While most automakers are quickly moving to add hybrid powertrains and electric motors to everything they can find, Dodge is doing things a little differently. In the middle of teasing an even faster version of the Challenger, Dodge has announced that they are putting a 6.4L Hemi V8 into the Durango SUV.
The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT gets Dodge’s 392 cubic inch (6.4L, but Dodge loves their old-style displacements on SRT models) V8 engine that will produce 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. That’s a jump of nearly 200 hp over the base V6 Durango, and Dodge says it’s the most powerful engine in any three-row SUV. The massive power means the Durango SRT can run the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds. Dodge says they’ve put it through the same 24-hour track test that all SRT vehicles are required to hit.
A massive engine isn’t the only upgrade. The Durango SRT gets wider fenders to hold huge 295 width tires on 20-inch wheels. The hood gains a functional air duct to help lower temperatures and there is an SRT body kit with a new rear fascia and 4.0-inch dual exhaust tips. The suspension is slightly stiffer and there is a larger rear sway bar. It gets special Bilstein adaptive damping suspension to help control the power. The transmission is Dodge’s familiar eight-speed automatic, calibrated with SRT specific behaviour and shift points. The steering wheel has paddle shifters to allow manual shifting. The automatic gets rev-matching, to blip the throttle during downshifts for smoothness and better performance when shifting in curves. Launch control has also been added for maximum acceleration from the all-wheel drive system.
The new system will have seven drive modes, ranging from Eco to Track. Eco does some things to help improve fuel economy, if any Durango SRT owner wants to use it. Track adjusts damping to full hard, stiffens the steering, clamps down on shift times, and relaxes the stability control. There are also sport, snow, and tow modes plus a valet mode that cuts power to V6 level, locks out first gear, and makes sure that the valet doesn’t get to have any fun.
The Durango SRT gets changes inside too. The dash is hand-wrapped with accent stitching. There is a flat-bottom SRT steering wheel. The seats are heated in the first two rows, ventilated up front with bigger bolsters, and are Nappa leather with suede inserts and SRT logos. A deep red leather interior with embossed logos is optional. The center stack is now black chrome, as are the console and door handles. A matte finish is standard on the instrument cluster, but carbon-fiber will be available for the cluster and the doors. The headliner and A-pillars are wrapped in suede.
The dash gets a 7.0-inch screen with 300 km/h speedometer and configurable gauges. Infotainment comes from a Uconnect 8.4-inch system with SRT performance apps, navigation, and Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
The 2018 Durango SRT should arrive at dealers later this summer.
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