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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What makes the Dodge Durango SRT By Mopar special
These new Mopar features don’t turn the Durango into a more aggressive SUV, but they add a sportier twist to the already beefed-up SRT. Visually, it’s the "go-fast" stripes that catch the eye. Running across the entire length of the vehicle, but around the big NACA duct vent on the hood, the dual-center stripes remind me of high-performance Mopars from the golden era of muscle cars. It’s safe to say that this is what Dodge was aiming for all along. Five color options are available, including Bright Blue, Flame Red, Gunmetal Low Gloss (metallic), Low Gloss Black, Sterling Silver (metallic). The black stripes seem to have a carbon-fiber-like pattern, which is really cool.
Interior upgrades aren’t extensive either. Mopar only offers a new SRT Interior Appearance Group, which features a premium-wrapped instrument panel, Dinamica soft-touch headliner, and accent paint on speaker trim rings. The bundle also adds authentic carbon-fiber trim on the dashboard and the door panels. Far from impressive, but at least the SRT already comes with a wide range of exclusive features.
Under the hood, the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engine remains unaltered at 475 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, but it gets a performance exhaust system for improved flow and a more aggressive sound. Made from chromium stainless steel for improved corrosion resistance, it also uses stainless steel band-style clamps for tight seals, and welded and polished four-inch tips for sportier performance. Dodge doesn’t say whether the new exhaust actually improved horsepower figures, but it will definitely make your Durango sound meaner.
Finally, the Durango SRT can be fitted with a new performance lowering spring kit enhances high-speed cornering stability and consistency. The new springs lower the SUV by an average of 15 mm (0.6 inches) closer to the road, which improves handling. Performance gains include less rear-end squat during acceleration, less nose-dive under braking, and reduced body roll while cornering.
So how much do these updates cost? The stripes will set you back $1,195, while the interior upgrade fetches $2,495. The performance exhaust comes in at $1,850, while lowering spring kit is very affordable at $325. Overall, it will cost you $5,865 to Moparize your Durango SRT. This converts to a final sticker of $68,860 for the SUV.
Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT.
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