Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dodge Unveils Sporty R/T Versions of Charger, Challenger, Journey, Durango and Grand Caravan

The Chicago Auto Show is the stage for the world premiere of an entire lineup of new R/T performance models from Dodge. The brand's performance moniker, which stands for Road & Track and has been in use since the 1960s, has now been applied on the latest iterations of the Charger saloon, Challenger Coupe, Journey crossover, Durango SUV and the Dodge Caravan minivan. Every R/T model receives exclusive exterior and interior design cues plus performance enhancements including special exhaust tuning and a sport suspension.

“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,” said Dodge CEO Ralph Gilles.

Beginning with the 2011 Charger R/T, the sports sedan comes with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine with four-cylinder mode Fuel Saver Technology returning 370 horsepower and a 0-60 mph (96 km/h) performance in less than 6 seconds. It is available in both rear- and all-wheel drive configurations. The MSRP for the 2011 Charger R/T is $30,170 (excluding an $825 destination charge).

The new Durango SUV in R/T trim is powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 producing 360 horses and 390 lb.-ft. of torque allowing for a 7,400 lb. towing capability. Exterior appointments include a color-matched body kit, wheel lips, light bar and rear fascia with integrated dual chrome exhaust outlets. The 7-passenger interior is spruced up with sport seats featuring red stitching accents. It will go on sale this Spring with a starting U.S. MSRP of $35,465 (excluding $850 destination).

Next up on our list is the Grand Caravan R/T with a 3.6-liter V6 delivering 283-ponnies and 260 lb.-ft of peak torque, matched to six-speed auto. Unique features include a “dipped” body-color grille, body-color side moldings and exclusive 17-inch wheels plus a performance-tuned suspension. Inside, the all-black interior features exclusive perforated black leather seats with red stitching, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and a premium sound system with nine-speakers, a subwoofer and 506-watt amplifier. Prices start from $30,595 (excluding $835 destination).

The recently facelifted Journey, which will be available in Europe as the Fiat Freemont, is also getting the Dodge R/T badge for 2011. Like the Grand Caravan R/T, the Journey R/T is powered by the new 283-horse 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

It is available with front- or all-wheel drive and can seat five or seven passengers. The FWD model starts at $28,995 (including $750 destination) while the AWD iteration of the Journey R/T at $30,695 (including $750 destination).

The fifth and final R/T model is the 2011 Challenger. It gets a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 which delivers 372HP and 410 lb-ft of torque when paired to the refined Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission for a 0-60 mph sprint in less than 6 seconds, and 372 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque when mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

Chassis upgrades include a more aggressive front- and rear-camber geometry plus new larger diameter front- and rear-stabilizer bars. A restyled and larger front air dam, a “duck bill” front spoiler and an all-new leather-wrapped thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel are also part of the package. On sale now, the MSRP for the 2011 Challenger R/T is $29,670 (excluding an $825 destination charge).

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