|The 2007 Durango|
Dodge introduced the new, redesigned 2007 Durango at the Dallas Auto Show. The 2007 Durango, which offers HEMI MDS and E85 options, will be configured to be Chrysler Group’s first production hybrid system: the Dodge Durango Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV).
Available in 2008, the Durango HEV will link the two-mode hybrid system, co-developed with GM and BMW (earlier post), to the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, providing an estimated 25% improvement in fuel economy. The 2006 Durango with a 5.7-liter engine has an EPA fuel economy rating of 17 mpg (combined).
Chrysler will modify the floor, second-row seats, and electrical system to support the hybrid system.
For 2007, Dodge Durango offers the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with Multi-displacement System (MDS). An E85-compatible 4.7-liter Flexible-fuel Vehicle (FFV) V-8 engine, new for 2007, is also available.
Chrysler and GM are working with the two-mode hybrid system to provide their larger vehicles with enhanced performance at higher speeds and to maintain towing capacity as well as improving fuel consumption in city driving cycles.
The Dodge Durango HEV two-mode hybrid will deliver power on demand in a package with motors less than half the size of traditional hybrids, according to the Chrysler Group.
MDS—standard with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8—alternates between smooth, high-fuel economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed, and eight-cylinder mode when more power from the 5.7L HEMI engine is in demand.
The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8’s 335 hp (250 kW) and 502 Nm of torque provides more than ample power for towing and hauling, and is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
The 230 hp (172 kW) E85-compatible FFV 4.7-liter V-8 engine is standard on all four-wheel-drive Dodge Durango models, and offers 393 Nm of torque. The 2007 Dodge Durango’s standard powertrain is a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that generates 210 hp (157 kW) and 319 Nm of torque.
Sales of the current Durango have been in decline. In March, Chrysler posted Durango sales of 5,317 units, down 57% from the year before. For the first quarter of 2006, Durango sales are down 39% from 2005 levels.
Chrysler clearly hopes for the 2007 Durango to deliver the results GM is producing with the redesign of the 2007 Tahoe full-size SUV (earlier post)—the vehicle that will see GM’s first application of the two-mode hybrid system in MY 2008.