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Dodge Is Giving Us the Durango SRT

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author photo by Will Kinton February 2017

Last week, Dodge announced their newest creation: the Durango SRT. This isn't a surprising development, as Dodge has really leaned into the idea that there should be a muscle-car version of everything. Therefore, they've made what they're billing as the most powerful 3-row SUV in America.

So how did they create such a beast? By putting a really big engine in it, of course -- because that's the SRT way. The Durango SRT gets a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 that puts out 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds while still being capable of towing 8,600 pounds. It also receives big Brembo brakes, a different hood with functional cooling ducts, performance tires and a paddle-shift transmission. The Durango SRT also comes with a bunch of performance features, like launch control for laying down those rad quarter-mile times and a track mode that delivers 160-millisecond shifts and sends 70 percent of the power to the rear wheels -- because Dodge says you can take this to the race track.

Apparently, they're serious about the last point, because Dodge claims the Durango SRT "has been validated through rigorous 24-hour track-durability testing" -- and if you buy one, Dodge will give you a full day of high-performance driving lessons at the Bondurant Racing School in Phoenix.

The Durango SRT is also going to be pretty well-equipped, with an interior cloaked in leather and suede, a newly designed center stack and an instrument panel made with real carbon fiber. There's also a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, a large touchscreen media center with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a premium sound system that comes standard.

I like it, and as a car enthusiast, I like what Dodge is doing overall. In a world where most brands are trying to appeal to the lowest denominator of enthusiast, Dodge seems to recognize that there's an emotion inherit to car ownership and that it's worth tapping into. They've created a brand character, and they're sticking to it.

If Fiat Chrysler could only get their build quality up (and by up, I mean rise from their usual place at the absolute bottom of most reliability survey lists), they'd fully enter "shut up and take my money" territory.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Dodge Is Giving Us the Durango SRT - Autotrader