LA Auto Show Preview: 2009 Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid

It's Chrysler's other first production hybrid... and it's got a HEMI... it's got the same HEMI! The 2009 Durango HEMI Hybrid is maybe the cooler, rougher, slightly less-suburban brother of the Aspen HEMI Hybrid. Other than the big cross-hair grille and other cosmetic touches it's basically the same vehicle. This model also gets the two-mode 5.7-liter HEMI setup, the LED headlights, MyGIG entertainment system and other stock goodies such as a rear park assist camera, electronic roll mitigation and a bunch of airbags. Look for a deeper discussion of the two-mode HEMI hybrid system later today. Full press release after the jump.

Dodge Durango

Dodge Durango offers style, comfort, convenience and superior versatility in a real SUV, with three rows of seating and room for eight.

The Dodge Durango's styling is enhanced with a high beltline emphasizing its bold appearance, while short front and rear overhangs contribute to the vehicle's expression of concentrated power. Crisp angles and chiseled surfaces highlight a strong and confident front-end design. The Durango's signature crosshair grille stands out prominently, flanked by rectangular headlamps with dual-halogen bulbs wrapped around the corners of the fenders. The rear design of the Dodge Durango is marked by "afterburner" taillamps, and a chrome appliqué accentuating the rear liftgate.

Standard interior appointments include wood-accented door panels and instrument-panel center stack, air conditioning, overhead console with HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and Electronic Vehicle Information Center, front and rear LED lamps that can be individually aimed, MyGIG Entertainment System with navigation, floor console with rear power accessory outlet, and 60/40 third-row bench seat.

Standard equipment also includes leather-trimmed bucket seats, eight-way power driver's seat with memory, four-way power passenger seat, heated front-row seats, and a second-row bench seat, providing seating for eight.

Dodge Durango rides on a torsionally stiff, fully hydroformed frame with independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, providing a turning radius of 37.5 ft. — shorter than a Honda Pilot. Suspension and steering are finely tuned to deliver superior ride and precise steering. Dodge Durango's rear suspension features coil springs and a solid rear axle secured with a Watt's linkage system, resulting in refined ride and handling characteristics.

Advanced safety and security features include standard Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Program with Electronic Roll Mitigation and Trailer Sway Control, side-curtain air bags for all three rows, ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System, Tire Pressure Monitoring system, Sentry Key® engine immobilizer, and ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera System.


New 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI® Hybrid and Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid

Chrysler LLC's First Production Hybrid Vehicles

• Hybrid fuel efficiency combined with full-size SUV performance, capability and utility

• HEMI® Hybrid delivers more than 25-percent overall fuel economy improvement

• Full-size SUVs boast nearly 40-percent fuel economy improvement in city

• HEMI Hybrid features Chrysler's Multi-displacement System (MDS)

Chrysler and Dodge are bursting onto the hybrid scene in a big way.

With the introduction of the new 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI® Hybrid and 2009 Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid, Chrysler LLC delivers two hybrid-electric vehicles that combine fuel-efficient advanced-hybrid technology with full-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) performance and capability.

"The new 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid vehicles will offer our customers the sought-after blend of performance, utility, capability and vastly improved fuel economy — all in one package," said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President - Product Development, Chrysler LLC. "Combined with Chrysler's Multi-displacement System (MDS), our advanced, two-mode hybrid technology immediately delivers a more than 25-percent fuel economy improvement to our full-size SUVs — and up to a 40-percent improvement in the city."

The 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid vehicles are Chrysler's first entries in the hybrid market.

Capable of towing 6,000 lbs., the 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid vehicles deliver 385 horsepower — seamless, dependable power and performance on demand, in an efficient package. With an electrically variable transmission (featuring the best characteristics of an automatic transmission and hybrid drive) and two different hybrid modes of operation, the drive system dramatically improves fuel economy around town and at highway speeds.

The new 5.7-liter HEMI Hybrid is expected to deliver an overall fuel economy improvement of more than 25 percent, including an improvement of nearly 40 percent in the city. For customers who desire the performance and capability of a large SUV, the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango Hybrid vehicles will reduce fuel consumption by several hundreds of gallons of gas per year.

The renowned HEMI powerplant, in hybrid form, will continue to feature Chrysler's MDS, which allows the engine to seamlessly alternate between four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand. The two-mode hybrid system provides assistance from electric motors allowing the HEMI V-8 to remain in four-cylinder mode more often than without a hybrid powertrain, improving overall fuel economy.

Built at the Newark Assembly Plant in Delaware, the new 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid vehicles arrive in showrooms in mid-2008.