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2018 Dodge Durango SRT 1st Drive: The Perfect High Performance Hellcat Hauler

The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT offers more high performance ability than any other 3-row SUV in America, but more importantly, it will tow 8,700lbs – making it the perfect tow vehicle for a Hellcat Challenger or Charger owner who wants to tow their Mopar muscle car to the track with another high performance Mopar machine.

The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT hits the market as the quickest and most powerful SUV with 3 rows of seats, with the 475hp, 392 cubic inch Hemi affording this big sport utility vehicle the ability to run the quarter mile in the high 12-second range. When you then add in the adaptive suspension system and Brembo braking package, the Durango SRT will out-corner any 3-row SUV in America after beating them all in the quarter mile, but the fact of the matter is that there will be far more people who tow a trailer with the new Durango than those who want to go racing with the newest SRT SUV.

Fortunately, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT has an official, SAE-approved towing rating of 8,700lbs, making it the ideal towing vehicle for a Hellcat owner who wants a fun-to-drive SUV to tow their supercharged muscle car to the track.

Durango SRT Towing a Hellcat
It might seem unlikely to some people that a high performance vehicle like the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT would make for a good towing vehicle for a car trailer, here is a quick rundown of the weights being discussed.

The 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has a curb weight of roughly 4,450lbs while the 2017 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat weighs around 4,575lbs. A 20-foot trailer is fairly average in the drag racing world, and through a company who focuses on lightweight trailers, a 20-foot open trailer has a curb weight of around 1,500lbs, but even a less expensive trailer like the ones rented by UHaul are only around 2,000lbs. A lightweight enclosed 20-foot trailer generally weighs about twice that, ranging from 2,900-3,500lbs.

So, let’s say that we round the weight of the Hellcat Challenger up to 4,500lbs and the weight of the Hellcat Charger up to 4,600lbs to simplify the discussion. A Durango SRT buyer who is using a 2,000lb open car trailer with either of the Hellcat cars will be pulling somewhere in the area of 6,600lbs, so there is plenty of room under the towing capacity for things like extra wheels/tires, a jack, tools, a cooler and other random items needed at the track.

If that same Durango SRT buyer wants to transport their Hellcat car in an enclosed trailer, they can expect to pull right around 8,000lbs, once again leaving plenty of room under the towing capacity for tires, tools and a jack. Really, with some 20-foot enclosed trailers weighing under 3,000lbs, a Hellcat owner shouldn’t have any concerns pulling an enclosed trailer filled with their supercharged muscle car and everything needed for a day at the track behind the Durango SRT.

Can it Really Pull a Trailer?
So, towing ratings are fine, but I am sure that some of you are wondering if you can really use an SRT SUV to pull a 6,000-8,000lb trailer. At that media first drive event for the new Durango SRT, Dodge had the 475hp high performance SUV hooked up to a boat trailer so that those writers who rarely pull a trailer could experience it first hand.

The simple drive route with the boat behind the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT did a fine job of showing that it could tow, but I have had the pleasure of towing my 5,000lb test trailer with the current Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT several times. Keep in mind that the Jeep is slightly smaller and has a lower towing rating, but Ive logged hundreds of miles with the SRT Jeep and my test trailer, and I can see without question that the high performance SUV will pull the trailer as well as any half ton truck. The Durango’s added size makes it a bit more stable feeling under load, so having been so impressed with how the SRT Jeep performed in my personal towing tests, I am confident that the SRT Durango will prove to be an excellent towing vehicle for those folks who want to pull their Hellcat to the track – especially those owners who have an open trailer.

Best of all, if a Hellcat owner has a spouse who wants to race as well, they can unhook the trailer and run both vehicles, with the SRT Durango packing strong quarter mile capabilities of its own.

In short, if you are looking for a towing vehicle to pull your Hellcat car, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is the most capable and the most fun to drive 3-row SUV in America – so there is no SUV which offers the same combination of performance and working abilities.