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    About 5% of Chrysler Dealers Will Sell The Viper


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    September 22, 2012

    Back in July, SRT CEO Ralph Gilles told Automotive News that around 15 to 20% of the 2,300 Chrysler dealers (about 340 to 460) would be able to sell the Viper. Now, that amount has shrunk.

    According to USA Today, the amount of dealers that will be able to sell the Viper is now around 5% (100 to 150 dealers). That number comes from Ralph Gilles.

    All 2,300 Chrysler dealers are being sent a letter outlining what will need to happen for them to sell the Viper.

    The No. 1 requirement "Is first of all, to have the fire, the passion. That's the unofficial requirement -- that you have a love affair with the cars and you just love fast cars," Gilles said.

    If you happened to be one of the dealers picked to sell Viper, be prepared to shell out $20,000 as a one time fee. For an extra $5,000, any Chrysler dealer can purchase an agreement for tools, equipment, training, signs and, most importantly, preferential ordering and additional allocation of SRT vehicles.

    Source: USA Today, Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Very Smart, Build a specialty that allows those few dealerships to have that extra Jewel in their crown. I think Chevy should do this with the Corvette ZR1. Any 100,000K auto should be a special program as it deserves special recognition.

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    • By William Maley
      Dodge has gone mad in terms of power. Case in point is the 2018 Durango SRT that will be shown this week at the Chicago Auto show. 
      Under a new hood featuring a functional scoop is a 6.4L HEMI V8 producing 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. 0-60 mph is said to take 4.4 seconds and the quarter-mile takes 12.9 seconds. If you're interested, the Durango SRT is rated to tow a max of 8,600 pounds.
      The suspension gets revised springs, a stiffer rear sway bar, and adjustable dampers. Larger Brembo brakes are hidden by a set of 20-inch wheels finished in black. There will be the choice of two Pirelli tire choices. 
      Outside, the Durango SRT looks the part with a new front fascia with a reshaped grille, additional air vents, and a revised rear fascia with dual exhausts that have been tuned to sound like the Charger 392. The interior comes with six-passenger arrangement with heavily bolstered bucket seats for the front and second row. Optional will be a hand-stitched leather dash and carbon fiber trim.
      The Durango SRT will arrive during the fourth quarter of the year.
      Source: Dodge
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Dodge Unleashes New 2018 Dodge Durango SRT: America’s Fastest, Most Powerful and Most Capable Three-Row SUV

      "Dodge Charger of the Full-size SUV Segment" Will Be First Shown at 2017 Chicago Auto Show on February 9
      New 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is the most powerful three-row SUV with its 475-horsepower legendary 392-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 engine Fastest and most capable three-row SUV with a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)–certified quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds and capable of 0-60 miles per hour (mph) acceleration in 4.4 seconds Durango SRT out-hauls every three-row SUV on the road with best-in-class towing capability of 8,600 pounds New exterior performance features include wide body exterior design and functional SRT hood with center air inlet duct flanked by heat extractors, as well as a new front fascia and lower valence to house new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps Standard leather and suede, available high-performance Demonic Red Laguna leather seating and new carbon-fiber trim distinguish Durango SRT’s performance interior All customers who buy a new Durango SRT will receive one full-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will start arriving in Dodge dealerships during fourth quarter 2017 February 7, 2017, CHICAGO - The Dodge and SRT brands are rocking the high-performance automotive world once again, bringing a huge burst of American power, acceleration and best-in-class tow capability to the three-row SUV segment with the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT – the fastest SUV in its class.
       
      With the proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 under its new functional SRT hood, the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, and a wicked fast time on the drag strip – from 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 4.4 seconds, covering the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds as certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
      “The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars Brands, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. “This is what you get, when you take everything great about the Durango and combine it with the performance of the Charger SRT: a 12-second quarter mile, toy-hauling, three-row muscle car.”
       
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will make its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 9. Vehicles will start arriving in Dodge dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2017.
      The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is loaded with performance features designed to make it America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV, including:
      Proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque and 4.4 second 0-60 mph times New wide body exterior brings the Durango SRT together as a true performance SUV Newly designed SRT hood with a functional cold-air duct and heat extractors to cool the engine and improve overall performance Standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission specifically calibrated for the Dodge Durango SRT to optimize shift points and deliver maximum torque to all four wheels New driver-oriented electronic T-shifter, standard on all 2018 Durango models, provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control New SRT seven-mode drive system gives the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort New Sport Mode reduces shift times by up to 50 percent versus Auto Mode and delivers up to 65 percent of the 392 HEMI engine’s torque to the rear wheels New Track Mode delivers maximum performance track driving with 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels for the most pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience New performance-tuned AWD system helps the Durango SRT set world-class performance marks Sophisticated Active Damping System opens and closes the Durango SRT’s suspension’s damper valves, according to which of the seven modes is chosen, giving the driver options for any driving style Stiffer front springs (3 percent), stiffer rear springs (16 percent) and stiffer rear sway bar (18 percent) give Durango SRT drivers outstanding high-speed cornering capability. New exhaust system tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance Dodge SRT exhaust note modeled after the Dodge Charger SRT Massive new Brembo high-performance six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers and vented rotors at all four corners, measuring 15 inches (front-slotted) and 13.8 inches (rear) New Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires New performance Laguna leather and carbon fiber trim offered for the first time in a Durango New interior appointments, including a hand-wrapped instrument panel with live silver accent stitch, SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with SRT paddle shifters, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain’s chairs with embossed SRT logos New 180-mph speedometer True carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels (late availability) Premium velour bound floor mats with embroidered SRT logo Suede-wrapped headliner and A pillars New SRT rear body-color lower fascia with Gloss Black accent surrounds the 4-inch dual round exhaust tips finished in Nickel Chrome New performance AWD badging on liftgate   Performance at its core
      For the first time ever, SRT power is now available in the Dodge Durango. The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is powered by the potent 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology that delivers 475 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 470 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm – providing America’s best horsepower and torque ratings and making the new Dodge Durango SRT the fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV.
      To keep the powertrain running cool and efficient in higher demand environments, a new cold-air duct provides cooler outside air into the engine. Testing has shown up to an 18-degree Fahrenheit improvement in intake air temperature, resulting in an engine that performs flawlessly on the street, racetrack or when towing a favorite trailer or toy. 
       
      Assuring maximum performance under extreme conditions, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT has been validated through rigorous 24-hour track durability testing – a testing standard that every SRT vehicle adheres to.
       
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides enhanced shift quality and performance drivability, as well as optimized fuel economy through its TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. This proven transmission was specifically calibrated for the Dodge Durango SRT to optimize shift points and deliver maximum torque to all four wheels. For the ultimate driver-controlled experience, the transmission can be manually shifted using the performance-inspired steering wheel paddle controls on the exclusive SRT-lit flat-bottom steering wheel.
       
      The TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission takes into account variables, including engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, tire slip and downshift detection to determine the appropriate transmission shift map. The end result is a fully adaptable performance experience.
       
      Additional parameters integrated into the control strategy include vehicle speed control, electronic stability control interaction and temperature. The result is automatic shifting that is ideally attuned to the performance requirements of any performance-oriented driving demand.
       
      When the driver downshifts, the “rev match” function uses the engine controller to blip the throttle, which provides optimal transition between gears for improved performance and greater stability when downshifting at the traction limit.
       
      When placed in “Sport Mode,” the transmission reduces shift times by up to 50 percent versus Auto Mode and delivers 65 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels.
       
      Acceleration and performance handling are enhanced by transfer case proportioning and dynamic controls for the AWD system when the vehicle is in Track Mode. When in Track Mode, maximum performance track driving is achieved with 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque delivered to the rear wheels for the most pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience. Durango SRT drivers will also notice a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit.
      The new driver-oriented electronic T-shifter provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control. Drive and Sport shifting can be selected with no effect on the chosen suspension, stability control and driveline torque split settings.
       
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT features launch control, which mimics a professional driver’s inputs to optimize performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension together for an optimal launch and consistent straight-line acceleration.
       
      The new exhaust system has been tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance note that is distinctive to Dodge/SRT and provides a lasting impression. To achieve this iconic exhaust tone, engineers have replaced the rear mufflers with resonators to increase overall sound level and improve tone of the true performance 2.75-inch dual exhaust system.
      Ride and handling
      The Dodge Durango SRT rides on a short- and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, specially tuned Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper- and lower-control arms (“A” arms) and a stabilizer bar. Additional changes include 3 percent stiffer front springs, 16 percent stiffer rear springs and an 18 percent stiffer rear sway bar to provide Durango SRT drivers with outstanding high-speed cornering capability.
       
      In the rear, a specially tuned multi-link suspension design has coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a stabilizer bar.
       
      The 120-inch wheelbase allows for outstanding stability and consistency in high-speed cornering, while a new performance-tuned AWD system helps the Durango SRT set the world-class performance marks. 
       
      The Durango SRT also features the SRT seven-mode drive system, which provides the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort. Suspension, torque distribution, shift points, stability control and engine mapping are all controlled through this system. In addition to these parameters, suspension feel is controlled by a sophisticated Active Damping System that opens and closes the suspension’s damper valves according to the chosen drive mode, providing the driver with options for any driving style.
       
      The seven SRT drive modes include:
      Auto: activates automatically when starting the vehicle. Sets the suspension and steering to comfort setting and longer shift times for longer, relaxed driving conditions  Sport:  delivers increased vehicle performance capability over Auto Mode. Tightens up suspension damping and increased steering gradient feel for improved cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 23 percent in 1-4 gears and electronic stability control (ESC) allows more yaw for spirited driving Track: delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces. Tightens up to full hard suspension damping and steering gradient feel for maximum cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 50 percent in 1-4 gears from Auto mode and ESC allows maximum yaw Snow: sets ideal configuration for driving in snow by setting transmission to use second gear (rather than first gear) during launches to minimize wheel slippage; stability control is set to Full-on and AWD is set to 50/50 distribution Tow: sets ideal configuration to tow a trailer by using full stability control; AWD is set to 50/50 distribution and trailer sway control is enabled in the ESC system. In addition, the Active Noise Cancelation system is automatically engaged to reduce engine noise from the high-load towing condition   Valet: engine is remapped to mimic the Dodge Charger V-6 engine’s torque and horsepower settings; transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal; traction, steering and suspension are set to their Auto settings; steering wheel paddle shifters are disabled; ESC is enabled to Full-on and launch control is disabled ECO: maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, second-gear starts and extended range of the Fuel Saver Technology Standard five-spoke 20-inch “Goliath” wheels with a new “Black Noise” finish ride on Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires. Available, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels feature a new split five-spoke design also featuring the “Black Noise” finish.
      Benchmark braking
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT delivers excellent braking performance, requiring an estimated 115 feet to come to a full stop from 60 mph. Credit belongs to massive new Brembo high-performance six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15 inches (front-slotted) and 13.8 inches (rear).
       
      Aggressive, functional and luxurious inside and out 
      Along with its new ultimate performance capabilities, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides the same combination of uncompromised utility, advanced technology and aggressive styling its well known for.
       
      Inside the refreshed cabin of the Durango SRT, new appointments include a hand-wrapped dashboard with live silver accent stitch, SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with standard paddle shift, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain’s chairs with embossed SRT logos. Nappa leather with suede inserts and silver-stitched SRT logos are standard. Demonic Red Laguna leather interior with embossed SRT logos is optional.
       
      Other luxurious touches brought to Durango for the first time in the SRT model include new Light Black Chrome center stack, HVAC, full console and door handle bezels along with two choices of decorative bezels. Standard finish is Matte Reverse Chain, and for the first time on Durango a true carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels will be offered (late availability). Premium velour bound floor mats with embroidered SRT logo are standard. Adding to the impact of the hand-wrapped instrument panel, the headliner and A pillars are available in Dynamica suede. 
       
      A newly designed 7-inch, thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable digital instrument gauge cluster with 180-mph speedometer allows drivers to select from a multitude of layouts and information. The class-exclusive Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen media center houses the new SRT Performance Pages along with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD radio, downloadable apps and 5-year trial of SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic. The standard BeatsAudio premium sound system features nine speakers, subwoofer and 506-watt amplifier.
       
      On the exterior, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT carries a SRT hood with functional center air-inlet ducts flanked by heat extractors that help to keep the engine bay cool by removing hot air from the engine compartment. A new front fascia and lower valence house the new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps. This new unique look will also include the SRT-inspired grille mesh pattern finish.
       
      New integrated wheel flares and body-color side rocker panels help provide an aggressive stance. The “392” badges flanking each fender with Bright Chrome and Metallic Grey accents differentiate the ultimate performance Durango.
       
      At the rear, a new SRT rear body-color lower fascia with Gloss Black accent surrounds the 4-inch dual round exhaust tips finished in Nickel Chrome. 
       
      The Durango SRT is also distinguished by new badging on the rear liftgate that denotes the new performance AWD system. 
       
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is available in 11 exterior colors, including Billet Clear Coat, Blu by Yu Pearl Coat, Bruiser Grey Clear Coat, Dark Black Clear Coat, Granite Clear Coat, Ocean Blue Pearl Coat, Octane Red Pearl Coat, Redline Pearl Coat, Sangria Metallica Clear Coat, White Knuckle Clear Coat and Vice White.  
      Safety and security
      The 2018 Dodge Durango offers consumers more than 60 available safety and security features, including standard all-speed traction control and ESC, which improve overall vehicle handling and performance both on- and off-road. Standard trailer-sway control enhances towing capabilities and keeps the vehicle and trailer aligned as the Durango travels down the road.
       
      Available safety and security features include forward collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control with stop, Uconnect Access with 9-1-1 call and roadside assistance. Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, which aid drivers when changing lanes or in parking lot situations. In addition, standard front-row active head restraints, standard full-length three-row side-curtain air bags and standard front-seat-mounted side thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision. In total, Durango offers seven standard airbags.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Dodge has gone mad in terms of power. Case in point is the 2018 Durango SRT that will be shown this week at the Chicago Auto show. 
      Under a new hood featuring a functional scoop is a 6.4L HEMI V8 producing 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. 0-60 mph is said to take 4.4 seconds and the quarter-mile takes 12.9 seconds. If you're interested, the Durango SRT is rated to tow a max of 8,600 pounds.
      The suspension gets revised springs, a stiffer rear sway bar, and adjustable dampers. Larger Brembo brakes are hidden by a set of 20-inch wheels finished in black. There will be the choice of two Pirelli tire choices. 
      Outside, the Durango SRT looks the part with a new front fascia with a reshaped grille, additional air vents, and a revised rear fascia with dual exhausts that have been tuned to sound like the Charger 392. The interior comes with six-passenger arrangement with heavily bolstered bucket seats for the front and second row. Optional will be a hand-stitched leather dash and carbon fiber trim.
      The Durango SRT will arrive during the fourth quarter of the year.
      Source: Dodge
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Dodge Unleashes New 2018 Dodge Durango SRT: America’s Fastest, Most Powerful and Most Capable Three-Row SUV

      "Dodge Charger of the Full-size SUV Segment" Will Be First Shown at 2017 Chicago Auto Show on February 9
      New 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is the most powerful three-row SUV with its 475-horsepower legendary 392-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 engine Fastest and most capable three-row SUV with a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)–certified quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds and capable of 0-60 miles per hour (mph) acceleration in 4.4 seconds Durango SRT out-hauls every three-row SUV on the road with best-in-class towing capability of 8,600 pounds New exterior performance features include wide body exterior design and functional SRT hood with center air inlet duct flanked by heat extractors, as well as a new front fascia and lower valence to house new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps Standard leather and suede, available high-performance Demonic Red Laguna leather seating and new carbon-fiber trim distinguish Durango SRT’s performance interior All customers who buy a new Durango SRT will receive one full-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will start arriving in Dodge dealerships during fourth quarter 2017 February 7, 2017, CHICAGO - The Dodge and SRT brands are rocking the high-performance automotive world once again, bringing a huge burst of American power, acceleration and best-in-class tow capability to the three-row SUV segment with the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT – the fastest SUV in its class.
       
      With the proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 under its new functional SRT hood, the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, and a wicked fast time on the drag strip – from 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 4.4 seconds, covering the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds as certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
      “The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars Brands, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. “This is what you get, when you take everything great about the Durango and combine it with the performance of the Charger SRT: a 12-second quarter mile, toy-hauling, three-row muscle car.”
       
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will make its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 9. Vehicles will start arriving in Dodge dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2017.
      The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is loaded with performance features designed to make it America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV, including:
      Proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque and 4.4 second 0-60 mph times New wide body exterior brings the Durango SRT together as a true performance SUV Newly designed SRT hood with a functional cold-air duct and heat extractors to cool the engine and improve overall performance Standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission specifically calibrated for the Dodge Durango SRT to optimize shift points and deliver maximum torque to all four wheels New driver-oriented electronic T-shifter, standard on all 2018 Durango models, provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control New SRT seven-mode drive system gives the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort New Sport Mode reduces shift times by up to 50 percent versus Auto Mode and delivers up to 65 percent of the 392 HEMI engine’s torque to the rear wheels New Track Mode delivers maximum performance track driving with 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels for the most pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience New performance-tuned AWD system helps the Durango SRT set world-class performance marks Sophisticated Active Damping System opens and closes the Durango SRT’s suspension’s damper valves, according to which of the seven modes is chosen, giving the driver options for any driving style Stiffer front springs (3 percent), stiffer rear springs (16 percent) and stiffer rear sway bar (18 percent) give Durango SRT drivers outstanding high-speed cornering capability. New exhaust system tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance Dodge SRT exhaust note modeled after the Dodge Charger SRT Massive new Brembo high-performance six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers and vented rotors at all four corners, measuring 15 inches (front-slotted) and 13.8 inches (rear) New Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires New performance Laguna leather and carbon fiber trim offered for the first time in a Durango New interior appointments, including a hand-wrapped instrument panel with live silver accent stitch, SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with SRT paddle shifters, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain’s chairs with embossed SRT logos New 180-mph speedometer True carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels (late availability) Premium velour bound floor mats with embroidered SRT logo Suede-wrapped headliner and A pillars New SRT rear body-color lower fascia with Gloss Black accent surrounds the 4-inch dual round exhaust tips finished in Nickel Chrome New performance AWD badging on liftgate   Performance at its core
      For the first time ever, SRT power is now available in the Dodge Durango. The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is powered by the potent 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology that delivers 475 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 470 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm – providing America’s best horsepower and torque ratings and making the new Dodge Durango SRT the fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV.
      To keep the powertrain running cool and efficient in higher demand environments, a new cold-air duct provides cooler outside air into the engine. Testing has shown up to an 18-degree Fahrenheit improvement in intake air temperature, resulting in an engine that performs flawlessly on the street, racetrack or when towing a favorite trailer or toy. 
       
      Assuring maximum performance under extreme conditions, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT has been validated through rigorous 24-hour track durability testing – a testing standard that every SRT vehicle adheres to.
       
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides enhanced shift quality and performance drivability, as well as optimized fuel economy through its TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. This proven transmission was specifically calibrated for the Dodge Durango SRT to optimize shift points and deliver maximum torque to all four wheels. For the ultimate driver-controlled experience, the transmission can be manually shifted using the performance-inspired steering wheel paddle controls on the exclusive SRT-lit flat-bottom steering wheel.
       
      The TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission takes into account variables, including engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, tire slip and downshift detection to determine the appropriate transmission shift map. The end result is a fully adaptable performance experience.
       
      Additional parameters integrated into the control strategy include vehicle speed control, electronic stability control interaction and temperature. The result is automatic shifting that is ideally attuned to the performance requirements of any performance-oriented driving demand.
       
      When the driver downshifts, the “rev match” function uses the engine controller to blip the throttle, which provides optimal transition between gears for improved performance and greater stability when downshifting at the traction limit.
       
      When placed in “Sport Mode,” the transmission reduces shift times by up to 50 percent versus Auto Mode and delivers 65 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels.
       
      Acceleration and performance handling are enhanced by transfer case proportioning and dynamic controls for the AWD system when the vehicle is in Track Mode. When in Track Mode, maximum performance track driving is achieved with 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque delivered to the rear wheels for the most pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience. Durango SRT drivers will also notice a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit.
      The new driver-oriented electronic T-shifter provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control. Drive and Sport shifting can be selected with no effect on the chosen suspension, stability control and driveline torque split settings.
       
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT features launch control, which mimics a professional driver’s inputs to optimize performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension together for an optimal launch and consistent straight-line acceleration.
       
      The new exhaust system has been tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance note that is distinctive to Dodge/SRT and provides a lasting impression. To achieve this iconic exhaust tone, engineers have replaced the rear mufflers with resonators to increase overall sound level and improve tone of the true performance 2.75-inch dual exhaust system.
      Ride and handling
      The Dodge Durango SRT rides on a short- and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, specially tuned Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper- and lower-control arms (“A” arms) and a stabilizer bar. Additional changes include 3 percent stiffer front springs, 16 percent stiffer rear springs and an 18 percent stiffer rear sway bar to provide Durango SRT drivers with outstanding high-speed cornering capability.
       
      In the rear, a specially tuned multi-link suspension design has coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a stabilizer bar.
       
      The 120-inch wheelbase allows for outstanding stability and consistency in high-speed cornering, while a new performance-tuned AWD system helps the Durango SRT set the world-class performance marks. 
       
      The Durango SRT also features the SRT seven-mode drive system, which provides the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort. Suspension, torque distribution, shift points, stability control and engine mapping are all controlled through this system. In addition to these parameters, suspension feel is controlled by a sophisticated Active Damping System that opens and closes the suspension’s damper valves according to the chosen drive mode, providing the driver with options for any driving style.
       
      The seven SRT drive modes include:
      Auto: activates automatically when starting the vehicle. Sets the suspension and steering to comfort setting and longer shift times for longer, relaxed driving conditions  Sport:  delivers increased vehicle performance capability over Auto Mode. Tightens up suspension damping and increased steering gradient feel for improved cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 23 percent in 1-4 gears and electronic stability control (ESC) allows more yaw for spirited driving Track: delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces. Tightens up to full hard suspension damping and steering gradient feel for maximum cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 50 percent in 1-4 gears from Auto mode and ESC allows maximum yaw Snow: sets ideal configuration for driving in snow by setting transmission to use second gear (rather than first gear) during launches to minimize wheel slippage; stability control is set to Full-on and AWD is set to 50/50 distribution Tow: sets ideal configuration to tow a trailer by using full stability control; AWD is set to 50/50 distribution and trailer sway control is enabled in the ESC system. In addition, the Active Noise Cancelation system is automatically engaged to reduce engine noise from the high-load towing condition   Valet: engine is remapped to mimic the Dodge Charger V-6 engine’s torque and horsepower settings; transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal; traction, steering and suspension are set to their Auto settings; steering wheel paddle shifters are disabled; ESC is enabled to Full-on and launch control is disabled ECO: maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, second-gear starts and extended range of the Fuel Saver Technology Standard five-spoke 20-inch “Goliath” wheels with a new “Black Noise” finish ride on Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires. Available, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels feature a new split five-spoke design also featuring the “Black Noise” finish.
      Benchmark braking
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT delivers excellent braking performance, requiring an estimated 115 feet to come to a full stop from 60 mph. Credit belongs to massive new Brembo high-performance six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15 inches (front-slotted) and 13.8 inches (rear).
       
      Aggressive, functional and luxurious inside and out 
      Along with its new ultimate performance capabilities, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides the same combination of uncompromised utility, advanced technology and aggressive styling its well known for.
       
      Inside the refreshed cabin of the Durango SRT, new appointments include a hand-wrapped dashboard with live silver accent stitch, SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with standard paddle shift, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain’s chairs with embossed SRT logos. Nappa leather with suede inserts and silver-stitched SRT logos are standard. Demonic Red Laguna leather interior with embossed SRT logos is optional.
       
      Other luxurious touches brought to Durango for the first time in the SRT model include new Light Black Chrome center stack, HVAC, full console and door handle bezels along with two choices of decorative bezels. Standard finish is Matte Reverse Chain, and for the first time on Durango a true carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels will be offered (late availability). Premium velour bound floor mats with embroidered SRT logo are standard. Adding to the impact of the hand-wrapped instrument panel, the headliner and A pillars are available in Dynamica suede. 
       
      A newly designed 7-inch, thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable digital instrument gauge cluster with 180-mph speedometer allows drivers to select from a multitude of layouts and information. The class-exclusive Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen media center houses the new SRT Performance Pages along with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD radio, downloadable apps and 5-year trial of SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic. The standard BeatsAudio premium sound system features nine speakers, subwoofer and 506-watt amplifier.
       
      On the exterior, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT carries a SRT hood with functional center air-inlet ducts flanked by heat extractors that help to keep the engine bay cool by removing hot air from the engine compartment. A new front fascia and lower valence house the new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps. This new unique look will also include the SRT-inspired grille mesh pattern finish.
       
      New integrated wheel flares and body-color side rocker panels help provide an aggressive stance. The “392” badges flanking each fender with Bright Chrome and Metallic Grey accents differentiate the ultimate performance Durango.
       
      At the rear, a new SRT rear body-color lower fascia with Gloss Black accent surrounds the 4-inch dual round exhaust tips finished in Nickel Chrome. 
       
      The Durango SRT is also distinguished by new badging on the rear liftgate that denotes the new performance AWD system. 
       
      The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is available in 11 exterior colors, including Billet Clear Coat, Blu by Yu Pearl Coat, Bruiser Grey Clear Coat, Dark Black Clear Coat, Granite Clear Coat, Ocean Blue Pearl Coat, Octane Red Pearl Coat, Redline Pearl Coat, Sangria Metallica Clear Coat, White Knuckle Clear Coat and Vice White.  
      Safety and security
      The 2018 Dodge Durango offers consumers more than 60 available safety and security features, including standard all-speed traction control and ESC, which improve overall vehicle handling and performance both on- and off-road. Standard trailer-sway control enhances towing capabilities and keeps the vehicle and trailer aligned as the Durango travels down the road.
       
      Available safety and security features include forward collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control with stop, Uconnect Access with 9-1-1 call and roadside assistance. Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, which aid drivers when changing lanes or in parking lot situations. In addition, standard front-row active head restraints, standard full-length three-row side-curtain air bags and standard front-seat-mounted side thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision. In total, Durango offers seven standard airbags.
    • By William Maley
      From the 'how does this make sense' file, Fiat Chrysler Automobile is planning to expand its dealer network in the U.S. by adding around 380 new dealers. This news first came to light last week as Automotive News learned from two dealers and a source at FCA about the plans. The goal of this expansion is to try and expand market share. But there are a number of issues. For one, FCA has been seeing its sales and market share drop in the past few months due to a thinner product lineup.
      Second, some of the locations that FCA is planning to put new stores are within a few miles of existing stores. For example, two dealers in Louisana have filed protests with Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission for a proposed dealer in Kenner, LA. One of the dealers notes in their protest that the location is less than five miles from where they are. As they say in their protest, "will either be closer to Bergeron or, worse, must drive by Bergeron, if they are going to do business with the new point." A number of dealers in Texas have also filed complaints on new dealerships in their respective areas.
      Finally, an internal FCA source tells Automotive News that the company's dealership location consultant, Urban Science doesn't agree with the expansion plans. The data from the consultant "does not support these additional points."
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Urban Sciences were unable to comment.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      From the 'how does this make sense' file, Fiat Chrysler Automobile is planning to expand its dealer network in the U.S. by adding around 380 new dealers. This news first came to light last week as Automotive News learned from two dealers and a source at FCA about the plans. The goal of this expansion is to try and expand market share. But there are a number of issues. For one, FCA has been seeing its sales and market share drop in the past few months due to a thinner product lineup.
      Second, some of the locations that FCA is planning to put new stores are within a few miles of existing stores. For example, two dealers in Louisana have filed protests with Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission for a proposed dealer in Kenner, LA. One of the dealers notes in their protest that the location is less than five miles from where they are. As they say in their protest, "will either be closer to Bergeron or, worse, must drive by Bergeron, if they are going to do business with the new point." A number of dealers in Texas have also filed complaints on new dealerships in their respective areas.
      Finally, an internal FCA source tells Automotive News that the company's dealership location consultant, Urban Science doesn't agree with the expansion plans. The data from the consultant "does not support these additional points."
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Urban Sciences were unable to comment.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2
    • By William Maley
      Since President Donald Trump was elected, automakers have been pushing for him to relax the stricter fuel economy and emission regulations coming into effect by 2025. Now there is another group calling for this.
      At the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) annual conference, dealers voiced support for the new president ease the upcoming regulations. 
      "You inflate the price of the vehicle and a car that was maybe within reach of being affordable now may not be," said NADA's new chairman, Mark Scarpelli to Reuters.
      Scarpelli argues that the tech needed to improve fuel economy adds $1,500 to $3,000 to the price of a vehicle. He also says that a "different phase-in period" for the regulations would be welcomed.
      The big argument dealers are using is the regulations would cause automakers to build vehicles that buyers aren't interested in.
      "They've got to make regulation more in line with consumer demand so (the automakers) can build what people want and not what the government’s telling them they have to build," said Pete DeLongchamps, vice president of Group 1 Automotive Inc.
      Source: Reuters

      View full article
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