Could Dodge offer an SRT-tuned version of the 2012 Durango? A new report suggests the answer is yes, although that seems to clash with what executives have previously told us.
Inside Line reports that the Dodge folks are currently considering lending the Durango sport-utility an SRT variant. Such a vehicle wouldn’t be all that hard to execute, considering the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 shares its platform and assembly plant with the Durango. If approved for production, the three-row SUV could receive the same 470-hp, 6.4-liter V-8 and track-tuned suspension – complete with adaptive dampers – as its Jeep cousin.
An interesting report, especially for those enamored with high-performance SUVs – but it’s somewhat contrary to remarks previously made by SRT brand CEO and president Ralph Gilles. The premise of an SRT-tuned Durango was raised during the kickoff for SRT’s nationwide tour last month, but Gilles wasn’t completely gung-ho on the idea.
“We could build one if we wanted to, perhaps even accidentally with our eyes closed,” he joked. “But with the three rows of seating, it’s more of a family-oriented vehicle.”
Gilles is keen on keeping the SRT brand exclusive, and making performance-tuned vehicles that truly make sense for the enthusiast. As a result, he’s being extremely careful about what Chrysler vehicles are selected for SRT development.
“There are a handful of SRTs we did in the past that I wouldn’t do now,” he said. “I don’t regret anything we’ve done in the past, but some vehicles just lend themselves better to the SRT treatment than others.”
Which raises the question: is the Durango ripe for SRT-ization? Has Gilles subsequently been convinced of? Chrysler isn’t saying, and IL says the project is only under consideration at this stage. That said, if it’s approved, production could start in 2013. If that doesn’t happen, expect the R/T – powered by Chrysler’s 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 – to remain the sportiest Durango variant in the lineup.
Would a three-row Durango SRT8 be an ideal addition to Dodge’s and SRT’s portfolios, or should the 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 be the sole supersonic SUV in Chrysler’s lineup? Send your thoughts to us by means of the comment section below.