By Patrick Rall
We have been talking about the possibilities of a high performance Dodge Durango SRT8 sine the newest generation of the SUV debuted a couple years ago but in the long run – does Dodge really need to offer an SRT variant of the Durango or should buyers who want a 470hp sport utility vehicle just stick with the tried and true Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8?
Let’s look at the pros and cons.
It should be pointed out that the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee are based on the same platform and shy of some exterior sheet metal along with some basic design cues – these are the same vehicle. It can be argued that the Durango takes more of a “street SUV” look while the Grand Cherokee is better known for being more of an offroading machine but in the long run, the Durango SRT8 would be very similar in its capabilities to what is already offered on the Jeep SRT8. The company could offer some special suspension or drivetrain tuning to focus more on high performance street use while the Grand Cherokee SRT8 looks to offer high performance in a broader range of locations. But honestly, there is no question that Grand Cherokee SRT8 is one bad ass street machine.
In short, the Durango SRT8 and Grand Cherokee SRT8 would be very similar with the exception of exterior design. Sergio Marchionne has made it clear that he doesn’t love having closely competing vehicles offered by different brands but when you consider the fact that the Dodge Charger SRT8 and Chrysler 300C SRT8 are every bit as similar as the Durango and Grand Cherokee – the idea of the high performance Dodge SUV doesn’t seem quite so outlandish.
Dodge has always been known as more of a high performance brand while the Jeep brand has always been better known for a go anywhere, do anything attitude that has earned many modern Jeep models the term “Trail Rated.” Due to that, the Durango would seem like a better fit in the performance-branded Dodge lineup, but the reputation for being an offroading dream certainly hasn’t stopped Jeep from selling the high performance Grand Cherokee SRT8.
So what do you think? Should the Chrysler Group expand the SRT lineup by offering a Dodge Durango SRT8 or should the company just keep, and buyers be happy with, what currently exists? Click here to head into our poll in the forum to cast your vote and give us your input!