SRT has been busy with SUVs. It will make its debut at the 2017 Chicago auto show before going on sale this summer. If you don't like these, you probably don't like pizza, either. But if you did (or do) have access to the Durango SRT, would you consider it? ZF's ubiquitous eight-speed automatic, along with a transfer case capable of varying the torque split between the front and rear axles, shuttles that output to all four wheels. Alternatively, Pirelli P Zero three-season tires are available together with a 20-inch forged aluminium five-spoke wheel also featuring a "Black Noise" finish.
The SRT edition can launche from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds and clock a quarter mile in 12.9. In Sport mode, for instance, the suspension damping gets stiffer and the steering meatier; shift speed increases by nearly a quarter in the first four gears, while the ESC loosens up its attitude to yaw. Undercutting pricier competition has always been the SRT credo with its in-house hot rods, and that hasn't changed. The 2017 R/T with AWD starts just under $45,000.
For most, though, it's the sporting performance which will be of most interest.
Each driving mode also changes the settings on the active damping system, while stiffer front and rear springs and a stiffer rear sway bar help to keep this big brute planted. For example, Track mode causes the transmission to shift faster, with 160-millisecond shifts, moves torque up to 70 percent to the rear wheels and stability control allows for "maximum yaw", a.k.a. you can slide around more easily. Call it throaty, menacing, or well endowed-all are fitting. The noise control turns on full time when in Tow mode. Adaptive dampers are also used, with seven modes for the driver to select from.
The seats are heated and ventilated in the front, with the second-row captain's chairs getting heating too.
Cabin occupants will be greeted by numerous sport appointments such as carbon fiber dashboard trim, an SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with paddle shifters and Nappa leather SRT seats with suede inserts. The SUV even has launch control, a speedometer that goes to 180 miles per hour, and a tachometer in the driver's display; that might be at home in a Charger, but it's not the norm for a family SUV. Fiat Chrysler's 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment interface is standard.
Drawing cues from the SRT Challenger, the design team gave the mega Durango a wide, functional hood scoop; deeper front splitter; flared fenders sheltering its widened track; and an SRT rear fascia culminating in a pair of 4-inch nickel chrome exhaust tips. The main grille opening traces Charger-esque lines and carries a small SRT badge.
This is by far the sportiest of the modern Durango packages and in my opinion, it is the best looking. The Durango SRT will hit dealerships in Q4 2017.