The wraps came off of the all-new 2011 Dodge Durango today, providing the first full look at this reborn and fully reengineered package the automaker is dubbing a "performance SUV with soul." Based on the unit-body design that underpins the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and available in rear-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations, the crisply rendered sheetmetal and tasteful detailing on this new-look Durango clearly endows it with a full measure of curbside presence that was only hinted at in the earlier teaser images.
While still holding back a number of pertinent details on the 2011 Durango until closer to its on-sale date later this year -- including any interior photos, save for a peek at the new Dodge logo on its steering wheel -- Dodge does point out that the passenger compartment was designed by the same group responsible for the Grand Cherokee's cabin, and that it boasts the same kind of unexpected fit, finish, features and quality cues that have been winning rave reviews for the Jeep. In addition to a bounty of added soft-touch surfaces and comfortable seating for seven, the Durango offers 22 different passenger/cargo configurations to optimize its overall utility.
On the tech front, Dodge has confirmed the Durango will use Chrysler's new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 as its standard engine and the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 as the optional motivator, both engines are fitted with variable valve timing to enhance their fuel efficiency. Still no word on output for either -- but 290 and 360 horses, respectively, seems likely. Also unsaid but probable is a standard five-speed automatic behind each. With the Pentastar V6, the Durango's tow rating is a best-in-class 6,200 pounds. That figure rises to 7,400 pounds with the V8. Key safety standards on the 2011 Dodge Durango include stability control, anti-lock brakes and front/front-side/side curtain airbags while Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, Forward Collision Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control will be available as options.
Hurricane Earle permitting, the 2011 Dodge Durango is slated to make its formal public debut this weekend at the "Dodge Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon presented by SunTrust." A trio of new Durangos will lead a caravan of more than a dozen new Dodge vehicles from the automaker's home base in Auburn Hills, Michigan to Virginia Beach, Virginia where they will serve as official pace vehicles for the event. The proceedings are being chronicled on the Dodge brand Facebook page at Facebook.com/dodge and the Dodge brand Twitter handle (@dodge).