2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

NEW 2011 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN IS ENGINEERED FOR DRIVING EXCITEMENT

  • Significant suspension overhaul results in agile, confident, handling performance in all driving situations
  • New 3.6-liter engine produces best-in-class 283 horsepower and exceptional fuel efficiency
  • New Stow ‘n Place™ roof rack system allows roof bows to be stowed when not in use, resulting in better aerodynamics
Auburn Hills, Mich. November 15, 2010 -

The new Dodge Grand Caravan gets more than a facelift for the 2011 model year. Engineers have redesigned and upgraded everything from the chassis to the powertrain to the wheels to deliver world-class precision, responsiveness, execution and efficiency.

The biggest task: make the Grand Caravan drive like a Dodge. And the biggest change drivers will feel is in the Grand Caravan’s improved driving dynamics. The new chassis architecture delivers precision steering with maximum grip and control. Together, a new powertrain that delivers best-in-class horsepower and great fuel economy and the reliability of a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty make the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan a vehicle owners will want to drive, not have to drive.

“We re-engineered the new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan from the ground up,” said Ben Winter, Vehicle Line Executive – Chrysler Group LLC. “A lower ride height, redesigned suspension, a new powertrain with a customer selectable fuel economizer mode and new, lower-rolling resistance premium tires deliver a fun-to-drive experience and great fuel economy.”

Also new for 2011 is the latest innovation from the minivan leader: the Stow ‘n Place roof rack system that lets owners stow the roof bows in the side rails when they’re not using them and snap them easily into place when needed. The ability to stow the roof bows when they’re not being used means less aerodynamic drag and wind buffeting and better overall efficiency.


RE-ENGINEERED SUSPENSION PROVIDES DRIVERS A CONFIDENT, SPIRITED DRIVING EXPERIENCE
For 2011, engineers overhauled almost every major system in the Dodge Grand Caravan’s suspension. Drivers will still experience the Grand Caravan’s comfortable ride. They’ll feel the most noticeable improvements in how the Grand Caravan handles in everyday driving situations, long road trips and in emergency maneuvers.

“You might not expect the Grand Caravan to be on the list of handling successes,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO — Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “But changes to the rear suspension geometry and bushings, quicker steering with more feel and precision and new tires have given this product excellent ride and handling attributes that aren’t expected in this segment.”

Some of the changes engineers made to deliver an exhilarating driving experience include:

  • A new, quicker ratio steering gear (fewer turns lock-to-lock, maneuverability) and increased torsional stiffness steering column intermediate shaft isolator deliver precise steering feel
  • Increased rate rear torsion beam axle and track bar bushings improve body control
  • Retuned front/rear springs and shocks, including larger diameter rear shocks, increase damping control and tuning flexibility
  • Lowered rear axle trailing link pivot and lowered ride height on Grand Caravans equipped with 16-inch tires by 12 mm deliver a more connected steering response
  • New, lower-rolling-resistance premium tires provide better grip and response, improved cornering capability and reduced stopping distance

Engineers overhauled the body and acoustic packages too, reducing wind and road noise. They also retuned for air induction and exhaust tuning, giving Dodge Grand Caravan customers one of the quietest cabins in the segment.

Wind noise reduction treatments include:

  • Applied new B- and C-pillar seals to the sliding doors
  • Added damping materials to the rear quarter panel outer sheet metal
  • Increased acoustic treatments in the lower, rear quarter D-pillar
  • Improved the number of closeout plugs and increased the thickness for body-in-white closeout plugs
  • Added new molded foam seals for the A-pillar mirror flag

Road noise reduction treatments include:

  • Redesigned the front fender acoustic cavity filler with new, improved sound absorption material in optimal locations
  • Increased the volume and performance of PUR foam in key areas of the vehicle, better blocking noise paths into the passenger cabin
  • Improved the body sealing between sheet metal panels, which reduces noise transmission and air flow
  • Improved sound absorption properties of the wheel house and rear-wheel well via damping applications and acoustic barriers
  • Added sound-absorption material in the rear quarter area, which reduces tire, road and exhaust noise levels

NEW POWERTRAIN PROVIDES BEST-IN-CLASS HORSEPOWER AND EXCEPTIONAL FUEL ECONOMY
The Dodge Grand Caravan also gets a new, simplified powertrain lineup for 2011. All models are powered by the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that produces a best-in-class 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and delivers excellent fuel economy. This potent combination replaces all three of the previous minivan engines. Gone are the 3.3-liter, 3.8-liter and 4.0-liter V-6 engines, all replaced with one high-tech, high-performing and highly responsive motor that hits the sweet spot between power and efficiency.

The Pentastar V-6 engine is mated to the smooth-shifting 62TE six-speed automatic transaxle. It features a new driver-selectable fuel economizer mode, which gives the driver the ability to maximize fuel efficiency while driving with the flip of a switch. In addition, a 12 mm lower ride height, new premium, lower-rolling resistance tires, a new spoiler and reduced brake caliper and rear bearing drag all contribute to Dodge Grand Caravan’s excellent fuel economy.

3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V-6 ENGINE
The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan’s all-new 3.6-liter V-6 engine delivers best-in-class 283 horsepower (211 kW) at 6,350 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. (351 N•m) of torque at 4,400 rpm.

The new Pentastar engine also provides world-class refinement and efficiency. It features an all-new design, featuring dual overhead camshafts (DOHC), aluminum exhaust manifolds, polymer-coated piston skirts, forged connecting rods and a high-pressure die-cast aluminum cylinder block in a 60-degree configuration.

Component refinement was key during the design phase of the engine and was achieved by using advanced computer-aided engineering techniques. Engineers designed the structural, intake and exhaust areas of the engine to deliver low levels of overall sound and achieve specific audible sound quality goals that exceed discerning customer requirements.

The 3.6-liter V-6 engine design features DOHC and high-flow intake and exhaust ports that, in combination with variable-valve timing via dual independent cam phasing, allow optimum volumetric and combustion efficiency over the full speed and load range. This results in an exceptional, flat torque curve along with high specific power. The engine’s torque exceeds 90 percent of its peak value from 1,600 to 6,400 rpm, providing customers outstanding drivability and responsiveness.

Designed to be environmentally responsible, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine features lead-free engine construction and an environmentally friendly oil filter system with recyclable oil-filter element and no-spill removable feature. In addition, an integrated oil cooler helps protect the environment via incineration of the filter element. The use of long-life spark plugs and a high-energy coil-on-plug ignition system maximizes component life and helps reduce cost of ownership.

The all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is manufactured at Chrysler Group LLC’s Trenton South Engine Plant in Trenton, Mich.

62TE AUTOMATIC TRANSAXLE
Chrysler Group was the first manufacturer to offer a six-speed automatic transaxle in a minivan when it introduced the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan. New for 2011 models is a fuel economizer mode. With the flip of a switch, drivers can change the transaxle shift schedule to maximize their fuel economy.

The gear ratios of the six-speed transaxle allow the engine to work more efficiently at lower speeds providing the foundation for a spirited driving experience. Engineers also designed the six-speed transaxle to increase the peak launch torque capacity allowing greater acceleration at start.

The 62TE six-speed automatic transaxle is manufactured at Chrysler Group LLC’s Kokomo Transmission Plant in Kokomo, Ind.