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2018 Dodge Durango SRT – 475 Horsepower and Three Rows

Kamil Kaluski February 7, 2017 The News! 19 Comments

Say what you want about Chrysler-Fiat but they really the one company that has the balls to produce the kind of vehicles enthusiasts say they want. There’s the tiny Fiat 500 Abarth with a loud bark. RAM Rebels and Power Wagons come winches and other off-road gear previously available only in the world of after-market. Versions of the Grand Cherokee can go right into Moad or kill an unsuspected muscle car at the drag strip. The Wrangler still has a folding windshield! There is the Challenger with a hood that shakes and the Hellcat twins with more power than ability. There is the whole Alfa Romeo brand which is its own kind of special. They are nuts!

The craziest thing is still to come in form of the Challenger SRT Demon. But before that, FCA has decided to show us something more civilized. Something more functional. Something more subtle. That something is a Dodge Durango SRT, a 392-cubic-inch HEMI powered, 475 horsepower, three-row SUV that runs 12s in the quarter mile. And it can tow an 8600 pound trailer, too. Fuck yeah!

Even if you are not a Patriots fan you must admit that the way they won the Super Bowl was quite amazing. That is how I see the FCA and their crazy cars. I may not love them all, I may not own one presently, but I sure do appreciate and respect the fact that they are here. 

The Durango SRT comes with the 6.1-liter V8 seen in several other Chrysler products. It makes  475 hp at 6,000 rpm 470 lb.-ft. at 4,300 rpm. It is coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a single-speed transfercase that sends the power to all wheels, all the time. The distribution of that power varies from 50/50 to 30/70 depending on the selected driving mode. The 20-inch SRT wheels are wrapped in P295/45ZR20 Pirelli Scorpion Verde all-season run-flats. 

The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will make its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show on February 9th. Vehicles will start arriving at Dodge dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2017. No mention of the price yet. There is also no official EPA fuel economy numbers yet but it will probably be somewhere between LOL on the highway and LMAO in the city. 

The most obvious question is why did it take so long? The Grand Cherokee SRT has been around forever but they’re just dropping this driveline in now, six years after the launch of the third generation Durango. The second question is when will we get the Challenger and Charger with this driveline? Clearly it is available and possible. 

Regardless, the Durango SRT is here and that is a great thing. It has room for six people, the ability to tow your racer, boat, or camper with ease, and run 12s in the quarter mile.

 

 

  • P161911

    I really want this for our next family SUV, but I’m really scared of FCA quality. Also really hope that the price is sub $50k or they have great rebates.

    • Alff

      I’ve had at least one of their products in the drive at all times for more than twenty years. Usually two or three. Reliability hasn’t been much of a problem, at least through the first 150K miles or so. It’s the little things like switch gear and crappy interior finishes that bother me about their products.

      • P161911

        I have been happy with Chevrolets for the last 19 years or so (except for that crappy 1996 Z-28 convertible), so I might be satisfied. I just see a lot more horror stories about Mopar quality and there vehicles seem to disappear off the road with age quicker than other brands.

    • I had the same concerns when my mother bought her ’14 Wrangler but the damn thing has been bulletproof.

      • P161911

        My dad had a 2008 or so Dodge Caliber as a company car, he put damn near 300k miles on the thing without any major mechanical problems. It still drove just as bad as it did when new. The other Caliber that his company got had some major issues though.

    • ptschett

      They can’t be *that* bad, they use the same “World Class Manufacturing” quality methodology as the company I work for.

      • P161911

        I stopped by the local Mopar dealer last fall looking at used cars. The salesman tried to convince me that Fiat and Maserati were going to help them improve their quality.

        • Harry Callahan

          I would have laughed so hard that boogers would be flying out my nose.

    • Harry Callahan

      “but I’m really scared of FCA quality.”

      –No need to worry. There is none.

  • outback_ute

    Just because they do an awd SUV doesn’t mean the awd will fit in normal sedan height

    • In this case it will, as per my conversation with a Chrysler AWD engineer two weeks ago when I drove the Challenger AWD. He said they only have tow systems and they’re very similar to one another.

      • outback_ute

        Fair enough and good to hear they have the flexibility built in. I wonder then if they would have sold more V8 awd Challengers than V6, if they had to chose one or the other.

        The main reason I thought of that was the Ford Territory awd based on the Falcon used extra space under the engine for the diff that wasn’t compatible with normal sedan ride height

        • Yea, I mentioned that in my Challenger GT review – it’s purely marketing reasons. Their research shows blah blah…

  • Maymar

    I drove an R/T for a few days this past fall, and I didn’t walk away thinking more power was the biggest change it needed. Less bulk maybe (endemic of all 3-row crossovers though), but even the regular Hemi has plenty of go.

    On the other hand, kudos to FCA for taking every part they have and trying out every possible permutation for the hell of it.

  • Beef Malone

    First thought “This is awesome!”
    Second thought “They still make Durangos?”

    • Yea, I don’t think they do a good job of marketing it. Everyone wants a three-row SUV and many of those who don’t buy a Grand Cherokee. And yet very few, at least here in the northeast, buy the Durango. I don’t know anyone who owns one.

  • Harry Callahan

    “And it can tow an 8600 pound trailer, too. Fuck yeah!”

    Was the expletive really necessary? Not edgy, not funny, just juvenile. …like the vehicle I suppose….

  • Nizlehop

    Blech, that hood looks like an aftermarket piece for a late 90’s J-body.

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