Dodge Blackens Its Minivan and Crossovers with Blacktop Packages [2013 Detroit Auto Show]
How many of us dads have had this thought: Y’know, my neck tattoo, flat-brimmed hat, and sweet chinstrap beard tell the world I’m a total bad-ass when I’m in the mall pushing a stroller, but what about when I’m on the highway? How do I let people know that, yeah, I may have kids and I may drive a responsible family vehicle with seating for up to seven, but I still have it on lockdown? We’re in luck: Dodge has announced that it will offer “sinister” Blacktop option packages for the Grand Caravan, Journey, and Durango. (Of course, there’s also the Town & Country S. Chrysler as a whole is pretty obsessed with black.)
The Dodge Durango can be blackened for just $295, which adds a glossy black grille and black 20-inch wheels to Rallye and R/T models. (The Rallye package itself is a $1995 option for SXT models.) The interior of the former, with its 295-horse 3.6-liter V-6, can be upfitted to R/T spec with suede seat inserts, red accent stitching, black wood trim, and a power driver’s seat with power lumbar support—carrying around those cojones is hell on the lower back—for an additional $595. The R/T, of course, features a 360-hp Hemi V-8. Available colors are white, black, silver, gray, and red.
The Dodge Journey Blacktop edition can be ordered with five- or seven-passenger seating, a choice of the 173-hp four-cylinder base engine or the 283-hp Pentastar V-6, and front- or all-wheel drive. Exterior colors include two whites, two reds, gray, silver, and black. Nineteen-inch black wheels and an 8.4-inch infotainment touch screen are fitted, while the grille, front fascia trim, headlamp surrounds, and mirror caps are black. The kit costs $995.
- Comparison Test: 2011 Dodge Durango vs. 2011 Ford Explorer and 2011 Honda Pilot
- Instrumented Test: 2011 Dodge Durango R/T RWD and AWD
- Instrumented Test: 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T
Finally, the Grand Caravan—albeit only the SXT trim—can be fitted with Blacktop stuff for $595. It includes 17-inch aluminum rollers with black-painted pockets, a black grille, black headlamp bezels, and a set of fog lamps. Darkness reigns inside: The seats, headliner, center console, and door panels are black, and silver stitching is applied throughout. The exterior color palette is essentially the same as with the other two models.
These people haulers join the pavement-themed Charger, Challenger, and Avenger already available, and Dodge says this completes the Blacktop lineup, so don’t expect a Dart. Unless you pour asphalt on yours. Which would be just like a bad-ass.
By Erik Johnson