That a hotted-up Dodge Durango was on the way was hardly a secret. Dodge had shown off a Durango Shaker concept, and spy photographers had snapped the Durango SRT prototype countless times during its development process. Now the model makes its debut at the Chicago Auto Show, before going on sale by the end of this year as America’s quickest three-row vehicle.
The SRT badge signifies that this Durango packs the same 6.4-liter Hemi V8 as other Dodge SRT models, with 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive enable a 0-to-60 sprint of just 4.4 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds. That’s quicker than the $97,200 Porsche Cayenne GTS, for just one point of reference.
Dodge is still certifying the top speed for the Durango SRT and will announce it later.
The engine breathes through functional air intakes in the hood and the front fascia, including a cold-air inlet above the foglight that vehicle development manager Pete Jacobsen drops intake air intake temperatures by 18 degrees Fahrenheit. Big exhausts (2.75 inches in diameter) are “tuned to sound a lot like the 392 Charger,” he says.
Adaptive suspension comes standard, as do 20x10 wheels wrapped in all-season rubber as standard or Pirelli P Zeros as an option. Compared to the regular Durango, the SRT’s rear springs are 15 percent stiffer and the fronts are 4 percent stiffer. Combined with a 52:48 front-rear weight balance, “that makes a really neutral-handling car,” Jacobsen says. “You can get some throttle-lift oversteer.”
Those big wheels are necessary, in part, to fit enormous brakes; the Durango SRT tips the scales at a not-insignificant 5,510 pounds. Up front, they’re six-piston calipers grabbing 15.0-inch rotors; in back, look for four-piston calipers and 13.8-inch rotors.
The full-time all-wheel-drive system has varying torque distributions depending on which of the car’s seven drive modes is selected. In the default Street mode, it’s split 40:60 front/rear. Moving to Sport stiffens the dampers and loosens the stability-control parameters, and shifts the torque bias to 35:65. In Track, which has the most lenient stability-control programming, 70 percent of torque goes to the rear wheels. There’s also a 50:50 lock mode for improved winter or off-road traction.
But making the Durango SRT the quickest three-row vehicle around wasn’t enough, says FCA North America head of passenger car brands Tim Kuniskis. “We needed to make sure it was the most capable as well.” So the SRT keeps a hidden tow hitch between its dual exhaust and can tow 8,600 pounds – up from a maximum of 7,400 in the 5.7-liter Durango. That’s not just a theoretical number, either; Dodge certified that rating to the grueling SAE J2807 towing tests. “We passed those with flying colors,” Jacobsen says.
The Durango SRT also receives active noise cancellation which is active during cylinder deactivation, when the V8 runs on four cylinders, and full-time in tow mode to make hauling trailers a little less strenuous on the ears.
The SRT Pages app for the built-in 8.4-inch touchscreen has been redesigned, and now features more readouts for vehicle performance data. It allows for picking the various drive modes, as well as for setting features like launch control (with a drag strip-style Christmas tree graphic in the cluster) or shift lights.
Visual enhancements include the 20-inch wheels with a “Black Noise” finish, a new body kit, the Viper-inspired hood scoop and vents, big dual exhaust tips, red-painted Brembo brake calipers, new rocker panels, and various 392 badges. Inside, look for three rows of performance bucket seats, a hand-stitched dashboard, suede-wrapped pillars and headliner, a 180-mph speedometer, a T-handle shifter instead of the usual rotary shifter, big shift paddles, and real carbon fiber trim. The SRT badge on the steering wheel also glows faintly at night; Dodge designers call that the “Lit DAB badge,” a name which will surely amuse teenagers.
In all, the Durango SRT lives up to the path laid by other SRT models powered by the 392-cubic-inch, 6.4-liter Hemi V8. In fact, Kuniskis says his only real regret is that it took so long to get the model to market: “This is the one that I really wanted us to launch” back in 2014, he says.
Gallery: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT
The Dodge and SRT brands are rocking the high-performance automotive world once again, bringing a huge burst of American power, acceleration and best-in-class tow capability to the three-row SUV segment with the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT – the fastest SUV in its class.
With the proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 under its new functional SRT hood, the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, and a wicked fast time on the drag strip – from 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 4.4 seconds, covering the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds as certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
“The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars Brands, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. “This is what you get, when you take everything great about the Durango and combine it with the performance of the Charger SRT: a 12-second quarter mile, toy-hauling, three-row muscle car.”
The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will make its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 9. Vehicles will start arriving in Dodge dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is loaded with performance features designed to make it America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV, including:
Proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque and 4.4 second 0-60 mph times
New wide body exterior brings the Durango SRT together as a true performance SUV
Newly designed SRT hood with a functional cold-air duct and heat extractors to cool the engine and improve overall performance
Standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission specifically calibrated for the Dodge Durango SRT to optimize shift points and deliver maximum torque to all four wheels
New driver-oriented electronic T-shifter, standard on all 2018 Durango models, provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control
New SRT seven-mode drive system gives the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort
New Sport Mode reduces shift times by up to 50 percent versus Street Mode and delivers up to 65 percent of the 392 HEMI engine’s torque to the rear wheels
New Track Mode delivers maximum performance track driving with 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels for the most pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience
New performance-tuned AWD system helps the Durango SRT set world-class performance marks
Sophisticated Active Damping System opens and closes the Durango SRT’s suspension’s damper valves, according to which of the seven modes is chosen, giving the driver options for any driving style
Stiffer front springs (3 percent), stiffer rear springs (16 percent) and stiffer rear sway bar (18 percent) give Durango SRT drivers outstanding high-speed cornering capability.
New exhaust system tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance Dodge SRT exhaust note modeled after the Dodge Charger SRT
Massive new Brembo high-performance six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers and vented rotors at all four corners, measuring 15 inches (front-slotted) and 13.8 inches (rear)
New Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires
New performance Laguna leather and carbon fiber trim offered for the first time in a Durango
New interior appointments, including a hand-wrapped instrument panel with live silver accent stitch, SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with SRT paddle shifters, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain’s chairs with embossed SRT logos
New 180-mph speedometer
True carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels (late availability)
Premium velour bound floor mats with embroidered SRT logo
Suede-wrapped headliner and A pillars
New SRT rear body-color lower fascia with Gloss Black accent surrounds the 4-inch dual round exhaust tips finished in Nickel Chrome
New performance AWD badging on liftgate
Performance at its core
For the first time ever, SRT power is now available in the Dodge Durango. The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is powered by the potent 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology that delivers 475 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 470 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm – providing America’s best horsepower and torque ratings and making the new Dodge Durango SRT the fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV.
To keep the powertrain running cool and efficient in higher demand environments, a new cold-air duct provides cooler outside air into the engine. Testing has shown up to an 18-degree Fahrenheit improvement in intake air temperature, resulting in an engine that performs flawlessly on the street, racetrack or when towing a favorite trailer or toy.
Assuring maximum performance under extreme conditions, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT has been validated through rigorous 24-hour track durability testing – a testing standard that every SRT vehicle adheres to.
The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides enhanced shift quality and performance drivability, as well as optimized fuel economy through its TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. This proven transmission was specifically calibrated for the Dodge Durango SRT to optimize shift points and deliver maximum torque to all four wheels. For the ultimate driver-controlled experience, the transmission can be manually shifted using the performance-inspired steering wheel paddle controls on the exclusive SRT-lit flat-bottom steering wheel.
The TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission takes into account variables, including engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, tire slip and downshift detection to determine the appropriate transmission shift map. The end result is a fully adaptable performance experience.
Additional parameters integrated into the control strategy include vehicle speed control, electronic stability control interaction and temperature. The result is automatic shifting that is ideally attuned to the performance requirements of any performance-oriented driving demand.
When the driver downshifts, the “rev match” function uses the engine controller to blip the throttle, which provides optimal transition between gears for improved performance and greater stability when downshifting at the traction limit.
When placed in “Sport Mode,” the transmission reduces shift times by up to 50 percent versus Street Mode and delivers 65 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels.
Acceleration and performance handling are enhanced by transfer case proportioning and dynamic controls for the AWD system when the vehicle is in Track Mode. When in Track Mode, maximum performance track driving is achieved with 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque delivered to the rear wheels for the most pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience. Durango SRT drivers will also notice a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit.
The new driver-oriented electronic T-shifter provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control. Drive and Sport shifting can be selected with no effect on the chosen suspension, stability control and driveline torque split settings.
The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT features launch control, which mimics a professional driver’s inputs to optimize performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension together for an optimal launch and consistent straight-line acceleration.
The new exhaust system has been tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance note that is distinctive to Dodge/SRT and provides a lasting impression. To achieve this iconic exhaust tone, engineers have replaced the rear mufflers with resonators to increase overall sound level and improve tone of the true performance 2.75-inch dual exhaust system.
Ride and handling
The Dodge Durango SRT rides on a short- and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, specially tuned Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper- and lower-control arms (“A” arms) and a stabilizer bar. Additional changes include 3 percent stiffer front springs, 16 percent stiffer rear springs and an 18 percent stiffer rear sway bar to provide Durango SRT drivers with outstanding high-speed cornering capability.
In the rear, a specially tuned multi-link suspension design has coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a stabilizer bar.
The 120-inch wheelbase allows for outstanding stability and consistency in high-speed cornering, while a new performance-tuned AWD system helps the Durango SRT set the world-class performance marks.
The Durango SRT also features the SRT seven-mode drive system, which provides the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort. Suspension, torque distribution, shift points, stability control and engine mapping are all controlled through this system. In addition to these parameters, suspension feel is controlled by a sophisticated Active Damping System that opens and closes the suspension’s damper valves according to the chosen drive mode, providing the driver with options for any driving style.
The seven SRT drive modes include:
Street: activates automatically when starting the vehicle. Sets the suspension and steering to comfort setting and longer shift times for longer, relaxed driving conditions
Sport: delivers increased vehicle performance capability over Street Mode. Tightens up suspension damping and increased steering gradient feel for improved cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 23 percent in 1-4 gears and electronic stability control (ESC) allows more yaw for spirited driving
Track: delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces. Tightens up to full hard suspension damping and steering gradient feel for maximum cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 50 percent in 1-4 gears from street mode and ESC allows maximum yaw
Snow: sets ideal configuration for driving in snow by setting transmission to use second gear (rather than first gear) during launches to minimize wheel slippage; stability control is set to Full-on and AWD is set to 50/50 distribution
Tow: sets ideal configuration to tow a trailer by using full stability control; AWD is set to 50/50 distribution and trailer sway control is enabled in the ESC system. In addition, the Active Noise Cancelation system is automatically engaged to reduce engine noise from the high-load towing condition
Valet: engine is remapped to mimic the Dodge Charger V-6 engine’s torque and horsepower settings; transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal; traction, steering and suspension are set to their Street settings; steering wheel paddle shifters are disabled; ESC is enabled to Full-on and launch control is disabled
ECO: maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, second-gear starts and extended range of the Fuel Saver Technology
Standard five-spoke 20-inch “Goliath” wheels with a new “Black Noise” finish ride on Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires. Available, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels feature a new split five-spoke design also featuring the “Black Noise” finish.
The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT delivers excellent braking performance, requiring an estimated 115 feet to come to a full stop from 60 mph. Credit belongs to massive new Brembo high-performance six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15 inches (front-slotted) and 13.8 inches (rear).
Aggressive, functional and luxurious inside and out
Along with its new ultimate performance capabilities, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides the same combination of uncompromised utility, advanced technology and aggressive styling its well known for.
Inside the refreshed cabin of the Durango SRT, new appointments include a hand-wrapped dashboard with live silver accent stitch, SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with standard paddle shift, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain’s chairs with embossed SRT logos. Nappa leather with suede inserts and silver-stitched SRT logos are standard. Demonic Red Laguna leather interior with embossed SRT logos is optional.
Other luxurious touches brought to Durango for the first time in the SRT model include new Light Black Chrome center stack, HVAC, full console and door handle bezels along with two choices of decorative bezels. Standard finish is Matte Reverse Chain, and for the first time on Durango a true carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels will be offered (late availability). Premium velour bound floor mats with embroidered SRT logo are standard. Adding to the impact of the hand-wrapped instrument panel, the headliner and A pillars are available in Dynamica suede.
A newly designed 7-inch, thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable digital instrument gauge cluster with 180-mph speedometer allows drivers to select from a multitude of layouts and information. The class-exclusive Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen media center houses the new SRT Performance Pages along with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD radio, downloadable apps and 5-year trial of SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic. The standard BeatsAudio premium sound system features nine speakers, subwoofer and 506-watt amplifier.
On the exterior, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT carries a SRT hood with functional center air-inlet ducts flanked by heat extractors that help to keep the engine bay cool by removing hot air from the engine compartment. A new front fascia and lower valence house the new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps. This new unique look will also include the SRT-inspired grille mesh pattern finish.
New integrated wheel flares and body-color side rocker panels help provide an aggressive stance. The “392” badges flanking each fender with Bright Chrome and Metallic Grey accents differentiate the ultimate performance Durango.
At the rear, a new SRT rear body-color lower fascia with Gloss Black accent surrounds the 4-inch dual round exhaust tips finished in Nickel Chrome.
The Durango SRT is also distinguished by new badging on the rear liftgate that denotes the new performance AWD system.
The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is available in 11 exterior colors, including Billet Clear Coat, Blu by Yu Pearl Coat, Bruiser Grey Clear Coat, Dark Black Clear Coat, Granite Clear Coat, Ocean Blue Pearl Coat, Octane Red Pearl Coat, Redline Pearl Coat, Sangria Metallica Clear Coat, White Knuckle Clear Coat and Vice White.
Safety and security
The 2018 Dodge Durango offers consumers more than 60 available safety and security features, including standard all-speed traction control and ESC, which improve overall vehicle handling and performance both on- and off-road. Standard trailer-sway control enhances towing capabilities and keeps the vehicle and trailer aligned as the Durango travels down the road.
Available safety and security features include forward collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control with stop, Uconnect Access with 9-1-1 call and roadside assistance. Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, which aid drivers when changing lanes or in parking lot situations. In addition, standard front-row active head restraints, standard full-length three-row side-curtain air bags and standard front-seat-mounted side thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision. In total, Durango offers seven standard airbags.