2018 Dodge Durango SRT

Making its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show is the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT – the three-row SUV has been given a considerable dose of steroids, making it the fastest in its class according to Dodge.

Nestled under the vented bonnet is a 6.4 litre naturally-aspirated HEMI V8, producing 475 hp at 6,000 rpm and a thumping 637 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. A cold air intake reduces the temperature of the air flowing into the engine by 10 degrees Celsius, ensuring it runs cool even on the track or while towing. Paired to it is a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission with rev matching and shift points optimised for the SRT.

The gearbox optimises its shift map based on vehicle and road conditions, and features a Sport Mode with 50% quicker shifts; the even more hardcore Track Mode drops shift times to just 160 milliseconds. The all-wheel drive system delivers 65% of torque to the rear wheels in Sport Mode and up to 70% in Track Mode, and also provides more responsive handling from corner apex to exit in the latter setting.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT

The result of all of this is that the Durango SRT sprints from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds, before hitting the quarter mile (400 metres) in 12.9 seconds – the latter certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Stopping power is provided by Brembo brakes, with six-piston callipers at the front gripping 381 mm slotted front discs, enabling the massive vehicle to stop from 100 km/h in just 35 metres.

Under the skin sits double wishbone front and multilink rear suspension, with Bilstein Active Damping System (ADS), stiffer springs and an anti-roll bar on both ends. A seven-mode (Auto, Sport, Track, Snow, Tow, Valet, Eco) drive system adjusts suspension, torque distribution, shift points, stability control and engine mapping settings to suit the driver’s needs.

Betraying the added performance to onlookers are a series of aggressive aesthetic tweaks, including the aforementioned bonnet vents and an angry-looking front bumper with a mesh grille, an inlet for the cold air intake and LED fog lights. Wider fenders house 20-inch alloys (forged aluminium items available) wrapped in 295/45ZR20 Pirelli Scorpion Verde or optional P Zero tyres.

The sides feature body-coloured rocker panels, along with “392” badging on the front fenders denoting the engine size in cubic inches. At the back, a new rear valence houses large twin tailpipes connected to an exhaust tuned to mimic the sound of a Charger SRT, with resonators replacing the rear mufflers.

Inside, there’s a hand-wrapped dashboard with silver stitching, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with paddle shifters, heated and cooled front seats and heated second-row captain’s chairs, plus Nappa leather upholstery with suede inserts and stitched SRT logos. Demonic Red Laguna leather with embossed SRT logos is optional, as are genuine carbon fibre trim pieces at a later date.

Ahead of the driver sits a customisable seven-inch TFT LCD digital instrument cluster with a 180 mph (290 km/h) speedometer, while a Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen navigation system is alongside – the latter featuring SRT Performance Pages along with, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD radio, apps and a five-year trial of SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic. A nine-speaker, 506 W BeatsAudio sound system is standard.