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New Durango shares styling with Ram truck


Dodge previewed its redesigned 2004 Durango truck earlier this year at the Detroit auto show.

The mid-size sport utility vehicle goes into production this fall, with all-new sheet metal that once again draws styling inspiration from the full-size Dodge Ram pickup.

Available in rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations, the new Durango is longer, taller and wider than its predecessor, with 15 percent more interior space, including accommodations for seven passengers. Features on the '04 model will include a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and power adjustable pedals.

Dodge displayed the Durango concept with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 -- just one of several engine options that will be available this fall.
-- Paul Lienert:
 

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TCC SPY SHOTS: more pics...from TCC



Once again it appears that Chrysler is taking an auto-show concept vehicle and turning it into a production model with little change. And when they do, they will likely have another big hit on their hands.

In this case, the concept vehicle is the Dodge Durango R/T, shown at the 2003 Detroit International Auto Show. Instead of the near-universal boxy SUV, the Durango R/T has just the right amount of retro looks, like the PT Cruiser, along with a boldness and macho design that is unique and appealing. Now these latest photos capture a prototype Durango undergoing hot-weather testing. Despite the front-end disguise, one can clearly see that this is the next-generation Durango, and sure enough, it looks just like the concept vehicle.

Naturally, any production model must have differences from a concept car, and one can spot a few on this prototype. For one thing, the radio antenna sprouts from the right-front fender of the prototype; the concept car had no antenna to mar its looks. The concept vehicle also has huge 21-inch wheels. Wheels for the prototype are not that big, but still look to be a hefty 18 inches or so. Best of all, the production model keeps the unique front fenders which thrust forward to house the headlights — a wonderful retro touch that sets this design apart from the other big SUVs.

The new Durango is bigger than the current Durango in all directions. This gives more interior room for passengers in three rows of seats. Fold down the third-row seat and hauling space is plentiful, with enough room for that important 4x8 sheet of plywood. And “hauling” will describe the truck’s performance too, when fitted with the big 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 good for 345 horsepower.

Look for this new, larger Dodge Durango in dealer showrooms in spring 2004.







 
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