Dodge is unveiling a muscled-up version of its already muscular large SUV at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT takes the SRT sub-brand’s usual high-lux, high-performance tricks—an uber-powerful engine, performance suspension tuning, unique styling cues, and upscale interior trimmings—and applies them to the biggest SUV in Dodge’s model lineup.
The Durango SRT is powered by a 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 that puts out 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft of torque. Dodge’s 8-speed TorqueFlite transmission is standard, as is a performance-tuned all-wheel-drive system. A seven-mode drive system allows the driver to choose between Auto, Sport, Track, Snow, Tow, Valet, and ECO settings that alter powertrain, suspension, and steering calibrations.
The suspension is beefed up with stiffer front and rear springs, as well as a stiffer rear sway bar. A Bilstein adaptive damping suspension adjusts damper settings in conjunction with the drive-mode selector. Hauling down all that mass are Brembo disc brakes—15-inch rotors and six-piston calipers in front, and four-piston calipers on 13.8-inch rotors at the rear. Twenty-inch “Goliath” five-spoke wheels (or available forged aluminum split five-spoke 20s) mount beefy 295/45ZR20 tires—either Pirelli Scorpion Verde all-season skins, or Pirelli P Zero three-season tires.
The Durango SRT’s acceleration numbers would be impressive for a two-seat sports car, let alone a plus-size three-row SUV. Dodge says the Durango SRT can sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)-certified quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds. Towing capacity is 8600 pounds.
Unique styling cues include an SRT hood with a functional scoop and dual heat-extractor vents; a front fascia with a cold-air duct and LED foglamps; a rear fascia with dual 4-inch exhaust tips; subtle wheel flares; and body-color side rocker panels. In keeping with SRT tradition, the Durango SRT’s cabin aims for a premium ambiance. Standard are a 180-mph speedometer; SRT flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters; heated and ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats; hand-wrapped dashboard with silver accent stitching; and Nappa leather upholstery with suede inserts and silver-stitched SRT. Available trim features include Demonic Red Laguna leather upholstery, Dynamica suede headliner, and carbon-fiber trim.
Durango SRT buyers will receive a complimentary one-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.
The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is slated to hit dealerships in late 2017. Pricing will be announced at a later date.
First the all-wheel-drive Dodge Challenger GT, now this. We’ve got to hand it to Dodge for its crafty use of special-edition models and new applications of existing drivetrain components to keep its aging product lines in the headlines. The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT follows in the footsteps of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, with the added benefits of a third-row seat and better towing/cargo capacity. Mopar’s latest monstrous, hot-rodded hauler will undoubtedly be a hoot to drive–as it sucks down premium gasoline at an alarming rate.