2018 Dodge Durango SRT: Three Rows and Almost 500 Horsepower
If you want to scare your larger-than-average family by surprising them with a round of impromptu autocross through the mall parking lot, youâ€™ll have to limit the size of your brood or risk looking daft while hustling a Toyota Senna around the storefront of a California Pizza Kitchen. However, theÂ 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is prepared to accommodateÂ you and your family on thoseÂ days where you just can’t help butÂ drive like a lunatic.
Ideally, you would let them out before putting the pedal down, but the Durango SRT’sÂ 6.4-liter Hemi V8Â can easilyÂ move around an extra few hundred pounds of human flesh without breaking much of a sweat. If you decide not to heed my advice of driving defensively with your kindred in the vehicle, Dodge is offering every new owner aÂ full-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. At least then you’ll be more familiar with the beastly three-row SUV at the limit.Â
Aggressive looks and SRT badging aside, the Durango’s primary duties will be practical, so let’s get the boring stuff out of the way. AÂ towing-capacity ofÂ 8,600 pounds means you can hitch it to a pontoon boat or massive camper withoutÂ worrying and the three-row seating is good for sixÂ passengers. It’s still a Durango, and Dodge intends it to be used like one.
Dodge also intends for you to occasionally wring out allÂ 475 horsepower and 470 foot-pounds of torque from the 392 cubic-inch motor. When you do, the SUVÂ isÂ equipped to manage aÂ quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds and scoot to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds.
Managing the power delivery is a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic and seven drive modes. Track mode reducesÂ shift times by 50 percent in the first four gears, tightens up suspension and steering, and frees up theÂ electronic stability control. Sport mode is essentially a softer track mode while auto is the default comfort mode. There are also eco and valet modes that limit power and eliminate first gear. Snow and towing modes control optimizeÂ stability management and set AWD to a 50/50 distribution.
Interior features include headed seats for the front four occupants, an 8.4-inch touchscreen to run your SRT performance data, Navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD radio, leather and suede everywhere, and a T-shaped electronic shifter instead of a rotary knob to accompany the wheel-mounted paddles. Dodge will let you go bonkers with red Laguna leather and carbon fiber trim if you want to spend the money.
New exterior features include a functional center air inlet duct flanked by heat extractors on the hood, a new front fascia, and a lower valence to house new cold-air duct and upgraded LED fog lamps.
Pricing, fuel economy, and top speed were all numbers that Dodge neglected to share. However, we do know that the Durango SRT will be at theÂ Chicago Auto Show this week and that the SUV should hit dealer lots during the fourth quarter of this year.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]
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February 7, 2017 at 03:09AM
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