Press cars can be hit or miss when it comes to options. When we arrived on Monday this looked like a Dodge Durango. Named after a Colorado mining town, this popular SUV is essentially a longer version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Both are built at the Jefferson North plant in Detroit and they make use of the durable 3.6L Pentastar V6.

But as I got out of my car I noticed something odd. A Durango with hood vents? Yep, the crazy engineers at SRT crammed their 392 (6.4L) HEMI under the hood. V8 versions of the Durango have been seen in the past, and the 2003 R/T was the last hurrah for the Magnum engine. It made 245 horsepower, a far cry from its Muscle Car origins.

The 3rd generation Durango arrived in 2012 as one of the final products of the Daimler-Chrysler merger. That is why it shares much of its suspension with the Mercedes ML, GL, and R-Class models. It arrived with the 5.7L HEMI rated at 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft. Those are completely sensible numbers for an family hauler. But if you are feeling a little bonkers, hang on.

The SRT model was hinted about in 2017 and it returned in mid '18 with 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. It has more power than any other American 3-row SUV. Jeep offers the Trackhawk with the supercharged Hellcat engine, but it only has 2 rows and much less cargo room.

Being able to reach 60 mph in 4.4 seconds is impressive for any automobile, especially a 5,500-lb SUV. Power is channeled by an 8-speed automatic to all wheels. It would be nice to have a low-range transfer case, but first gear is a chunky 4.71 and the differentials are 3.70. This allows it to tow 8,700 lbs, with almost 900 lbs on the hitch!

Power of this magnitude will have you at illegal speeds. The interior is awash in Nappa leather and the touchscreen is the same great head unit shared across the high end Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge lineup. With a sticker price of $73,500, its $20,000 cheaper than a fully loaded Escalade. You will have 55 more horsepower and a NASCAR soundtrack when provoked. Need proof, they chained it down at Gainesville International Raceway for a all-wheel burnout!

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