Dodge has a focus again, and it’s performance. To drive the message home, the brand is coming to Chicago with its five latest R/T models.
“We have customers who love cars, who love the thrill of driving, but can only afford one car,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of Dodge. “Our Dodge R/T models give buyers the chance to stoke their love of driving while still taking care of their families and responsibilities. Driving these R/T models will absolutely leave a smile on their face.”
Much of this list you’ve already seen and we’ve already reported on, including the Charger R/T and Challenger R/T. The long-missing Durango R/T we’ve heard about, but is just now getting its due. Rejoining the class for 2011 is the Journey R/T and making its first-ever R/T appearance is the 2011 Grand Caravan. Conspicuously absent from the list is the refreshed Avenger, which used to have an R/T model. To no one’s surprise, the Caliber and Nitro are nowhere to be found.
“We’re going back to our roots, when Dodge R/T meant a higher level of dynamic capability,” Gilles added. “In addition to exterior design cues and sporty interiors, every Dodge R/T vehicle will have unique handling characteristics, high-tech, high-performing engines, special exhaust tuning, a sport-tuned suspension and performance tires that grip the road. These Dodge R/Ts have definitely earned their stripes.”
The biggest question mark is the Grand Caravan R/T. Has Dodge actually made a sporty minivan? They certainly think so. With the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 onboard now, the Grand Caravan claims best-in-class power with 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, 86 ponies and 30 pound-feet over the old 3.8-liter V-6. All Grand Caravans get the new mill and its six-speed auto, though, so what makes this an R/T? A performance-tuned suspension, Dodge says, but won’t get any more specific. R/Ts also get an all-black interior, leather seats with red accent stitching, a leather steering wheel and shift knob and a nine-speaker, 506-watt stereo with a subwoofer. The 2011 Dodge Caravan R/T will start at $31,430 including destination.
Dodge also re-upped the Journey’s R/T model for 2011. Like the rest, it too gets the 3.6-liter V-6 and six-speed auto providing the motivation. Providing the R/T cred is new suspension geometry, a redesigned steering system and “premium” tires, all of which Dodge says give the vehicle better response and road feel. As with the Grand Caravan, the Journey R/T gets an all-black interior, albeit with black cloth seats and red accent stitching. Leather can be found on the steering wheel and shift knob and you’ll also get 19-inch wheels on those fancy tires. The 2011 Dodge Journey R/T starts at $29,745 for front-drivers and $31,445 for all wheel-drive.
Rejoining the R/T club after a long hiatus is the Durango R/T. To make a handler out of the burly SUV, the rear wheel-drive-only Durango R/T gets the optional load-leveling rear shocks standard and picks up new suspension tuning, “performance steering,” 20-inch wheels with “performance” all-season tires (or optional three-season high-performance tires), a tuned exhaust and a 20-millimeter lower ride height. Power holds steady at 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet. R/T models also get a unique front fascia with blacked-out headlights, body color grilles, HID headlights and new fog lights, along with a body color body kit and twin chrome exhaust tips molded into the rear fascia, not to mention a new “Redline Red” paint color. Inside, you’ll find an all-black interior with, you guessed it, red accent stitching and leather on the steering wheel and shifter. You’ll also pick up the premium 506-watt stereo with 10-speakers including the subwoofer. The 2011 Dodge Durango R/T starts at $36,315.
The last two you already know. The Challenger R/T has been updated with new suspension geometry all around, thicker anti-roll bars and an electro-hydraulic power steering system. Minor improvements have also been made to interior and exterior styling. The Charger R/T, meanwhile, has been thoroughly updated for 2011 with an all-new interior and exterior and all-new suspension tuning. A 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T can be yours for as little as $30,495 while a 2011 Dodge Charger R/T will run you $30,995 to start.