True to its promise of reinventing itself for the new year, Dodge is coming to the 2011 Chicago Auto Show with a roster of R/T edition models, one of which is the hulking mass of power, the Dodge Durango R/T. Joining the Durango R/T at show will be four other R/T models, including the Charger R/T, the Challenger R/T, the Grand Caravan R/T, and the Journey R/T. Incidentally, the last two models are the first of its line to be outfitted with Dodge’s road & track setup.

Similar to the Durango Heat revealed earlier, the Durango R/T comes with a bevy of aesthetic improvements and performance modifications. Essentially, both the Durango R/T and the Durango Heat are the same models except for one pretty important aspect: engine performance. Regardless of the different powertrains, Dodge has set high expectations for both the Durango R/T and the Durango Heat within the full-size SUV segment.

At the Chicago Auto Show, we’ll get a pretty good idea on whether these two gnarly machines are up to the task.

Details on the Dodge Durango R/T after the jump.

  • 2011 Dodge Durango R/T
  • Year:
    2011
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    360 horsepower
  • Torque @ RPM:
    390 lb/ft of torque
  • Price:
    $35,465
  • Price:
  • body style:

Exterior and Interior

2011 Dodge Durango R/T Interior
- image 391900

Similar in appearance to the Dodge Durango Heat, the Durango R/T comes with a load of features, including a sports-tuned suspension, new rear shocks, a tuned-up suspension, an integrated dual chrome exhaust system, an exclusive “Redline Red” optional exterior paint color, a unique monochromatic front fascia with a lower air dam and fog lamps, a new grille that comes with xenon HID headlamps, and a set of 20” wheels with all-season performance tires.

Inside the Durango R/T, we’ll find a number of custom additions, including leather trim on the seats with a special “R/T’ stitching embossed on it, power driver seats that comes with a four-way lumbar adjustment, and the same Uconnect Voice Command and 506-watt Alpine audio system with 10 speakers that the Durango Heat comes with.

Performance

2011 Dodge Durango R/T Exterior
- image 391904

This is where the Durango R/T makes its money over the Durango Heat. Unlike the latter’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine with an output of 295 horsepower and 260 lb/ft of torque, the Durango R/T is powered by the loaded 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine that produces an impressive 360 horsepower and 390 lb/ft of torque.

With the added power, the Durango R/T beats out the Durango Heat’s towing capacity, 7400 lbs to 6,200 lbs. On the flip side, the Durango Heat’s less powerful engine allows it to be more fuel-efficient compared to the R/T. The latter comes with an EPA rating of 14 mpg for city driving and 20 mpg for highway driving.

Pricing

2011 Dodge Durango R/T Exterior
- image 391903

The Dodge Durango R/T is scheduled to hit dealerships in a few months and those interested in making a purchase will have to shell out a minimum of $35,465.

Competition

2011 Dodge Durango R/T Exterior
- image 391945

Comparing the Dodge Durango R/T with an SUV like the new Ford Explorer is like Lebron James playing one-on-one basketball with a college freshman. It’s really not fair.

Instead of the Explorer, the HEMI-powered Durango will take on an SUV of it’s own size or power: the Chevrolet Trailblazer.

Numbers are pretty even between the two considering that the Trailblazer’s engine – an LS2 6.0-liter V-8 with an output of 390 horsepower and 395 lb/ft of torque – is similar to the Durango’s HEMI-powered 5.7-liter V8 with 360 horsepower and 390 lb/ft of torque. Slim a margin as it may be, the advantage still goes to the bigger Trailblazer.

In terms of towing capacity, the Durango R/T has the Trailblazer by the proverbial horns with a better towing weight of 7,400 lbs to 6,800 lbs.

Take your pick between the two, although if you ask us, we’re going to give a slight nod over to the Durango R/T, only because it’s a much newer model than the Trailblazer.

2011 Dodge Durango R/T Exterior
- image 391899
  • Leave it
    • More fuel efficient offerings out there
    • A little pricier than the Durango Heat
What do you think?
Show Comments

13 comments:

  (762) posted on 01.5.2012

Awful? I don’t think so instead I think it only gives an aggressive image on it, especially on the design of its grille and with its front mouthed. Moreover, it’s a good thing that it has an awesome interior.

  (429) posted on 01.2.2012

The front looks awful but I must say that I love the interior features of this Durango R/T, and the wheels is quite impressive after all. I just hope that they would enhance the engine performance of it.

  (502) posted on 12.29.2011

I wonder if it can give an impressive figure performance despite of having a powerful engine. Anyway, the interior looks so good, it seems so cozy and relaxing there.

  (434) posted on 11.17.2011

Even though this Durango is not really so impressive, I must say that I would still prefer to have this, because it is very ideal for a family vehicle. I also notice that it had a very comfortable interior.

  (197) posted on 11.17.2011

I just only love the interior of this Durango. It looks very comfortable and classy because on its latest technology. However, the exterior detailing of this one, is really not so awesome.

  (382) posted on 11.14.2011

The interior feature is really looking great even on its exterior detailing, even though it looks too huge on its platform. Furthermore, I think they should have boosted more the engine of this Durango.

  (374) posted on 11.9.2011

The dashboard of this Durango is looks so awesome on that, and if I’m going to choose between this one and to its competitor, I can say that I would still prefer to have this one. smiley

  (459) posted on 11.3.2011

This one seems so bulky on its platform but I must say that the metallic body paint on this one and I’m glad that it had an impressive interior features as well.

  (300) posted on 10.27.2011

Well, I don’t think that its engine and horsepower is just enough to give a better performance on this huge car, but I must say that it looks so massive on that, most especially on its wheels and metallic body paint.

  (428) posted on 10.3.2011

It seems so huge and heavy that’s why I wonder if it can give an impressive figure performance despite of having a powerful engine. Anyway, the interior looks so good, it seems so cozy and relaxing there.

  (530) posted on 08.25.2011

I love the classy look of this car but they are right that the front looks so ugly, it didn’t suits for the classy image of it. They really need to enhance this one.

  (194) posted on 08.17.2011

Awful front end! but I must say that I love the interior features of this Durango R/T and the wheels are quite impressive after all. I just hope that they would enhance the engine performance of it.

  (1) posted on 02.16.2011

Pretty good review...up until the end
The Durango is straight on with the Explorer you have no idea what you’re talking about...they’re both crossovers and seat seven, the Durango has more efficient dimensions and better on road manners, Explorer has a sixth gear and off road capabilities
You wrote more fuel efficient alternatives on a R/T model, yeah if gas was worried about they wouldn’t be looking at R/T

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