Could Dodge Usher in A Fully Integrated Touchscreen with the Durango SRT?
Who said Dodge is stuck in the past and would never join the brigades of alternative fuel vehicles and self-driving technology? Well, we did, actually. And for good reason. Can you imagine giving up control of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat speed demon over to a computer, or losing some of the gut roaring horsepower for a lithium-ion battery? We can’t either, that’s not what Dodge vehicles are about. Surprisingly, Dodge does have some history with going green, but for the most part, Dodge vehicles have been the same for the last few generations. 2019 Dodge vehicles are bringing a change to that, along with some new technology.
We mentioned the unlikely possibility that Dodge would ever look into alternative fuel vehicles. Although going green is becoming one of the next big things in the automarket, along with the surge of crossovers. We can’t imagine Dodge making a plug-in hybrid Dodge Challenger, although the automaker did take a shot at an electric vehicle at one point, known as the Dodge Omni, or “Electric 007.” Being a part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobile Group, we’d be more inclined to see Chrysler’s award-winning eHybrid engine on a Dodge Journey or even Grand Caravan – Chrysler is already lending the same technology to the upcoming Maserati Levante hybrid.
When it comes to going autonomous, that’s already a lost cause. Dodge may never go autonomous because driving a Dodge Challenger or Dodge Charger is all about having control over the vehicle. The handling of the muscle car, the all-wheel driving available on either the Charger or the Challenger, the nimble driving along the road or ability to take tight turns – that’s what Dodge is known for. Again, we believe this is more of an opportunity for one of the larger Dodge vehicles, like the Dodge Durango.
Someone out there must be listening in, because the Dodge Durango is actually the first Dodge vehicle to get a new line of technology available. It’s actually a lot more obvious than one would expect. The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT has seven touchscreen drive modes, and is the first step into turning touchscreens into a tablet like the iPad, Microsoft Surface, or Galaxy Tab. In the current 2018 Dodge Durango SRT, almost everything was available to operate and configure via the touchscreen versus the usual buttons around the seat, center console, and steering wheel.
Looking at the picture above, and one can see options for the transmission mode, automatic transmission or manual with paddle shifters, the drivetrain, suspension settings, and more. In terms of the transmission mode, not to be confused between manual and automatic, this deals more with the type of transmission needed for the drive. For instance, sport mode will really deliver the 475 horsepower engine with 470 lb-ft of torque available from the 6.4-liter HEMI® V8 engine. We can imagine towing mode would make the best use of the 8700 pounds maximum towing capacity of the Durango SRT, and the snow and track modes are there for those who live in the north or have an all-year pass to one of Florida’s speedways.
So what does this have to do with the future technology in the Durango or any Dodge vehicle for that matter? Past the Durango SRT and other bits of technology like the Dodge and SRT Performance Pages, the Durango SRT is the first vehicle that has seven different settings for drive modes that can be chosen through the factory installed touchscreen. Competitor Tesla designed the Model S to drive like an Apple tablet, making nearly every feature available with a swipe.
The point is, we already have vehicles with remote start and apps that can control their vehicle from far away. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, like the Dodge Durango, come with Uconnect 4, the next generation of the infotainment system that basically integrates one’s smartphone into the infotainment system via Apple CarPlay or Google Android Auto. With the ability to customize how the Durango SRT drives through the touchscreen, what’s to stop automakers like Dodge to make just about every vehicle option and configuration a tap away? We can see it happening.
Let’s see what 2019 brings. We already know the new 2019 Dodge Challenger and Charger models will be looking different. Perhaps the interiors of Dodge and other FCA vehicles will start to grow a bit too. Do you prefer the clicking and turning of knobs or does a fully-integrated touchscreen sound more appealing to you? Tell us your thoughts on Aventura CJDR.