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Dodge Durango on the way

An American heavyweight SUV is being readied for a potential attack on Toyota's LandCruiser. After more than 15 years of unfulfilled dreams and broken promises, Dodge is finally planning to bring its Durango seven-seater to Australia.

American sources confirm to Carsguide the early stages of a right-hand drive program that's been promised on the Durango since it was launched in 1998. The RHD plan exploits a mechanical platform and factory shared with the latest Grand Cherokee that's been a big success for Jeep in Australia.

The massive SUV could be here inside 18 months. The Durango could even be badged as a Jeep and could, potentially, be sold with a price tag that's $5000 or less above the current $43,000 starting sticker for the Grand Cherokee.

The Durango is big and bold, sells well in the US and would be relatively cheap and easy to produce in right-hand drive. Fiat Chrysler admits the idea of a Durango in Australia is a good one.

"If it was available, with the right mix of specifications and pricing, we are confident that Australians would love the Durango," says company spokeswoman Karla Leach.

"With nearly 50 per cent of the SUVs in the Grand Cherokee's competitive set being seven-seaters (having the same number) would allow us to offer a fresh and appealing alternative in this significant market segment."

This reporter is on Twitter: @PaulWardGover