the idea of a black interior so it doesn’t show all the dirt and grime your kids will track in.  It may help with the resale value. I think Sport Edition would be a more appropriate name.  I really think 300 hp should be the cut off for an R/T or at least a turbo for the Caliber.  I do not mind the idea of using the R/T badging, but an extra sway bar and stiffer shocks doesn’t cut it.  I liked the hood scoop that you had on the red van at one of those car shows a ways back.  If it helps sell the van, then so be it.  I would rather see more Dodge minivans on the road then those ugly Toyotas, Hondas, and Nissans.

  • HEMIhead
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    @Sublime, totally agree. I wanted the black interior, due to having kids and trying to keep everything clean. I had grey before and it was a PIA to keep clean. Also, I have the base model 2011 ordered and it has the same engine and HP rating as the R/T, so why would I dish out extra cash (and alot of it) for a leather interior and an extra sway bar? Should have just called it the “Sport Package” option, and left it at that. I don’t have a problem with the use of the R/T nameplate, but if you slap it on every vehicle out there, the impact and meaning of it becomes diminished. Honda is even using it now on what they think is a truck.   

  • Franck
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Dodge Caravan is ever a good thing. I have a Dodge Grand Caravan 3,3l V6 from 1998. He was the whole years a reliable friend. If my Dodge is defective sometime, I will buy Dodge again. Once Dodge, always Dodge.

  • 440
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink


    Honda uses the R/T badge,you should really put your bashing efforts into that,that deminishes the R/T name not a Caravan R/T !!

  • John
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    I think I’ll hold off until the “Dodge Sprinter R/T” comes out. That should be a “babe magnet”. Leather seats and super duper sway bars, maybe even a wing on the back!

  • Albert R/T Cooper
    Posted May 12, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    I love the Grand Caravan R/T even though I’m driving a 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew

  • Eric
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    I agree with the others.  This is only a sales gimmick, and a slap in the face to the R/T badge.  I see that Dodge STILL doesn’t have a clue when it comes to marketing.  A “Man Van?”  Really?    Uh, that would be…no.  

  • JR
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Still waiting for a sunroof.

  • xoxo
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m waiting for a COPO version….yeah baby!

  • moparman
    Posted May 15, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    “440 wrote:

    Honda uses the R/T badge,you should really put your bashing efforts into that,that deminishes the R/T name not a Caravan R/T !!”

    The difference is that everyone knows Honda never made a muscle car, and that they are in no way associated with Dodge. I pay very little attention to what Honda does concerning anything othe than dirt bikes.

    The really sad thing is, dodge has let slip that there will be a “super bee” charger coming this year or next. I sure hope it’s not jsut a “package” and that the car has different sheetmetal, maybe a different grill, IE make it a super bee not a sticker package.

    Disclaimer: As far as I know Honda has never used the name “super bee” in reference to any of their products. They may have used the name “Daytona” but if they did it was obviously nothing like a ’69 Charger Daytona (the only real Charger Daytonas in existnace), therefore it doesn’t matter and most people won’t care.

  • peteMT
    Posted May 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I just don’t get the hate. What is this, junior high shop class?
    R/T means improved performance and a bit more luxury. Why can’t it mean that in different ways depending on the vehicle? This Caravan outperforms the base model in handling, right? So somehow that’s a failure?
    This is a step in the right direction and I applaud them for it.
    Were I in the market for a minivan, this would be it.

  • moparman
    Posted May 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Actually, “R/T” means “Road and Track”.

    I wouldn’t know anything about junior high, we didn’t have one. (1 through 8, 9 through 12)

    You know exactly why people are upset, your just trolling, in my opinion. Either that or you really don’t know anything about muscle cars from the ’60s and ’70s (which I find unlikely, but could be true).

    If it’s the latter, I suggest a few google searches. It could save you from making posts like that in the fututre.

    Posted May 16, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys, lets not argue and call each other names.  Everyone has an opinion and that is what RLD is looking for in this blog.  Do the majority of people approve of the R/T slapped on everything or not?  Heck, Dodge is trying to prove a point by showing you that R/T, which means road and track, is what this “man van” is all about.  You can drive it on the road/street or on a track like this wet one in Texas.  Weak arguement, but if it sells cars I really do not care anymore.  I think “sport” is a better term.  I owned a 1995 Dakota Sport and I thought it looked good.  It only had a V6, but the graphics looked “sporty.”  That didn’t matter to me at the time because I just wanted something that got better gas mileage. To me, (again, just my opinion) R/T should mean performance (not just the V6 they are putting in everything) and handling not just one or the other.  Bottom line, if the R/T package sells minivans, then so be it.  The goal of a car company is to sell cars so we shall see. Let’s see how many R/T minivans we see on the street or at the track in the next year.  Pace van anyone, maybe at Bristol or Martinsville…who knows Watkins Glen?

  • moparman
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t see any name calling, the term “troll” is a description, and you know what it means as well as I do.

    That said, I did a quick 3 minute google to wikipedia search, and the only place in the U.S. that you can legally drive ANY vehicle 80 MPH (outside of a race track) is a few small stretches of highway in Texas and a few small stretches of highway in Utah.

    Tell me, realistically, how many of these will ever be driven on any race track?  

    Wait, I already know, few to none, and I’lll put money some of them being marketing stunts by dodge.  I’m not saying that’s wrong or anything, I’m just saying in real life down here on planet earth, very few mini-vans, with or without an “r/t” badge, ever see the inside of a race track (they just sit in the parking lot till the race is over… 🙂   ).

    Conversly, many challengers, and even them 4 door family sedans, get taken to the track and drag raced, some regularly.

    So, in my opinion, to those buyers who know what “r/t” stands for, or at least “stood for”,   it’s not much of a marketing gimmick, and could even hinder sales.

  • none
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Needs a turbo!
    A turbo four and manual transmission, although I guess a twin-turbo six would work too

  • none
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Also, I agree with the sunroof–it needs one!

  • Greg
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I own a 2011 Crew with leather and loads of options. I’ve previously owned the ’03 and ’07 3.8L versions. Obviously, I’ve got kids! That said the 2011 version kicks butt. It sounds great, drives great, and the interior is so much better. For those of us that have to drive minivans, the R/T is something that makes it a bit less hard to take (even if you don’t own one, the fact that there is one gives the entire line a small extra cool factor -I know, we’re still talking minivan, ungh!). If the Journey and Durango can have this badge, why not the Caravan. With the drive train as good as it is, bigger/better sound system, lower profile wheels with sport and not touring tires, stiffer suspension and red-stitched logo leather interior are enough. Perhaps lowered suspension, dual exhaust and an AWD version with more HP is on its way, which are added elements that would be more fitting for the whole package. As it is, I don’t think more HP on a FWD alone is such a good thing, especially for winter driving. I can say I’ve now done 15 hour-a-day drives and neighborhood errands in the Crew version and it’s worth the wait for the 2011. All previous versions of the GC don’t and can’t compare.

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