• Jun 26, 2010
2008 Dodge Caravan R/T concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Is a "macho" minivan even possible? Toyota's exploring the "Swagger Wagon" angle with the Sienna SE, and Dodge is apparently going to try and find out with a new variant of the Grand Caravan. Minivans are generally not aspirational vehicles; people buy them because they need the utility. Of course, that's not a bad thing - people haulers were created for a reason.

However, Dodge is going to try and spread the appeal beyond kiddie-schlepping moms to attract more men into the fold. A "sportier-looking" front end paired with a black-and-grey interior doesn't seem like it'd be enough to swing much of the male demographic. After all, how sporty can you make a big box without a total redesign?

The new model will reportedly draw from the Caravan R/T concept that was quietly displayed at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, and it could debut within a few months. The Chrysler minivans have a lot to offer in terms of packaging, but their interiors leave much to be desired. If Chrysler substantially upgrades the look and feel there, its vans could land a few body blows in the battle against the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey. But adding a hood scoop and big wheels? Not the answer.



[Source: Wall Street Journal]


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  • 49 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      They already have a 6 speed tranny. The new Pentastar V6 should go in all the mini's now. Cool styling & seating.
      Road trip...
        • 4 Years Ago
        What 6 speed transmission? The 62te is a 4 speed automatic at heart.

        It need a 6 speed double clutch (7 would be better)
        and a twin turbo 3.0 V6
      • 4 Years Ago
      When you drive a Dodge, you drive an image. Youthful, agressive, performance, edgy and in a minivan, a cool family man with all the above.
      Yea, I can see a guy with three kids looking to bask in that Dodge aura. Hey if you long for a Challenger, would you drive a Sienna or Odyssey? At least a Dodge makes that cool, hot van. There are potential sales here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, it's about damn time!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      It should look more like something from Mattel:Bigger, improbable body kit, with room for a full laptop in the console, lots of body color painted surfaces inside, a drainable cooler in the floor (like the Corvair's trunk) for plenty of beverages, hoseable interior, chopped roof, etc.
      And both of them would sell eventually.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let's not forget the Renault Espace F1.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Espace#Espace_F1
        • 4 Years Ago
        I still remember driving that Van in Gran Turismo hehe.. loved my friends face's when I kicked their rearends!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Place a Viper engine behind the driver/frnt passenger, install exhaust stacks out each rear quarter window, warn the kids not to touch'em and give'em some earplugs.

      The Caravan R/T is for posers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ralph Gilles used to track a modded Caravan. Rumor was he could hang with the fast crowd. I like Ralph.

      Isn't he in a position of weight these days??
        • 4 Years Ago
        I like that a "car guy" is in a position to direct. If there is a chance to get a sport minivan, it'll be under Ralph. At the least, he can say "that'll suck, try again" to performance.

        Remember- he was Super Soul once.
      • 4 Years Ago

      just what i've been waiting for. I want to start the MVRL MiniVan Racing League.
      Have some ideas posted here. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=126900837350115
      • 4 Years Ago
      The only manly minivan I know of was accomplished by Porsche in the 80's. The VW chase van used by Porsche was having trouble staying anywhere close to the Porsche test vehicles while out on road tests. Porsche had enough of drivers and cars having to wait a long time before support arrived, so Porsche took out the water cooled boxer four and dropped in, sorry, lifted in a Carrera 6 with mods and tuned the suspension. This didn't solve the aerodynamic problem with the van as it tried to take off at any speed over 112 mph but dramatically dropped the acceleration times. I have read a column on this van in I do believe Car and Driver or Automobile mag. The picture they had of the van was pretty cool with the van completely airborne.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They've played around with and done this before. Not sure if the later attempts have been anything but cosmetic. But a lot of us are familiar with the turbo Minivan they made a while back and have seen a YouTube vid or two.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just paint it black and add some mag wheels, a red stripe, and red spoiler.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I see what you've done there... and I LIKE it!


        What Chrysler has done is admirable, but the vehicle needs a bit more streamlining and rakish-ness from the design stage.

        Honda Skydeck concept, Citroen C-Sportlounge... something along those lines, with the sporty and agressive treatment (modest lowering, larger wheels and tires, AWD, and a horsepower boost... performance shifting profile, if not a manual or DCT gearbox)
      • 4 Years Ago
      They'd have better luck if they applied this concept to the journey.
        • 4 Years Ago
        and the Caliber (Express, Main Street, or Uptown)
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