By on February 3, 2020

2018 Dodge Durango SRT

It seems Dodge, the most flag-wavingly patriotic of all domestic brands, may have something fearsome in store for its aging Durango SUV.

Amid a flurry of Super Bowl ad spots Sunday night, Dodge offered up an orgy of tire-smoking horsepower and Vin Diesel, no doubt prompting its viewership to immediately envision themselves tearing up the local soccer field under the cover of darkness. But did it also offer up a clue?

Again, it seems so, as the spot — titled Dodge House of Power — shows a Hellcat logo pasted to the front fender of a vehicle with unusually tall flanks. No Challenger or Charger, this.

YouTube

In the screengrab seen above, the wheel arch and fender crease are clearly that of the Durango, which has been luring buyers away from more sedate crossovers for years. The following scene featuring a Durango powering past the camera seems to confirm this. And is that hood scoop just a bit wider than the SRT model’s? Hard to tell.

The current-gen Durango entered production at the tail end of 2010, making it an ancient entry in the marketplace — but a fairly youthful member of the Dodge household. It’s also no stranger to power. Hemi V8s lurk beneath the hood of the R/T and SRT models, but the model has so far avoided the hottest of Dodge’s V8s: the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 found in the Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcat. That mill also found a home in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Making 707 horsepower in its most tepid form, the monster powerplant’s inclusion would be a good way to stimulate interest in an aging vehicle. It’s also been Dodge’s go-to tactic for years.

Expected to receive a visual refresh later this year, the Durango’s future is far from certain. Fiat Chrysler’s five-year product plans are notoriously malleable, and the initial thinking was that the Durango would see an all-new iteration for 2021. That seems to be off the table now. Like the even more ancient Journey, it seems FCA is intent on milking the current-gen model a little while longer, ahead of some hazy shakeup of the brand’s utility models.

The Durango probably won’t be the only FCA vehicle to reveal a Hellcat-powered variant in the coming year. Spy shots continue to roll in of pre-production Ram TRX pickups — a 6.2L 1500 — roaming the streets of America.

Despite its age, Durango volume rose 3 percent in the U.S. last year, making the vehicle a remarkable stable seller. Durango sales haven’t budged by more than a few thousand units over the past six years, perhaps explaining why a new model isn’t viewed as a top priority in Auburn Hills.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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13 Comments on “Ferocious Feline Bound for the Dodge Durango Den?...”


  • avatar
    Steve203

    That one recognizable glimpse of a Durango is the most I have seen of a Durango in Dodge ads in at least a year. About a year ago, there was an ad with one brief head on glimpse of a white Durango in the background, and last summer the Durango was completely absent, with the ads only showing the Charger and Challenger.

    “Spy shots” of a supposed upcoming 2021 Durango only have the grill covered, while shots of the supposed 21 GC show the entire car covered with camo. Rumor mill says the old Durango will continue to be built, along with the new GC, at JNAP.

    In the back of my mind is the thought that all the buzz about the new GC being on an Alfa platform are disinformation. The way FCA does everything on the cheap, and the fact that FCA took a big write down on the Gorgio platform last year, indicating that platform will never see the production volume they had anticipated, tells me the new GC will be on the existing platform, lenthened, then lengthened more for the 3 row version. That would certainly expedite keeping the old Durango in production on the same line.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    FCA needs to invest on upping the cubes on the 392 for both it’s big truck to respond to GM and Fords larger HD truck engines – as well as for a new hot engine for their cars. No offense on the 392 it’s a fine engine and the one I would choose but both Ford and GM have made a concerted effort to grab larger slices of the HD gasser market.

    Second I would like to see the 392 (or it’s replacement) in the 1500 trucks as an up option.

    The HellCat is fantastic but I think the 392 is the perfect blend of performance, economy, luxury, and fun without being too much for a daily driver. That’s just my opinion though, the hellcat is certainly the right engine for others.

    • 0 avatar
      Mnemic

      A 426 was supposed to be coming but was also supposedly cancelled. Odd as it was just a cat/392 block with a 4″ crank. The extra inch or whatever it is was enough to bump it to 7.0L and 426 cubes. Was around 525hp NA. Truck version would be a stump puller with that stroke.

      As for the hellcat durango I personally wouldn’t. Lots of trackhawks rotting on dealer lots due to their 6 figure price and the ‘rango would be even worse

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Gas under 2 bucks a gallon in places, so lets have some wretched excess!

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Grimacing while depressing the accelerator pedal adds zero hp and zero torque.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Am I supposed to get excited about the difference between ~500 and ~700 hp in a nearly-three-ton SUV? Because, well, I’m not.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Consumers don’t care how old a platform is. If the car is good, the price is fair (or the payments are affordable), a butt will find a seat.
    Heck, look how long the Beetle lasted with the most incremental of upgrades.
    The Dodge Grand Caravan would sell for another decade if it’s competitively priced and facelifted a bit every now and then. Calling a platform “aging” is relevant to the cognoscenti, but most decision-makers (read: wives) don’t care how old a platform is.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve203

      >>Consumers don’t care how old a platform is. If the car is good, the price is fair (or the payments are affordable), a butt will find a seat.<,

      Exactly. I hear less slander about the current Grand Cherokee than any other Jeep SUV. The current GC is the only Jeep SUV showing a sales gain. Why change the GC's platform to an Alfa platform, or anything else? As I suggested in my post above, I would not at all be surprised to read that the buzz about the Alfa platform was nothing but disinformation and FCA is not going to "fix" what isn't broken.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    The JGC and Durango platform had a refresh back in 2014 including the 8 speed transmission and interior updates.

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