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Dodge adds Heat to Durango R/T

by Bill Cawthon on

Dodge is showing off the Heat, a new, affordable performance package for the 2011 Durango R/T. The new Heat package delivers aggressive styling and the high-performing, 295 horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine.

“Durango Heat is about handling performance and a street presence that puts the sport in sport- utility,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge Brand – Chrysler Group LLC. “The unibody rear-wheel-drive (available all-wheel-drive), two-row exclusive seating configuration makes this the lightest Durango model. A world-class double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension make Heat a handling champ that moves out smartly with 295 horsepower, a dual-exhaust, tuned air induction, custom 20-inch Satin Carbon finished wheels while delivering ultimate utility with more storage room at 50 cubic feet than anything it competes with. The Durango Heat also is among the most efficient in its class at 23 miles per gallon on the highway. For the money, there’s truly nothing like it on the market.”

The Durango Heat and R/T both feature a unique fascia with fog lamps, a color-matched grille and dark headlamp bezels. The Heat package adds a color-matched body kit, wheel lips and rear fascia with integrated dual chrome exhaust outlets, giving it a lower stance.

The five-passenger Heat also shares R/T’s aggressive suspension tuning, performance steering, unique 20-inch wheels with all-season performance tires, a 20-mm lower ride height, tuned dual-exhaust and a modernized interior that holds drivers in their seats.

The Heat package replaces R/T’s 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with the new Pentastar DOHC V-6 engine capable of powering the Durango to 130 miles per hour. With 295 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque the Heat has best-in-class V-6 towing up to 6,200 lbs. The EPA fuel economy miles per gallon (mpg) (City/Hwy) are 16/23 for the rear-wheel-drive model and 16/22 for the all-wheel-drive model.

While Heat entices with performance-biased styling and handling, the newest Durango also maintains SUV capability with room for five passengers and 50 cubic feet of storage space—more storage capacity behind the second row than any other five-passenger vehicle on the market– including 5.9 cubic feet of under-floor storage. As in the R/T, Heat comes standard with Uconnect Voice Command and a premium 506 Watt Alpine audio system with 10 speakers, including a subwoofer.

Suggested U.S. retail prices for the Dodge Durango Heat start at $30,295 (excluding destination). Look for it at your local dealer this Spring.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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