AUBURN HILLS, MI - 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.

Engineers redesigned and retuned virtually every system in the new Grand Caravan's suspension. The new 3.6L Pentastar V-6 engine is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. This combination replaces all three of the previous minivan engines. The 3.3L, 3.8L, and 4.0L V-6 engines, have all been replaced with one high-tech, high-performing, and highly responsive motor for improved power and efficiency, according to the automaker.

With the Pentastar engine, the new Grand Caravan delivers best-in-class horsepower (283 hp compared with 197 hp in the previous 3.8L 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 the Grand Caravan's improved fuel economy.

Dodge has also redesigned the 2011 Grand Caravan with a new front fascia that sports the new Dodge signature "split crosshair" grille, a new hood, and quad headlamps. A new, more sculpted rear fascia and liftgate, new rear "ring of fire" LED tail lamps, and new Dodge badging complete the look from front to back.

The interior has also been redesigned 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. Trim rings in the console glow an ambient blue-green color, which provides better lighting 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: the Dodge Grand Caravan Express, Grand Caravan Mainstreet, Grand Caravan Crew, and arriving in spring 2011, the Dodge Grand Caravan R/T.

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.


Originally posted on Automotive Fleet