2018 Dodge Durango SRT By Mopar
SUV fans have been clamoring for a beefed-up version of the Durango SRT ever since Dodge launched the Challenger Hellcat. But it has yet to happen as of 2018. And I really don’t think that it will change anytime soon. Jeep is already offering the Cherokee Trackhawk above the SRT model, and I’m pretty sure FCA doesn’t want a re-bodied version of this model with a Dodge badge. But, if you’re not a Cherokee fan and you want a Durango SRT with a few special features, you’re going to have to settle for the Mopar upgrade that was unveiled at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show.
Mopar-made bundles for the Dodge Durango is nothing new; we’ve seen them in the past. But these new packages are a bit more comprehensive and include updates for both the exterior and interior, as well as the drivetrain. There’s no extra power to talk about, and this might be disappointing for some, but the performance exhaust and suspension are just enough to set Durango SRT apart from its standard siblings. And the body stripes and carbon-fiber trim add a certain degree of sportiness you don’t get in many SUVs.
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Remember How The 1994 Dodge Ram "Broke The Rules?"
Pickups are an ever-present, widely accepted member of the American landscape. But it didn’t use to be that way. Even in the 1980s, pickups were considered tools, not family transportation. So what happened? The 1994 Dodge Ram. No, that’s no marketing baloney or brand loyalty soaking through my journalistic integrity. Dodge’s second-generation of Ram pickups is largely credited as the catalyst that transformed the American pickup from a utilitarian workhorse to a friendly companion that wasn’t out-of-place in the mall parking lot. Both Ford and General Motors soon followed Dodge’s lead in making pickups focused more on people than cargo and low costs. The most current culmination of this transformation is Ford’s new Platinum trim for the 2018 Super Duty. Dolled up with all the options, this truck flirts with a $100,000 price tag.
Most than two decades ago, Dodge designers decided to add more creature comforts and convenience features to its pickup. The interesting backstory, as told in this video, is that a designer at Chrysler’s brand new headquarters and technology center went to an area of the complex still under construction to take photos of the construction works’ pickups. The design team studied the photos (Polaroids, no less) to see how loose items were stored inside the cabs. The research resulted in innovative storage solutions considered commonplace in modern trucks. Ram was also the first to offer a four-door extended cab, offering easier entry to the rear bench. Before that, Ford and GM were only using one door on extended cabs.
Ram also introduced the first V-10 engine in a pickup with its new 1994 Ram heavy duty. The venerable Cummins inline-six turbodiesel carried over from the first-generation Ram HD. There was also a trio of engines for the Ram 1500, including the 3.9-liter V-6, the 5.2-liter V-8, and the 5.9-liter V-8. Both the V-8s had a long history with Chrysler, with older version being better known by their cubic-inch displacement of 318 and 360, respectively. Power ranged from 175 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque in the V-6 up to 230 horses and 330 pound-feet in the 5.9-liter. The big 8.0-liter V-10 offered an impressive 300 horses and a diesel-like 450 pound-feet of torque. In fact, the gasoline V-10 put down 30 pound-feet more torque than the 5.9-liter Cummins turbodiesel.
Pickups have come a long way since the early 1990s, and it’s easy to pinpoint where their transition started. The Ram’s “big-rig” styling separated it from everything on the road and continues to directly influence Ram’s design language nearly 25 years later. There’s certainly a lot to be said for that.
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2018 Dodge Durango SRT
The Dodge Durango started life as a midsize, body-on-frame SUV in 1998 and became a full-size SUV for its second generation, which ran from 2004 to 2009. That second-gen model saw declining sales year after year, going from 137,148 sales for the 2004 model year down to just 3,521 for the 2009 model year. The Durango then fell out of production for 2010 (only 572 examples were sold that year), and by the time the 2011 model year came around, Dodge had redesigned the Durango into a full-sized unibody that was sportier than ever with a more upscale interior. Engine options for the current generation have been limited to a 3.6-liter Pentastar and Dodge’s 5.7-liter Hemi, but that is about to change now that Dodge is introducing the Dodge Durango SRT, which includes an even sportier exterior and interior package to go with a 6.4-liter Hemi (392 cubic-inches,) something that makes the Durango the fastest SUV in its class with an output of 475 ponies and 470 pound-feet of torque – that’s one mean machine.
If it seems to you like the Durango was ready to see its fourth-generation before it got yet another trim level, then I would have to say I agree. The current generation has been on the market since 2011 and was updated for the 2014 model year. But, FCA is trying to hold off on pushing out so many new-gen models and is instead focusing on coming up with new ways to bring interest to the models that are actually due for an update. The most obvious car this is happening to is the Dodge Challenger with its new SRT Demon, but the Durango is another one of those models that will soldier on for another year or two. But, at least you can now get it with that 6.4-liter Hemi wrapped in a very sexy package with room for six. With that said, let’s check this baby out and see what all it’s working with!
Updated 07/06/2017: Dodge has finally announced pricing for the Durango SRT. It starts out at $62,995 before options, taxes, and delivery. Check out the “Prices” section below to learn more about it, how it compares to other time levels, and the competition.
Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge Durango SRT.
2018 Dodge Durango R/T
For years, the Durango R/T was Dodge’s flagship performance SUV. It came with 360 horsepower from the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, a performance-tuned suspension and exhaust, rear- or all-wheel drive, and a racer appearance. But for 2018, the Durango R/T loses its crown to the 6.4-liter Hemi-powered Durango SRT. The big V-8 kicks out 475 horsepower, making the most powerful three-row SUV with an American badge. Thankfully Dodge isn’t letting the humbled Durango R/T be forgotten. It receives the same cosmetic upgrades found on the Durango SRT, namely the functional performance hood and front fascia.
These exterior updates aren’t mere cosmetic consolation prize. Both the hood and front fascia are aerodynamically tuned to better ingest cool air while extracting heat from the engine bay. Officially, these enhancements don’t improve the 5.7-liter’s horsepower or torque stats, but in practice, it’s likely the cooler intake temperatures and mild ram-air effect the Durango SRT’s cold-air duct system, combined with lower engine bay temperatures, help boost performance. Then again, Dodge would surely announce any performance gains. In addition to the new bodywork, the Durango R/T will be available in “B5 Blue,” the legendary electric hue only offered on Dodge’s SRT products. Other updates include a new T-handle gear shifter that replaces the rotary knob and a new sport steering wheel. Pricing will be announced closer to the 2018 Durango’s on-sale date in the third quarter of 2017.
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Make Sure You Abide By Dodge’s Rules Before You Buy A Challenger SRT Demon
Suppose you already have a reservation for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and you’re just waiting for that precious call from your local Dodge dealer. It’s hard not to get excited about getting your hands on one of the most anticipated muscle cars to be released in recent history. Exciting times, isn’t it? Well, before you get a little too excited about the possibilities, Dodge is dousing that excitement with a three-page Demon Disclosure Form that you’ll have to abide by before you can bring your Challenger Demons home.
The document, acquired by Jalopnik, is essentially a “terms and conditions” waiver that Dodge wants every Challenger Demon buyer to sign, effectively waiving their rights to sue in the event they don’t follow any of the conditions laid out by the automaker. Among the important points that Dodge indicated in the form pertains to passenger seats. Specifically, the form says that “if the vehicle is not factory equipped with a passenger seat, customer shall never attempt to install a passenger seat because the passenger will not be properly protected." Another important reminder included in the form is a warning for owners never to use “any “Track-Use” features, functions, equipment or parts on public roads or any other prohibited area.”There are a lot more conditions laid out in the form, and almost all of which were put in to lay out the simple fact that the Challenger SRT is effectively a street-legal drag car and owners should use it with utmost care and caution.
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Dodge Helps Prevent Dealer Mark-Ups on Challenger SRT Demon
As Honda deals with the growing discontent among its consumer base on the aggressive mark-ups dealerships are putting on the Honda Civic Type R, Dodge is determined not to irate its consumers by instituting a unique dealership ordering process for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The process itself was designed to prevent the experience prospective Civic Type R customers are going through as they see the prices of the hot hatch skyrocket to almost double Honda’s own asking price.
A big part of Dodge’s allocation plan for the Challenger Demon is to place priority on dealerships willing to sell at or below the automaker’s suggested retail price. Specifically, these dealerships stand to get priority scheduling and receive lower serial-numbered cars as opposed to those who are putting mark-ups on the price of the highly sought-after muscle car. On top of that, dealerships who have sold more than one SRT Hellcat in the last 12 months are the only ones who are eligible to receive a Challenger Demon. And to make it in even more difficult for these dealers, those who meet the previous requirement will be allocated a certain number of models depending on how their sales performance for the Charger, Challenger, and SRT Hellcats are. As for those dealerships planning to sell the SRT Demon above the automaker’s MSRP, they’ll get theirs “after priority production is completed.”
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Full Powertrain Spec Sheet For Challenger SRT Demon Revealed, We Compare It To The Hellcat
When Dodge pulled the sheets on the utterly insane Challenger SRT Demon back in April at the 2017 New York International Auto Show, months of speculation finally collided with reality, and the result was one of the most badass factory drag racers ever unleashed. The headline specs on the Demon beg belief, with nearly 850 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque sent to the rear axle thanks to a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8. Stuffing the engine is a 2.7-liter supercharger producing 14.5 psi of boost, which prompts at 2.3-second sprint in the 60-mph benchmark. Keep your foot down, and you’ll see the quarter mile blitzed in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph. Insanity. Now, Dodge has a full rundown on hard numbers to document that craziness with the release of the Demon’s powertrain spec sheet.
You can check out the attached press release for all the nitty gritty details, but in the meantime, here are a few highlights. For starters, Dodge says the V-8 engine manages to swallow as much as 173 cubic feet of air during a full-throttle quarter-mile run, which is roughly the same volume as the lung capacity of 816 humans. During a hard launch, the Nitto cheater slicks produce upwards of 1.8 g’s of forward acceleration, enough to lift the nose of the car off the ground for a fronts-up wheelie off the line. There’s plenty of other details as well, so read on if you wanna get nerdy with it as we compare it the “standard” Hellcat.
Continue reading for the full press release.
Dodge Challenger Demon Is Already Making Its Way Onto Ebay
If you’re sweating on the possibility of missing out on the Dodge Challenger Demon because of its limited availability — only 3,300 units will be made in the first production run — you can save yourselves the trouble by taking up the offer of a well-rated eBay seller. Of course, doing so does come with a bagful of caveats, chief among them is the guy’s asking price of $250,000 and the fact that paying that much money for a car that you can probably still get if you did all the legwork has “don’t do it!” written all over it.
That said, props to the seller too for his enterprising way of making money. He still doesn’t technically have the Challenger Demon he’s selling because deliveries for the car aren’t expected until the fall of this year. He admits as much as too, saying that whoever takes him up on his $250,000 asking price can have options included if he “purchases before the order date.” Otherwise, the buyer will have to settle for a Demon with the options that the seller choices. So it’s up to any of you if you want to take up this offer. Dodge hasn’t said if the $85,000 Challenger Demon is sold out, but with interest in the muscle car going through the roof, it’s only a matter of time before all 3,300 units are accounted for. When that happens, you might have no other choice but to take this more expensive route.
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Jeep Grand Wagoneer “Placed on Hold,” Sources Say
News about the future Jeep Grand Wagoneer has gone from promising to problem-ridden over the last month. Reports have suggested Jeep is canceling the high-end SUV for good, while others suggest nothing is wrong. Well, word has just surfaced from two different third-party parts suppliers that Jeep in putting the Grand Wagoneer project on hold.
The news comes from Larry Vellequette, a reporter with Automotive News whose dedicated beat for the last decade has been Chrysler and now FCA. He reports the luxo-Jeep isn’t officially dead, but it isn’t alive and well. The major problem, according to Vellequette, is FCA’s very limited cash reserves. FCA is currently funding a company-wide game of musical chairs and retooling with its assembly plants. Vehicles are being moved around, plans are getting refurbished, and this is eating into cash reserves.
Also a major factor is the limited size of vehicle that’s capable of being produced at FCA’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. It currently builds the Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, but anything larger, say like a three-row Range Rover competitor, simply wouldn’t fit down the assembly line.
Vellequette makes an interesting observation though. Why retool Jefferson at great expense for a low-volume SUV rather than build a high-volume, body-on-frame SUV that competes with the Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition? Why not base that SUV on the upcoming refreshed Ram 1500? It’s certainly an idea worth exploring.
Ram has never made a three-row SUV based on its pickup despite GM and Ford having outstand success with the concept. Should Jeep choose to pursue this, the Grand Wagoneer name would likely drop the “Grand” portion, recalling the more utilitarian Jeep Wagoneer of 1974 through 1983.
Should Jeep go this route, it could even create a heavy-duty version, competing where the Suburban 2500 and Ford Excursion once did. What’s more, it could even create a Rubicon or Trailhawk version based on the Ram 2500 Power Wagon. Best of all, FCA would need far less cash to pull this off. The Ram’s Warren Truck Assembly Plant could accommodate the 1500-series Wagoneer, while FCA’s Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico could accommodate the heavy-duty and Power Wagon versions.
Of course, this is pure speculation on our part based on speculation by Vellequette. One thing is for sure though – Jeep will not be getting its Grand Wagoneer by 2018 or 2019.
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America Invades Germany: Ram Trucks Drive the Nürburgring Setting World Record
Apparently there’s a lot of Ram Truck fans in Europe. On November 5, 2016, a parade of more than 1,000 Ram pickups drove along the Nürburgring in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record. A Facebook Live video captured more than 45 minutes of passing Rams of various years, many of which dressed up with modifications like LED lights, bumpers, and roll bars.
According to the club that sanctioned the event, Ram World Record, there were 1,152 Ram trucks that participated in the parade. RWR set out to beat Ram’s previous record of 451 trucks set back in April 2015 in Texas.
The parade’s record-breaking numbers seems to be contested, though, as Guinness World Records has not updated its website with the event. What’s more, it seems odd that Ram was only able to muster 451 trucks for its record-breaking parade in Texas – Texas. That’s the same state where you’d be able to find at least that many Ram trucks parked at an airport parking garage. Perhaps these European Ram owners are a bit more engaged into the brand.
We reached out to Ram for official word, but until we hear back, take a look at this video. It was shot by Dale Lomas from Bridge To Gantry, a site dedicated to all things Nürburgring. Though he was only a spectator, his video shows (in unofficial detail) the vast number of Ram trucks slowly making their way down the rain-soaked ‘Ring.
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The 2016 Truck Rodeo: The Full Results
By now you’ve probably read how the 2017 Ford Super Duty was crowned the Truck of Texas and that the 2017 Nissan Armada won the SUV of Texas. But the Super Duty and Armada were far from the only winners at this year’s Truck Rodeo put on by the Texas Auto Writers Association.
More than 70 journalists and social media influencers descended upon the 1,623-acre Longhorn River Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas to test approximately 71 pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and commercial vehicles in TAWA’s annual event.
A total of 17 categories grouped the vehicles with their competition, ranging from compact crossovers and full-size SUVs to Off-Road pickups. Other categories included best connectivity, best technology, and best powertrain.
Keep reading for the full results.
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2017 Dodge Charger Daytona
The second-generation of the modern Dodge Charger arrived in 2010, five years after Chrysler had revived the iconic nameplate as a four-door sedan. Although presented as a redesign, the new model uses not only the same platform, but also many styling features. More important changes were made under the hood, where brand-new 3.6-liter V-6 and 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engines joined the updated 5.7-liter V-8. In 2015, the sedan received an extensive facelift that brought the first major changes inside and out. The update was soon followed by the SRT Hellcat, a supercharged, 707-horsepower model that’s the quickest, most-powerful factory-built muscle car ever built as of August 2016.
The second-generation model also spawned many models that pay tribute to the classic, two-door charger, including the Scat Pack. The most recent of them is the Daytona, launched for the 2017 model year. Named after the highly-modified coupe that was created in 1969 as a homologation special for NASCAR, the 2017 Charger Daytona marks the nameplate’s return after a four-year hiatus. Revived for the first time in 2006 and produced until 2009, the Daytona returned for the 2013 model year. Now, it’s being offered for the very first time on the updated second-generation model.
As usual, it comes with a sportier exterior appearance, several unique interior features, and a drivetrain that includes Mopar-modified components. Although not as impressive as the original car that set numerous records on NASCAR race tracks, the new Charger Daytona is indeed a special performance car, especially if you’re looking for something with four doors, seating for five people, and a big trunk.
Update 08-24-2016: We made a new video to cover the highlights of the 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona. Click play to enjoy it for yourself!
Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge Charger Daytona.