Detroit Auto Show Preview: Dodge Caravan, Our Wayward Son

Well, seeing as the cat's out of the bag on the Town & Country, the Caravan's like-platformed cousin, after we all saw it lose its virginity to the scary lawlessness that is the interwebs this week, it was only time before we'd see the Dodge version. And here it is — in all it's red-hued glory. Look at that aggressive front end, those features like a table and like, a conversation mirror and stuff. I mean, come on — doesn't it just scream SexyBack? Well, it certainly screams it to the 'merican side of the German-American hybrid — because they're betting the bank on them to bring in beaucoup bucks. Unlike the Chrysler shots we posted yesterday that came to us from places far and wide on the net, these ones come courtesy of the embargo breakers at Cars.com. In addition to the lovely pics we've set up in a gallery for you below, we've also got a nice little chunk of the press release below to give you the skinny on all of the little doo-dads and kit these new family-haulers are prettied up with. And by all means, if you've already forgotten what the Caravan's sibling looks like — here's a reminder.

Detroit Auto Show Preview: Dodge Caravan, Our Wayward Son

ALL-NEW 2008 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN AND CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY MINIVANS RAISE THE BAR FOR THE MINIVAN SEGMENT

Fifth generation of industry-leading Chrysler Group minivans to arrive this fall
All-new exterior and interior design for a more contemporary appearance
Thirty-five new or improved features make the 2008 Chrysler Group minivans "family rooms on wheels"
Five models, three distinct seating and storage systems and three powertrains, including a minivan-first six-speed transaxle, offer the right ingredients for any active lifestyle

The all-new 2008 Dodge and Chrysler minivans once again prove they have the right ingredients to be the best vehicles to move people and cargo. With 35 new and improved features, the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country aren't just practical vehicles, they also have the right mix to be "family rooms on wheels," with something for everyone to enjoy.

"The all-new 2008 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan spice up the minivan recipe by offering an all-new contemporary appearance, five different models, three distinct seating and storage systems, unmatched entertainment systems and the safety you expect and deserve," said George Murphy, Senior Vice President - Chrysler Group Marketing. "Add in three powertrain options, clever interior features and industry-leading functionality, and you have a recipe that will be a favorite with any family."

The newest ingredient for functional family seating is the all-new Swivel 'n Go seating system. Swivel 'n Go offers second row seats that swivel 180 degrees to face the third row with a removable table that installs between the two rows, covered storage bins in the floor of the second row, third-row uncovered storage and fold-in-the-floor third-row seating. Swivel 'n Go also offers an available industry-first integrated child booster seat in the second-row quad chair and an available minivan-exclusive one-touch power-folding third-row 60/40 bench seat.

"Chrysler Group engineers turned the tables on traditional seat systems to come up with a technology that lets families have more choices of how to spend their time while traveling," said Larry Lyons, Vice President - Chrysler Group Front-wheel-drive Product Team. "With Swivel 'n Go, second- and third-row passengers can face each other to have a conversation, play games or have a meal on the go."

Safety is a key part of any minivan recipe, and that continues to be true with the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country. All-row supplemental side-curtain air bags, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with traction control and brake assist, LATCH child seat anchor system and a patented, energy-absorbing steering column are among the standard safety features included in the 2008 Dodge and Chrysler minivans. Innovations like an industry-first integrated child booster seat, ParkView rear back-up camera, a rearview interior conversation mirror, integrated child safety seat and ParkSense rear back-up system also ensure peace of mind while traveling.

MINIVAN INNOVATION LEADERSHIP

The modern minivan was invented by the former Chrysler Corporation in 1983. Since then, the Chrysler Group has sold more than 11 million minivans and invented more than 60 minivan firsts that not only have revolutionized the minivan segment, but made their way into other vehicle segments as well.

"Chrysler Group is the leader in bringing innovations to the minivan segment, and those innovations seem to have an uncanny way of ending up in other products," said Lyons. "Integrated child safety seats, dual-zone temperature controls, a power liftgate and DVD entertainment are just some of the features that started in a minivan, but are now available in other vehicle segments."

For 2008, the Chrysler Town & Country (sold as the Chrysler Grand Voyager in most markets outside North America) and Dodge Grand Caravan offer value, functionality, safety and a package of innovative features that no other manufacturer can match. With 35 new or improved features, the all-new 2008 Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan offer consumers a home away from home.

"The 2008 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan offer the best amenities for today's busy families," said Murphy. "With a dual DVD system that plays different media at the same time, pinpoint LED lighting to read by, a table to play games or finish homework, a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic, power sliding doors and liftgate and YES Essentials cloth seats, every member of the family will enjoy their journey."

UNMATCHED FUNCTIONALITY AND ENTERTAINMENT

The 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country have spiced up the recipe for minivan success to include a place for everything. A premium, multi-function, front-row sliding console, dual glove boxes, second-row covered storage bins, third-row storage area and clever storage bins and pockets offer more places to store things than ever before.

Three distinct seating configurations are available for 2008 in North America. They include a second-row bench seat with second-row covered storage bins and third-row fold-in-the-floor seating, a Stow 'n Go seating and storage system that offers the only second- and third-row fold-in-the-floor seats in the industry and the new Swivel 'n Go seating that allows the second row seats to swivel 180 degrees to face rearward. Swivel 'n Go also includes a removable table that fits between the second and third rows with a fold-in-the-floor third-row seat. A one-touch power-folding third-row seat also is available.

Available comfort and convenience features include a new, removable sliding front console that is large enough to store a purse; remote start; heated first- and second-row leather or cloth seats; rearview interior conversation mirror; YES Essentials stain-resistant, odor-resistant, anti-static cloth fabric; a removable flashlight in the rear quarter panel; first- and second-row power windows; second- and third-row retractable sun shades; power sliding doors; power liftgate with power button on the key fob and rear-pillar, ambient halo lighting; movable, pinpoint Light Emitting Diode (LED) reading lamps; map lights; and a dual- or tri-zone heating and cooling system.

"To get the best recipe of comfort, security and flexibility that fits any lifestyle, we added comfort features like remote start, heated first- and second-row cloth or leather seats and ambient lighting, then mixed in standard safety features like all-row supplemental side-curtain air bags and ESP," said Ann Fandozzi, Director - Chrysler Group Front-wheel-drive Product Marketing. "Clever features found in the 2008 Chrysler Group minivans include a 'Swiss-army-knife-like' sliding front console and a removable flashlight in the rear quarter panel."

Entertainment features include a dual DVD, multimedia entertainment system that can play different media at the same time, MyGIG CD/DVD/HDD/MP3/satellite radio with voice-activated capability, touch screen and real-time traffic and navigation, UConnect hands-free communication system with Bluetooth technology, mesh side pockets on the second-row seats that can hold iPods, hand-held gaming systems or beverages, 110V inverter, two second-row output/input jacks with a 12-volt power outlet and an overhead console with bins large enough to store headphones.

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New for 2008! Chrysler Minivan! [internal]