Let's be real, nobody needs 475 horses underneath the hood to get the kids to soccer practice or to fetch groceries from the local food chain. But do we want it? You bet your shiny 'soccer parent' bumper sticker, we do! And Dodge is going to deliver it with its new 2018 model Durango SRT, a three-row SUV with a 392-cubic-inch Hemi V8 engine kicking out a burly 475-horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque.
What that translates to on the drag strip, in case you get sidetracked from hauling the family to-and-fro, is a 0-60 miles per hour time of 4.4 seconds. That is a quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds, as certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Unless it's tricked out with some major upgrades, your minivan isn't going to touch those speed benchmarks, on or off the track.
"The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars Brands, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. "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 quarter mile, toy-hauling, three-row muscle car."
That probably isn't all that exciting for young folk reading this, but for the middle-aged crowd who traded their sports or muscle car for a family sedan, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is the delightful combination of two very different worlds. Drop the kids off at school, secure the groceries, and crush the pedal when the light turns green to remind yourself that being a family man or woman doesn't mean the thrills of your younger days have to come to an end.
Depending on the situation, there are seven drive modes to choose from. They are:
- Auto: activates automatically when starting the vehicle. Sets the suspension and steering to comfort setting and longer shift times for longer, relaxed driving conditions
- Sport: delivers increased vehicle performance capability over Auto Mode. Tightens up suspension damping and increased steering gradient feel for improved cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 23 percent in 1-4 gears and electronic stability control (ESC) allows more yaw for spirited driving
- Track: delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces. Tightens up to full hard suspension damping and steering gradient feel for maximum cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 50 percent in 1-4 gears from Auto mode and ESC allows maximum yaw
- Snow: sets ideal configuration for driving in snow by setting transmission to use second gear (rather than first gear) during launches to minimize wheel slippage; stability control is set to Full-on and AWD is set to 50/50 distribution
- Tow: sets ideal configuration to tow a trailer by using full stability control; AWD is set to 50/50 distribution and trailer sway control is enabled in the ESC system. In addition, the Active Noise Cancelation system is automatically engaged to reduce engine noise from the high-load towing condition
- Valet: engine is remapped to mimic the Dodge Charger V-6 engine’s torque and horsepower settings; transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal; traction, steering and suspension are set to their Auto settings; steering wheel paddle shifters are disabled; ESC is enabled to Full-on and launch control is disabled
- ECO: maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, second-gear starts and extended range of the Fuel Saver Technology
Performance is obviously a main selling point here, though the 2018 Durango SRT isn't without creature comforts. It has a hand-wrapped instrument panel, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain's chairs, all-wheel drive for navigating tricky terrain, an 8.4-inch touchscreen media center, and so forth.
Dodge is planning to release the 2018 Durango SRT in the fourth quarter of this year. Pricing information has not been announced yet.