The new Dodge Dakota will have a new look, inside and out, and a new optional V-8 engine when it goes on sale in August. The base engine remains a 3.7-liter V-6 with 210 hp, but the optional 4.7-liter V-8 pumps out 290 hp — a 25% increase over the outgoing engine — and 320 pounds-feet of torque, a 10% bump. The new V-8 is also a FlexFuel engine and can run on either regular gas or E85 ethanol. The maximum towing capacity is 7,050 pounds.
What about the new look? Well, the Dakota definitely got a thorough face-lift. Out is the rounded-yet-bold look of past Dodge trucks, in is the squared-off crosshair grille found on new Dodge vehicles, like the Nitro SUV. It’s a dramatic change and we’d love to hear what Dodge fans think of it. Inside, the Dakota upgrades to an interior more akin to its Dodge siblings as well.
Other new features include a standard remote starter, built-in utility rails in the bed, heated bench seats and an under-seat storage system. We’ll have more on the Dakota after we see it in person later this week at the Chicago Auto Show, but for now check out more photos below.