Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' (FCA) Dodge division has revealed its 475-hp Durango SRT SUV will go on sale later this year at a starting price of $72,495.
Billed by its maker as North America's fastest three-row SUV, the Durango SRT uses a 6.4L V8 lifted from the brand's Challenger and Charger muscle cars. Doing Durango duty, that monster mill is good for a 12.9-second quarter (verified by the National Hot Rod Association of course, because what's more American these days than a ridiculously fast SUV) and a 0-100 km/h sprint of 4.4 seconds.
For the record, those times are not a lot slower than the Challenger SRT 392, which is powered by essentially the same engine.
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Aiding in the acceleration department is an eight-speed transmission controlled by a seven-mode drive system that, in a new sport mode, commands shift times 50 per cent quicker than normal. A track mode tightens up shifting even more and sends as much as 70 per cent of the engine's 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels.
What will make the Durango SRT slower is hitching up your RV or boat: Dodge boasts the Durango SRT out-hauls "every three-row SUV on the road" with a best-in-class 3,946 kg towing capacity.
We suspect Ford might having something to say about that: it claims its current (and soon to be replaced) Expedition -- very much a three-row SUV -- will haul a max of 4,173 kg.
To keep things shiny-side-up, Durango SRT gets 20-inch wheels framing big six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes, plus a Bilstein active-damping suspension with stiffer springs and a larger rear sway bar.
And in order to let Durango SRT buyers be clear they didn't "just" buy a $58,000 Durango R/T, the new hot-rod version gets a widebody exterior and hood with a functional cold-air duct and heat extractors, along with trim-specific front and rear fascia. Aural cues include a new exhaust whose sound was modeled after that of the Charger SRT.
Dodge says the 2018 Durango SRT will strut into the brand's showrooms in the fourth quarter of this year.