Photo: Chrysler

Photo: Chrysler

Chrysler began offering its Dodge Durango Special Serivce SUV to law enforcement agencies, following through on a prototype the automaker brought to Michigan State Police vehicle testing in September.

The automaker has begun taking orders and expects to deliver vehicles to agencies by July 1.

Chrysler said the new Durango Special Service will be built at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. The vehicle joins the Dodge Charger Pursuit sedan and Ram 1500 Special Service truck, currently available to government fleet customers, at that plant.

The Dodge Durango Special Service comes standard with the Pentastar 3.6L V-6 engine and also offers an available 360 hp 5.7L HEMI V-8. The 3.6L V-6 offers a 550-mile driving range, delivers 290 hp, and has a 7,400-pound towing capacity.

Other special features designed to help the vehicle perform during fleet use include a heavy-duty brake package, a heavy-duty battery, a larger-output 220-amp alternator, and a heavy-duty water pump and engine oil cooler.

The new Special Service model features a customizable rear cargo area with under-floor storage compartments and additional storage in the side compartments. Other changes include a special service interior dome lamp and headliner, spot lamp wiring prep, and the deletion of the third row of seats for more cargo capacity. Even without the third row, the second row still has separate air conditioning and heat controls.

When it comes to safety, the vehicle has similar characteristics as the Dodge Durango, for example the Durango was named a "Top Safety Pick" by the an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Special Service models also offer customers the same 45 safety and security features, including standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), electronic roll mitigation (ERM), Hill-start Assist, and standard Trailer-sway Control (TSC).

Other standard safety and security features on the Durango include seat-mounted and side-curtain air bags in the front row. The curtain air bag extends protection to second and third-row passengers (third-row seating deleted in Special Service models). The Durango also includes standard front-row active head restraints.

Chrysler said the new model comes with a 5-year/100,000-mile fully transferrable powertrain warranty.