Because. Just because.
Making its official debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show (just before the Hell-ish Challenger SRT Demon comes to New York), Dodge has revealed its 2018 Durango SRT. Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis proudly claims the Durango SRT is "America's fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV." Let's talk specifics: Power comes from the familiar 392 6.4-liter Hemi V8, producing a total of 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. And yes, the newly designed SRT hood features a functional cold-air duct and heat extractors to improve overall performance.
Speaking of which, Dodge claims a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds and a National Hot Rod Association certified quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds. Hot damn. "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, toy-hauling, three-row muscle car," Kuniskis added. The eight-speed automatic gearbox, combined with a transfer case capable of varying the torque split between the front and rear axles, sends power to all four wheels. When in Track mode, however, up to 70 percent of the engine's torque goes to the rear wheels only. In addition to Track, the other six driving modes are Auto, Sport, Snow, Tow, Valet, and Eco.
Dodge also claims a best-in-class towing capability of 8,600 pounds. Exterior updates include a widebody design and the aforementioned function SRT hood. There's also a new front fascia and lower valence to house new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps. Step inside and you'll find Laguna leather and carbon fiber trim (a first for the Durango) along with a hand-wrapped instrument panel with silver accent stitch, and a SRT flat-bottom steering wheel with SRT paddle shifters, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain's chairs and – get this – a 180-mph speedometer. An 8.4-inch infotainment screen interface is also standard.
Driving the Durango SRT will also be a thrill, thanks to an active damping system for improved ride quality, while the suspension has 3 percent stiffer front springs and 16 percent stiffer rear springs. Heck, Dodge even managed an impressive 52/48 weight distribution. Along with six-piston Brembo front brakes and four-piston calipers out back, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is the real deal – a hot rod SUV with three-rows with an expected sticker price (probably around $70,000) far below that of, say, the Mercedes-AMG GLS63's $125k ownership fee. Oh, buyers are also treated to a day at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.