Dodge Announces New Heat Package for 2011 Durango

Chrysler has just released technical information and an official image of the new 2011 Dodge Durango Heat, which will be introduced at the Chicago Auto Show today. While the cliche name might suggest this is a stickers and sunroof kind of special edition, it really isn’t.

The Heat basically boils down to a Durango R/T without the big HEMI V8 engine. In place of the Brawny eight-cylinder, we find a version of the new 3.6-lite Pentastar V6 offering 295 horsepower (five more than the other V6 models) and 260 pound-feet (352 Nm) of torque.

The main benefit of the engine downsize is improved fuel efficiency, as the Heat has earned an EPA rating of 16/23 mpg (city/highway) for the rear-wheel-drive model and 16/22 mpg for the all-wheel-drive model. This is a significant improvement over the 14/20 mpg achieved by the V8.

Everything else about the Heat matches that of the R/T. This includes the addition of a body kit that differentiates it from less sporty models. This includes a monochromatic front fascia with a lower air dam that look well in combination with the bigger 20-inch wheels wrapped in all-season performance tires. Performance modifications come in the form of a suspension lowered by 20 millimeters and a dual exhaust system.

Dodge even says the two-row exclusive seating configuration makes this the lightest Durango model. When it arrives in US showrooms, pricing for the Heat will begin at $30,295 or at $32,295 for the AWD model.

"Durango Heat is about handling performance and a street presence that puts the sport in sport- utility. The unibody rear-wheel-drive (available all-wheel-drive), two-row exclusive seating configuration makes this the lightest Durango model," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge Brand.

"A world-class double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension make Heat a handling champ that moves out smartly with 295 horsepower, a dual-exhaust, tuned air induction, custom 20-inch Satin Carbon finished wheels while delivering ultimate utility with more storage room at 50 cubic feet than anything it competes with. The Durango Heat also is among the most efficient in its class at 23 miles per gallon on the highway. For the money, there's truly nothing like it on the market."
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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