We're surprised it's taken this long.
The current generation Dodge Durango has been around since 2011 and has remained relatively unchanged since. That's not necessarily a bad thing because the Durango, which shares a platform with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, is also one of the few mid-size SUVs to have a third-row. And, not to mention, optional Hemi V8 power. While the standard engine is a more economical 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, neither offers outstanding fuel economy by today's standards. That's about to change, according to MoparInsider, who claims to have seen a copy of the FCA and UAW contract agreement recently finalized.
First off, the Durango (and its Grand Cherokee cousin) are not going anywhere. In fact, FCA is slated to invest some $3 billion in the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Michigan where both SUVs are built over the next four years. The report also mentioned this: a mild hybrid Durango due next year.
This should not come as a big surprise given that last year Ram launched mild-hybrid versions of the Ram 1500 for both 3.6-liter V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engines, called eTorque. The question is, which of these two engines will be given the mild hybrid treatment for the 2020 Durango? Perhaps both, like the Ram 1500. It would not be a significant challenge for FCA engineers to configure both of the Durango's engines.
The eTorque system itself is actually quite interesting. It's comprised of a Motor Generator Unit in place of the alternator and is connected to the crankshaft with a large drive belt. In addition, there's a 48-volt battery pack "the size of a suitcase."
The end result is a vehicle with lower C02 emissions, improved EPA ratings, and even better acceleration. In the case of the Ram 1500, the eTorque system is now standard on the 3.6-liter V6, but is a $200 option on the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. There was nothing mentioned in the report whether or not the Grand Cherokee - also available with these engines - is also set to receive the eTorque treatment.