Stellantis held its highly anticipated dealer meeting in Las Vegas earlier this year, unveiling an exciting glimpse into the future of the industry as it makes strides toward electrification. Among the lineup of impressive vehicles showcased at the Stellantis Dealer Business, Meeting 2023 were the new Wagoneer S, Jeep® Recon, and Dodge Charger Daytona. However, the highlight of the event was the sneak peek at a potential game-changer – the replacement for the aging Dodge Durango, tentatively named the “Stealth.”
Set to follow Durango’s legacy of providing a three-row layout, the new Stealth promises to revolutionize the SUV segment with its dramatically different appearance. Compared to the boxy exterior design of its predecessor, the Stealth is envisioned to boast a sportier and more streamlined look, capturing the essence of contemporary design language.
One of the most significant changes in the upcoming Durango replacement lies under the hood. Stellantis plans to offer electrified and internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrains, a bold step towards embracing a sustainable automotive future. The era of HEMI® engines in the Durango lineup will end, making way for the cutting-edge twin-turbo Hurricane6 engine, projected to deliver over 500 horsepower for the ICE performance model.
The name “Stealth” for the upcoming SUV should not cause concern among enthusiasts. Chrysler Group has a history of using different names to gauge feedback from its dealer body, and the Durango brand’s strong recognition built over 25 years will be considered.
Close sources to MoparInsiders.com revealed that Dodge considered adopting the STLA Frame architecture to create a Dodge variant of the Jeep® Wagoneer (WS) for the next-generation Durango replacement. However, the plan was revised due to production capacity constraints at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant, which is set to shift its focus to producing the new electrified Ram 1500 REV after concluding the Ram 1500 Classic production later this year. As a result, the new Durango will likely embrace the STLA Large unibody platform instead.
This approach would allow the new Durango replacement to continue production at the Detroit Assembly Complex – Jefferson facility (formerly known as Stellantis Jefferson North Assembly Plant), where the current model has been manufactured since 2010 alongside the new Grand Cherokee (WL).
The importance of the next-generation Durango replacement transcends public interest alone. For Dodge, it is a vital element in their law enforcement vehicle lineup. The brand has actively promoted the Dodge Durango Pursuit as police agencies increasingly seek spacious vehicles to carry the necessary gear during daily patrols, making the new model a critical asset for law enforcement professionals.
Like any forward-thinking vehicle, the next-gen Durango replacement will incorporate the latest Stellantis technology. Most notably, it is expected to offer Level 3 self-driving capabilities, promising a leap into semi-autonomous driving. With a hint from the sleek styling cues seen in the Dodge Charger Daytona, the new Durango is anticipated to share several traits with the e-muscle car, fostering an unmistakable design language for the brand.
While the current Durango still has some road ahead, its days are numbered as it paves the way for a new era of automotive innovation. We expect to learn more details about the future of Durango and its replacement during the current United Auto Workers (UAW) contract negotiations.