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The word SUV is not usually synonymous with descriptions like: ability to reach nearly 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, sound like hell on wheels or howl through bends like a large sports sedan yet that is exactly the description that fits the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT. Taking to the Indianapolis International Speedway this SUV managed to enter turn one at close to 200 km/h.

It seems hard to believe that Dodge would build something like this but they have united their engineers with their executives to prove there is a love for real performance cars with lots of horsepower and torque wrapped in a stunning body highly desired by many.

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This 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque from a 392-cubic inch Hemi V8 is housed in the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT. Only 3.3 seconds slower than the impressive Dodge Challenger Demon (currently the fastest ¼ mile production car on the planet), the Dodge Durango SRT’s quarter-mile time was 12.9 seconds. Packed with this punch it provides the ability to tow up to 8,700 pounds in a SUV that no longer just carries the groceries, it carries speed.

Although the Durango weighs about 5,500 pounds and can feel a little top-heavy cornering peaks, it does so with little effort. On-board electronics provide Track mode, Street mode, Sport mode, Snow mode, Tow mode and Valet mode.

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What can you expect when shifts occur at 160 milliseconds? You could feel somewhat abrupt shifts under full throttle in Track mode, probably accompanied by a bark from the specially-tuned dual exhaust that will most likely frighten pedestrians. Without hesitation or abruptness the Durango will snap through gears, under normal driving, controlled by paddle shifters or a new electronic T-shifter. The electronic steering is equally smooth, accurate and on point.

Even if the Durango should start to slide out at the limit it is completely controllable and will respond to more throttle. It has been tuned for performance and will put out from any errant trajectory if given some gas in a slide because of the AWD system. The Durango rides on stiffer springs both front and rear but even riding on beaten roads, thanks to an independent rear suspension, you won’t hear complaints from any occupants. The driver can choose how soft or firm of a ride by activating one of the SRT modes provided by a Bilstein adaptive damping suspension system.

Dodge says the Durango will stop in an impressive 115 feet from 98 km/h. This comes from huge, six-piston front Brembo brakes on 15-inch rotors. Four-season Scorpion Verde tires come as standard; optional Pirelli P Zero rubber is also good traction.

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The Durango is noticeably quieter than any other Dodge, even with a growling exhaust, partly accomplished through active noise cancellation. Dodge has done a remarkable job marrying tremendous power with a great suspension making this Durango SRT the SUV you would want to take on a long distance trip for a genuinely rewarding experience.

The hood and its air inlet and extractors make this SRT look the part of being fast without being overdone and not just any ordinary kid hauler. Appropriately discreet are the cold air duct above the LED fog light and front fascia and grille.

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Excellent features are the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen and the customizable TFT instrument panel. Standard are leather and suede sports seats, Beats audio system with nine speakers, a subwoofer and 506-watt amp.