2011 Dodge Durango Heat – Click above to enlarge

Dodge is lighting a figurative fire under its entire lineup of vehicles these days, and one vehicle that's igniting the match is the redesigned-for-2011 Durango. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that the automaker has just announced the new Heat package for the 2011 Durango, which is basically an R/T minus the Hemi V8 engine.

In place of the brawny V8 beast is a version of the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine boasting 295 horsepower (up five ponies from other V6 Durangos) and 260 pound-feet of torque. Naturally, the main benefit is improved fuel efficiency, with the Heat earning EPA ratings of 16/23 (city/highway) for the rear-wheel-drive model and 16/22 for the all-wheel-drive model. That's up from 14/20 with the more powerful V8.

Besides the engine, most everything about the Heat matches that of the R/T. Included among the changes over less sporting models is a body kit that includes a monochromatic front fascia with a lower air dam, suspension lowered by 20 millimeters, 20-inch wheels with all-season performance tires and a dual exhaust system. Dodge saves a bit of weight by ejecting the third row; the Heat is available as a five-passenger model only.

Pricing for the 2011 Durango Heat begins at $30,295 ($32,295 with all-wheel drive). Want to know more? Click past the break for the full press release.

[Source: Dodge]
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Some Like It Hot-Dodge Introduces New Durango Heat

* Designed to complement the performance-tuned Durango R/T, new five-passenger Heat package with the Pentastar V-6 engine delivers 295 horsepower and up to 23 miles per gallon (mpg)
* Best-in-class 50 cubic feet of storage behind the second row and performance-tuned to thrill anyone who truly loves to drive
* New Heat package delivers affordable performance with a starting U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $30,295 (excluding destination charges)

February 9, 2011 , Chicago -

Dodge is turning up the heat in the full-size SUV segment, introducing a new affordable performance package for the all-new 2011 Dodge Durango SUV – the Dodge Durango Heat. Designed to complement the performance-tuned Durango R/T, the new Heat package delivers aggressive styling, the high-performing 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with 295 horsepower and a surprisingly affordable price. With a starting U.S. Manufacturer's Retail Price (MSRP) of $30,295 (excluding destination), the Dodge Durango Heat will be available at dealerships across the country in the Spring of 2011.

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

From the outside, the Durango Heat and the R/T have a striking resemblance. Both feature a unique fascia with fog lamps, a color-matched grille and dark headlamp bezels. The color-matched body kit, wheel lips and rear fascia with integrated dual chrome exhaust outlets, give the Heat a lower stance.

Built on the Durango's new unibody platform, which is 25 percent stiffer than the Durango it replaces, the five-passenger Heat also shares R/T's performance-biased engineering, including its aggressive suspension tuning, performance steering, unique 20-inch wheels with all-season performance tires (three-season high-performance tires for even greater grip and response also are available), a 20-mm lower ride height, tuned dual-exhaust and a modernized interior that holds drivers in their seats.

Where the R/T is powered by the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, the Heat is powered by the new Pentastar V-6 engine. The 3.6-liter V-6 engine is an all-new design, featuring double-overhead camshafts (DOHC) and a high-pressure die-cast aluminum cylinder block in a 60 degree configuration. Contributing to best-in-class V-6 towing at 6,200 lbs. and a top speed of 130 miles per hour, the engine delivers 295 horsepower (216 kW) at 6,350 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. (353 N•m) of torque at 4,500 rpm. The EPA fuel economy miles per gallon (mpg) (City/Hwy) are 16/23 for the rear-wheel-drive model and 16/22 for the all-wheel-drive model.

While Heat entices with performance-biased styling and handling, the newest Durango also maintains SUV capability with room for five passengers and 50 cubic feet of storage space-more storage capacity behind the second row than any other five-passenger vehicle on the market– including 5.9 cubic feet of under-floor storage. As in the R/T, Heat comes standard with Uconnect Voice Command and a premium 506 Watt Alpine audio system with 10 speakers, including a subwoofer.

About Durango

From its sleek exterior design to its modern, spacious interior, and intelligent, fuel-efficient and powerful powertrain options, the 2011 Dodge Durango is all-new from the inside out. And the changes are more than skin deep. The Durango's unibody structure is more than 25 percent stiffer than its predecessor. The end result is a vehicle with crossover versatility, SUV capability and performance in a different league than its competitive class.
Durango customers live busy lives. They need a vehicle that is spacious and flexible enough to haul three rows of passengers (Citadel, CrewLux, Crew, Express) and their gear, but powerful and agile enough to keep it fun. Durango customers are looking for the perfect balance of functional versatility and luxury at an outstanding value. Dodge's newest SUV is the only vehicle in the segment that will meet their needs.

The starting U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the all-new 2011 Dodge Durango (Rear-wheel-drive/All-wheel-drive):

Durango Express: $29,195 / $31,195

Durango Heat: $30,295 / $32,295

Durango Crew: $33,195 / $35,195

Durango Crew with CrewLux package: $38,195 / $40,195

Durango R/T: $35,465/$37,865 Durango Citadel: $41,795 / $43,795

(All prices exclude an $850 destination charge.)

About Dodge

Dodge is a full line of cars, crossovers, minivans and SUVs that are agile, daring, sensible and inventive. The brand is on a tear for the 2011 model year, redefining itself with six all-new or significantly redesigned new vehicles, introducing new lifestyle packages designed to better meet the needs of its customers, launching catchy new ads that have started conversations with owners and potential owners, actively participating in new events and sponsorships and developing relationships with its long-loyal enthusiast base, as well as reaching out to customers who want cars that leave them wanting more.

For the 2011 model year, the Dodge brand is filling dealer showrooms with a vast array of new and updated products. The Dodge product line includes the all-new Dodge Durango and Dodge Charger, significantly revamped Grand Caravan, Journey, Avenger and Challenger, and the Dodge Caliber and Dodge Nitro.

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