2018 Dodge Durango SRT Preview
- High-performance version of Dodge Durango
- Full SRT performance treatment
- 6.4-liter “Hemi” V-8 engine
- 8-speed automatic transmission
- Performance AWD system
- Launch control
- Adaptive suspension
- Brembo braking components
- 180-mph speedometer
- SRT Performance Pages technology
- On sale in fall of 2017
- Built in Detroit, Michigan
Billing its new high-performance SUV as domestic, but not domesticated, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles unveiled the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT in advance of the 2017 Chicago Auto Show.
Dodge calls the new Durango SRT “America’s fastest, most powerful, and most capable three-row SUV.” Given the hardware installed beneath its slab-sided, refrigerator white bodywork, coupled with performance statistics certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), that sounds like a credible claim.
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With no more than a glance, it is easy to see that the Durango SRT is no ordinary SUV.
Up front, new styling supplies the necessary cold air intakes and heat extractors that help the monstrous Hemi motor to perform at its best. The entire front fascia is new and includes a mesh pattern grille as well as LED fog lights. The hood contains no fewer than three scoops and vents for freer breathing.
The Durango sits on 20-in. aluminum wheels wrapped in 295/45 Z-rated all-season performance tires. Summer tires are optional, as is a set of lightweight forged aluminum wheels. Regardless of wheel selection, they’re finished in “Black Noise.”
Around back, a revised rear fascia includes a black valence panel punctured by 4-in. round exhaust outlets finished in nickel chrome.
Sitting at the top of the Durango trim level tree, the SRT is nicely outfitted with standard Nappa leather upholstery with Dinamica simulated suede inserts. Front seats are heated and ventilated, and the second-row captain’s chairs are also heated.
The instrument panel includes a 7-in. digital gauge cluster with a 180-mph speedometer and is finished in Light Black Chrome and Matte Reverse Chain trim.
Because the Durango SRT is fully equipped, few options will be available. Among those confirmed by Dodge, premium leather in a Demonic Red color will be available, and sometime during calendar year 2018 the SUV can be decked out with genuine carbon fiber interior trim.
Under the Hood
Salivating yet? If not, consider what Dodge has stuffed under the Durango SRT’s hood.
We’re talking about a 6.4-liter V-8 engine good for 475 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 470 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm, exhaling through a 2.75-in. dual performance exhaust system. It’s bolted to an adaptive 8-speed automatic transmission featuring a new electronic “T-shaped” shifter and a manual AutoStick gate, as well as rev-matched downshifting. A performance all-wheel-drive system distributes power depending on the selected driving mode and conditions.
The SRT Drive system offers seven different driving modes. They include Eco (stop laughing), Auto, Snow, Tow, and Valet, the latter to discourage anyone from making your Durango SRT the subject of a viral video. Additionally, a Sport mode reduces shift time by 50% compared with Auto mode and sends 65% of torque to the rear wheels. Track mode provides 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70% of torque to the rear wheels, Dodge says.
This SUV stops as well as it goes, screeching to a halt from 60 mph in just 115 feet, according to Dodge. Credit the 6-piston front and 4-piston rear Brembo calipers, clamping 15-in. front vented and slotted discs and 13.8-in. rear vented rotors.
A Launch Control system is also standard for the Durango SRT, along with an adaptive damping suspension with stiffer springs and sway bars.
Every Dodge Durango SRT includes one full-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance driving in Arizona. Does that count as a safety feature? If not, know that Dodge equips this performance SUV with an adaptive cruise control system with full-stop capability, a forward-collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert. If these features fail to prevent a collision, the Uconnect Access subscription service plan provides easy 9-1-1 calling.
Durango SRT buyers get a Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system as standard equipment. In addition to its 8.4-in. touch-screen display, it includes a navigation system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone-projection technology, HD Radio, downloadable apps, and SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic. It is paired with a Beats Audio sound system with 9 speakers and a 506-watt amplifier.
This version of Uconnect also includes SRT Performance Pages, which allows the owner to track and record data while slamming the SUV around the track on the weekend.