By Patrick Rall
Here we go again… rumors have again surfaced that the Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology division is working on a high performance variant of the new Dodge Durango. Ever since the latest generation of the Durango was introduced, we have been hoping for an SRT8 version and according to an inside source who spoke with Allpar – work on such a vehicle is current in progress.
It is expected that if Chrysler does issue an SRT Durango, it will feature the same basic drivetrain components as the current Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. This means that it would likely pack the 392 cubic inch Hemi with 470 horsepower and 470lb-ft of torque, an 8-speed automatic transmission and an advanced all wheel drive system. The SRT Durango would also likely feature some sort of adjustable sport suspension that would afford it the ability to offer race-inspired road handling capabilities without compromising its ability to do things like tow and haul.
While the SRT variants of the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee would technically compete, the proportions and design of the two big SUVs are unique enough that these two high performance haulers would each offer their own advantages. The Durango has been marketed as a street performance vehicle with a lower, sportier stance while the Grand Cherokee sits higher with a design that looks more capable racing off road. While the exterior additions of the SRT Jeep make it very clear that it is a performance vehicle – the Durango SRT design naturally offers a much sportier design that could be even more aggressive with the SRT touch. Basing the SRT Durango on the current R/T package but with more aggressive angles, wheels and a redesigned hood would make this high performance Dodge SUV one of the baddest looking SUVs on the planet.
The other possibility is that the SRT Durango being developed could be one of the vehicles to feature the upcoming “Hellcat Hemi”. There have long been rumors that the company is designing a 6.2L supercharged engine with somewhere in the range of 550-640 horsepower and that mill would make the SRT Durango real competition for the highest performance sport utility vehicles in the world.