Chicago 2011: Dodge Durango R/T Debuts, Durango Heat Gets R/T Style With V6 Power

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

Debuting at the Chicago Auto Show alongside a new lineup of four other RT models for 2011, perhaps the most exciting is the return of the Dodge Durango R/T for 2011.

Based on the all-new Durango platform, Dodge brand CEO Ralf Gilles points to the near sedan-like ride and handling characteristics of this powerful SUV, thanks in part to the stiff chassis, fully independent suspension and a vehicle height that has been lowered by almost an inch. Combine that with a set of 20-inch wheels with all-season performance tires, more direct steering and load-leveling rear shocks and it should prove a tossable package for such a big truck.

And a big truck it is, retaining its 7-seat arrangement and 85 cubic feet of cargo room.

Adding thrust to either the rear wheels or all four is a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 360-hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. Plus, there’s a special exhaust system so you can really hear the big V8 roar.

To set the R/T model apart, it comes with a unique front fascia, body-colored grille surround, xenon lights and plenty of color-match details on the outside of the car. Inside, a special suede material is used on the seats, with leather for the steering wheel and shift knob. And of course, there’s the obligatory R/T badging on the headrests. Options include a full leather interior adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring, while standard feature include such highlights as remote start, a power liftgate and passive entry with a push-button ignition.

The 2011 Dodge Durango R/T arrives at dealers this Spring, priced from $35,465.

For those on more of a budget and less of an interest in power, Dodge will also offer the Durango Heat, with many of the same styling cues, but with the 290-hp V6 and a starting price of $30,295.

GALLERY: 2011 Dodge Durango R/T

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