In January, spy photographers caught what we thought might be a mild hybrid version of the coming Dodge Durango, based on information Mopar Insiders gleaned from the UAW contract with Fiat Chrysler. Turns out we were correct, Mopar Insiders citing info from sources at Fiat Chrysler that the base engine on the 2021 Durango will be a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with eTorque. We don’t have output figures yet, but he current Durango’s base engine is the non-hybrid 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 making 293 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque in SXT trim. The V6 hybrid powertrain is offered in the Ram 1500 making 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, and the Jeep Wrangler making 285 hp and 260 lb-ft., but doesn’t increase output compared to the non-hybrid engine in either of those models. We’re sure buyers would love for Dodge to bump the numbers up into Ram territory, but the eTorque unit serves the god of fuel economy and low-end refinement, so we shouldn’t be surprised if there’s no change.
The MI report says Dodge has three other powertrains coming for 2021. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that comes standard on the Durango RT will carry over, adding eTorque as an option. That’s the same standard and optional configuration Ram offers on the 1500 equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The Durango’s V8 produces 360 hp and 390 lb-ft., versus 395 hp and 410 lb-ft in the Ram. On the Ram, the eTorque system improves fuel economy by 2 mpg in the city, 1 mpg on the highway. The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 on the Durango SRT moves into 2021 as well.
But the Durango SRT will need to cede its crown to a Durango SRT Hellcat coming next year. Dodge has already put the Hellcat engine in a Durango Pursuit model for law enforcement, making the full 797-hp wrought by the Hellcat Redeye motor. A couple of months ago, Road & Track caught a Hellcat badge on a Durango in a now-removed trailer for the new “Fast & Furious” film, leading all to believe a civilian-use version of the muscle SUV was on the way. MI claims we’ll get the Hellcat’s 707 hp and 645 lb-ft., but the trim will launch as a limited edition bearing numbered plaques on the instrument panel.
The only bad news in all this is that production shutdowns have delayed the 2021 Durango and the brand new three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee “at least three months from their original launch dates.”