Exelon Utility Companies Add More Hybrids to SUV Fleets
Arizona Preparing to Permit Sale of E85

Dodge Introduces New 2007 Durango Full-Size SUV; Platform for Chrysler’s First Hybrid

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.



How stupid can you get?


Why is it stupid? Should small vehicles be to only ones to benifit from hybrid tech?

Sure big SUVs and trucks would be better with diesel engines but that won't happen till the US starts using ULSD or bio diesel becomes more popular.

tom deplume

The use of large hybrid vehicles instead of small ones means more fuel for someone else. Building them 5 years too late is the stupid part.

Harvey D

Building so many gas guzzlers was not very smart or needed. Building more is still questionable. When I see my 110 lbs neighbour drive to the corner store with her 3-ton 4 x 4 it makes me wonder where has common sense gone.


It's stupid because the same amount of useful work could be done with a low displacement diesel hybrid. getting three or four times the mpg and consuming much less - energy intensive - time to manufacture.


how would a diesel hybrid be less intensive to make than a gassoline hybrid.

I agree that urban SUVs are stupid, but that won't stop people buying them - so it's better to make them cleaner and more efficient rather than bitching about them.


Let's do both. Build big hybrids and bitch about them as well. While we're at it, for those monster trucks that are used for urban use, tax the hell out of them. It's a cold day in hell when I see a truck around here with anything actually in the bed.


Oh I agree. If the vehicle is not being used for business use then it should get taxed loads.

Lets be honest, if you wanted a vehicle for working on a construction site or hauling a load of shit, you would not want chrome and leather.


Men with tiny penius want to drive the biggest vehicle they can afford to finance.

Then there are some of us that don't have that problem.


What's a tiny penius?


Humm, so we should tax trucks that can do usable work but gas guzzling minivans and sports cars that serve no purpose are fine?

Joseph Willemssen

Humm, so we should tax trucks that can do usable work but gas guzzling minivans and sports cars that serve no purpose are fine?

I personally think a cap-and-trade mechanism which gives all people of driving age an equal allocation of credits to purchase gasoline is the best idea. Then you don't get caught up in the issue of what's fair and what isn't, or value judgments about people because of the vehicle they choose to drive. Set a cap for whatever unit (eg, national) then allocate the credits. Let a market mechanism set the price premium for people who sell unused credits to those who wish to consume above their allocation level.

It rewards people directly for living lightly, allows market mechanisms to set prices for the good (fuel credits), and then sets specific limits on consumption of something which can be phased out over time.

It gets around the whole dilemma of someone else's conservation leading to lower proces which then increases consumption elsewhere. Road congestion faces the same dilemma. Without limits set by the mediating institution (in this case, the government) things always move towards a point which has extreme drawbacks.


Joseph. I agree with your proposal. But then that would require congress to recognize that we actually have a problem.

Hampden Wireless

Why does everyone seem to get upset when someone makes a hybrid truck? This is going to save more fuel then a Prius does and while I dont want one, the people who want a truck are probobly going to buy one. They are right now. This is just another CHOICE and its better then the non hybrid one.

I would love to buy a small or midsize hybrid pickup truck. Something the size of a Chevy Colorado with a 4cyl hybrid drivetrain of similar capacity to the Hybrid Camry. I dont think anyone is going to make it anytime soon though.



No thanks. I already got one.


I know I am going to get flamed for this, but here goes...I do not have the right to own a machine gun, because I do not have a legitimate need for one. But somehow we call it freedom to waste fuel we all need and that is in short supply. If you have a work need for a truck fine, but if not, you pay a "feebate" that goes to people that conserve fuel.


Why bother with Durango? WW2 German Tiger tank was gasoline series hybrid too. Very safe vehicle indeed.

And by the way, the bigger the vehicle, the less hybrid drivetrain contribute to it efficiency. It is the same laws of physics which explain why elephant could not jump.

Joseph Willemssen

This is going to save more fuel then a Prius does

I suppose that depends on what you're comparing it to, since a Prius has no direct conventional version like the Civic, Highlander, Escape, etc.

Using the numbers from the post, though, if the comparable vehicle averages more than 33.4 MPG (which, oddly, is exactly what my car gets), then you're correct. The "fuel saved" angle is counterintuitive, and I'm glad you pointed it out. I'm with you 100% about supporting the diffusion of hybrid technology across all vehicles -- especially the least efficient ones.

Al Welch

It is hard to make people face reality (and buy sensible vehicles for their needs) when the real issue is that the government simply does not tax fuel at the same level as Europe or some other parts of the world. It has suggested by several people in Washington DC that the true cost of gasoline in the US is really about $7 per gallon when you consider military and national security costs.


"the people who want a truck are probobly going to buy one. They are right now."

That's right, but they aren't going to buy a hybrid truck. We can probably expect a 5-10k premium on the hybrid version of the Durango, which, if it truly gives a 25% improvement in fuel economy, would only result in 21.25 mpg. So at a cost of $3 per gallon, it would take 150,000 miles to save about $5300 in fuel.

This hyrbid version of the Durango WILL NOT SELL.


Oh and i missed this one the first time through

"I do not have the right to own a machine gun, because I do not have a legitimate need for one"

Not sure where you live, but if you're in the US, you can own a machine gun in most states.

Joe Rocker

I heard the GM-Dodge hybrid was supposed to be cheaper than Toyota or Honda hybrids?

hampden wireless

AJ? I know you dont like this truck but come on....

you said $5000 to $10000 premium for this option? Where did you get that from? It's going to be far less then that. So we dont get to take the tax credit for this into account but we do for the Prius and the Civic?

You figured 150,000 miles. That is less then number of miles most people say you need to drive a civic hybrid to make the difference. I figure before the tax rebate it will cost $4000, take around 100,000 miles to pay off. Total guess but I think it would get at least $2000 credit its gonna pay off quite fast.

Faster then the Prius, Civic hybrid or the Escape.


$5-10k were just estimates. Remember, on a large SUV the hybrid components need to be bigger and stronger than on a little car.
According to Ford's website, the escape hybrid costs 8k more for the base model. While i'm sure there are variations in features and options between the two, even with a tax break that puts us well above 5k, and on a vehicle which doesn't require components as strong as those for the Durango.
If we then go to Toyota's website, we see the hybrid version of the Highlander costs between 7-9k more than the regular Highlander. Again, well over 5k even with a tax break.
Finally, 150,000 is a long time for most people to keep an SUV. Dodge would have drawn more customers by building a neon hybrid, or maybe by being the first company to put out a hybrid minivan.


It should be pointed out that complaining about certain vehicle types has never had an impact on their success or failure rate. Free market economics dictates those trends in this country, to the eternal chagrin of the complainers. But the American people are hungry for these new technologies and are willing to pay extra for them, e.g. the success of the hybrid Prius, Insight, Civic, etc. It's easy to point out the imperfect side of the free market economy, but keep in mind that currently these technologies are the hottest thing going in new vehicles. This could not be said ten years ago, or even five, and is EPIC in the history of vehicle development. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth so to speak. Average mileage per gallon of commonly purchased mainstream production vehicles is surging, saving millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, not to mention millions of real dollars. In addition, sales of SUV's ARE dropping, and demand for used SUV's has declined dramatically in the last two years. Americans are making more practical decisions in terms of their vehicles and those that buy larger ones are wanting better fuel economy. All good things.

It's not true that larger vehicles don't benefit as much from hybrid technologies. In fact, they benefit equally. Most of the improved fuel economy from hybrid electrics is from energy recaptured during braking. This energy source is available on all vehicles, large or small. (The biggets impact on fuel economy is the driving cycle of the vehicle. A lot of city driving yields a lot of braking events compared to highway driving where regenerative braking events are rare. That's why hybrids get poorer mileage on the highway, reversing the commonly known city/highway mpg read.) One of the most booming areas in hybrid electric vehicles is in city busses. A typical hybrid electric city bus will get 50 - 100% better fuel economy and will have up to five times improved brake pad life. Since brake pads are the largest maintenance item on heavy trucks, this has significant impact on overall vehicle maintenance costs.

The real limitations on hybrid electric vehicles have been and still are the batteries. The batteries are improving but have a long way to go before full advantage can be taken of the hybrid concept. This has caused parallel hybrids to go to market first, with lower battery requirements. A series hybrid is much more efficient and will eventually replace the current parallel hybrids, but requires better batteries. The battery situation is currently stunting the technology uptake, but those in the know are nearly on top of the issue. Nickel metal hydride batteries will get replaced with high power lithium-ion, perhaps with a small helping of ultracapacitors. A fully optimized hybrid SUV would likely get 40 plus mpg and have better torque and lower maintenance costs. This is a few years, or more, out. Until then we are stuck with 25% to 50% improved fuel economy with the weak-hybrid, or mild-hybrid that dominates currently.

It is true that deisel is much more efficient than gasoline and this is inherent in the thermodynamics of the engine cycle and the burning temperatures involved. Deisel can be sooty and smelly, tainting its image. With improved fuel processing and emissions controls, its much better. Deisel is a very promising combination with hybrid technology for ultra good fuel economy. For example, in 1996 Chrysler built the Intrepid ESX hybrid concept car. 3-cylinder deisel motor, series hybrid, advanced battery pack. 200 hp, huge torque and very low zero to sixty - with over 70 mpg! The battery was again the issue, so back to the drawing board for 10 years. Once the battery situation is fixed, hybrids will be even more powerful in the market.

In terms of impact, improved batteries hitting the market will truely enable hybrid technologies. At that same moment however, the problems with purely electric vehicles will be solved as well. The "plug-in-hybrid" will become the norm, and visiting the gas station will be relegated to preparations for a long overland trip. Hybrid electric (and other electric) technology will have serious longevity in heavy trucking, revolutionizing the industry. The hybrid electric craze is only a way-point on the general trend of "vehicle electrification" which will not end there. All of it being a benefit to the environment by lowering the CO2 footprint of mainstream vehicles. This whole concept of CO2 footprint is not entirely lost on Americans and it is now a serious force in the market. Only time will tell how much...

The comments to this entry are closed.