In spite of the unrelentingly high gas prices car buyers just can’t get enough of the SUVs with their aggressive styling, large amount of cargo space and commanding view of the road. But gas prices and fuel economy has impacted even this gas guzzling market segment. Enter the 2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid.
When you hear the word “hybrid,” the Dodge Durango may not be the first name you think of, but Dodge has put plenty of power into this environmentally friendly work horse. It won’t win any land speed records, but for the soccer mom crowd, the Dodge Durango Hybrid should be just what the doctor ordered.
The new Dodge Durango hybrid will feature a two mode power train that will reduce emissions and boost gas mileage, always an Achilles heel for sport utility vehicles. The new Durango will share the same hybrid system as the 2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and a new line of full sized hybrid SUVs by General Motors. The new two mode hybrid system was the result of work between Mercedes Benz, General Motors and BMW.
The new hybrid system will be joined to a 5.7 liter V8 Hemi engine. Dodge’s Multi Displacement System will also be included with the V8 Hemi. The MDS will shut down half the V8s cylinders when they are not needed. This will help the new Dodge Durango to conserve gas. The new V8 Hemi will generate an astounding 325 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The horsepower is needed to pull the heavy frame of the solidly built SUV. The new Dodge Durango Hybrid is only rated to tow 6000 pounds. The gas powered Dodge Durango will tow up to 8000, so there is a lack of power involved in getting better fuel economy.
The hybrid system will give the city gas mileage by 40 per cent and combined fuel economy by 23 per cent. The Dodge Durango Hybrid’s city fuel efficiency rating is 18 miles per gallon with the Durango getting 19 miles per gallon on the highway. These numbers compare to 13 in the city an 18 for the highway for the regular gas powered Dodge Durango.
The new Dodge Durango Hybrid will also have a variable transmission that will be powered by two motors and four fixed gears. The will help control when the Dodge Durango Hybrid uses the gas engine and when the Dodge Durango Hybrid uses electric power. Electric power should be fine for driving around in the city, while the gas power will best be saved for highway driving.
The new Dodge Durango Hybrid will feature a 300 volt battery under the row of seats in the second row of the SUV. Applying the brakes will recharge the battery which will help power the car’s electrical system, such as the radio, the climate control system and interior lighting.
The new Dodge Durango Hybrid will be available with All Wheel Drive, the MyGIG system, heated front seats and a rear view camera. Pricing is expected to be around $42,000 for the base model.