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We Look At The Future Of The Dodge Durango: HELLCAT-Power?

Current Model Stays For A Couple More Years, But Shouldn't Disappoint...

Recently, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) released their future plans to expand their SUV production in the Metro Detroit area. Within that plan, FCA announced the addition of converting the Mack Avenue Engine Plant into a new assembly plant to produce the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee (WL) and a new three-row Jeep SUV. The plan also outlines the continuing production of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the current Dodge Durango (WD) at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP). Now we are learning some new information about the Dodge Durango, thanks to our sources.

2019 Dodge Durango GT AWD. (Dodge).

Several months ago, we told you that the next-generation Dodge Durango (codenamed SD), was to be based on the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 (DT) platform. This new Durango is supposed to join the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (WS) at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (WTAP). However, this plan has been put on hold. Because of the recently FCA plan to continue the last-generation Ram 1500 Classic (DS) at the plant past 2020 model year, the move will push the next-generation Durango back two model years. 

2019 Dodge Durango GT AWD. (Dodge).

The upcoming three-row Jeep SUV planned for the new Mack Avenue Assembly Plant (MAAP), was intended to fill in the gap left by the current generation Durango when it moved to its new body-on-frame architecture. However, both the new Jeep and the Durango will be offered in FCA dealership showrooms in the 2021 model year. But what does the extended model life mean for the Durango?

A Dodge Durango on the Assembly Plant at Jefferson North Avenue Plant. (FCA).

Well, Dodge has some cards still left in the playbook for the current generation Durango. Expect the brand to bring higher content to the lower trim Durango models. Dodge will also be highlighting their move to make the Durango into the “Charger of SUVs”. We have been seeing this in the past couple of model years with the GT model getting the optional SRT hood, as well as the “performance” SUV, getting many of the high-impact colors from the Charger and Challenger color palette. 

Dodge Durango SRT HELLCAT Design. (MoparInsiders).

Dodge also will be bringing additional performance to the Durango lineup. Our sources are now telling us that Dodge is going forward with plans of producing a HELLCAT-powered model. We are hearing we should start seeing prototypes testing very soon. Expect the same running gear that underpins the all-wheel-drive 707 horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Dodge Durango SRT HELLCAT Design. (MoparInsiders).

So for those who were exciting about a more truck-like Durango, you will have to wait a couple more model years. But, if you are a diehard performance nut the upcoming model years for the current generation Dodge Durango, might be the best years of the Durango’s life yet.

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Mike Volkmann

Michael Volkmann, a mechanical engineer in the steel industry, autocrossed and road-raced Neons. Michael has drag raced his 1971 Duster 340, 2015 Dodge Charger SRT392, 2009 Challenger R/T, and Neons, of which he’s owned seven — one SRT4, three ACRs, and three Sport Coupes.

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