In July 2020, Dodge announced a triple-header release that sent muscle car enthusiasts into a frenzy. There was the Dodge Challenger Super Stock and the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye. However, it’s the latter that arguably got the most attention. It was billed as the most powerful production SUV ever made, with performance numbers that encroach into sports car territory.
It represents a big upgrade over the existing Durango lineup, with enhancements that include a new front chin splitter, updated engine oil cooler duct, air guide, and snorkel for cold air induction. The Durango SRT Hellcat mostly ticks off all the right boxes for those seeking a family hauler with enough oomph to satisfy the occasional rush of adrenaline on the highway.
It May Be The Last Of Its Breed
It is hard to justify any logical reason for the Durango SRT Hellcat, especially in this age when the focus is increasingly shifting to EVs and cleaner sources of fuel for the automotive sector. Dodge built the SUV mainly to secure bragging rights, and with its limited run, the SUV will do little to solve the carmaker’s financial challenges.
The reality is that the days of thirsty Hellcat V8 engines are drawing to an inevitable close and this formidable performance SUV may just be among the last of its kind.
Unleash The Dragon – A Monster Powerplant
The most impressive aspect of the Durango SRT Hellcat has to be the engine. After all, it’s the principal factor that transforms the otherwise ‘docile’ family SUV into something decidedly more potent. The supercharged 6.2-liter V8 is capable of whipping up an insane 710 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque.
It is enough to make the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat one of the most powerful production SUVs ever, ahead of cars like the Bentley Bentayga Speed, Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk, and the Lamborghini Urus.
Faster Than Sports Cars
All that power is not just for show, the Durango SRT Hellcat is a seriously fast hunk of metal. The 710 hp is fed to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission, and if the tires stick well enough to the asphalt, the big SUV can rocket to 60 mph in as little as 3.5 seconds.
It will also complete the quarter-mile in 11.7 seconds at 117.3 mph! That’s faster than thoroughbred sports cars like the 2021 Toyota Supra and the new Ford Mustang Mach 1.
The Dodge Durango can rocket off the line like a greased-up projectile, but what’s also impressive is how quickly it can scrub off all that power, especially when you consider the fact that the SUV is not exactly lightweight.
The SUV comes equipped with a capable Brembo brake setup that has 15.75-inch front rotors with six-piston calipers and 13.8-inch rear discs with four-piston binders. It is enough to bring the Durango SRT Hellcat from 60 mph to 0 in just 110 feet.
It Is A Capable Hauler
It’s not just all about the speed, Dodge rightfully knows that it’s not every time the Durango SRT Hellcat will be driven in a hurry and so the SUV also comes with impressive towing capabilities. It is officially rated at 8,700 lbs, making it one of the best in its category. By comparison, the Jeep Trackhawk, in its most potent guise, can manage 7,200 lbs at best.
This means you can hook up your family trailer to the Durango for a trip to the countryside and then unhitch at the campsite and go for a blast down the highway in your unshackled SUV.
The American SUV can almost be thought of as 2 different vehicles rolled into one. Much has been made of the big SUV’s blistering acceleration off the line with an advanced launch control system, or how it barrels down the highway, bullying other cars into submission.
However, on the other hand, the Durango SRT Hellcat is also surprisingly easy to drive, offering a pleasantly smooth ride with an engine that’s quite content to purr along quietly until a heavy foot is applied on the throttle.
A Heavy Beast
You will find carbon fiber in the Dodge Durango but we suspect they are more for improving its aesthetic appearance rather than for any weight savings considerations.
The SUV has a curb weight in excess of 5,500 lbs, and that makes its performance all the more impressive when you think of all that heft the engine has to lug around. It is far heavier than the Lamborghini Urus with a curb weight of about 4,850 pounds or the roughly 5,300-pound Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk.
Functional Hood Scoop
There are many cars out there today with fake vents, put in place just to enhance the car’s overall aesthetics. It’s a little different for the Durango SRT Hellcat and we are talking about that large scoop on the hood.
Yes, it does make the SUV noticeable more aggressive but it also serves a functional purpose, too. It is fully open and helps suck in air, accompanied by the trademark supercharger whine, into the massive HEMI V8 engine tucked under the hood.
Limited Production Run
One would expect that Dodge would want to milk as many profits as possible from their brutish high-performance SUV, but that is not the case. The Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is a limited-series vehicle that will be produced for a single model year, mainly to preserve its exclusivity.
Initially, 2,000 units of the SUV were announced, and all the build slots quickly sold out to eager buyers. In April 2021, the carmaker confirmed that it would be building another 1,000 units from July to November. You can expect they will all quickly sell out as well, even with the $82,500 base price.
Not Your Typical Dodge Interior
Yes, the interior of the Durango SRT is not as luxurious as one might expect, especially in view of the car’s hefty price tag. However, the carmaker still put great effort in projecting the image of a luxury performance SUV once you open the car doors. Napa leather upholstery comes as standard and the seats are ventilated and heated too.
The dashboard can be had with soft black material and contrasting white stitches that complement the chrome instrument panel. There is also a 10.1-inch screen that allows the driver to interact with the various infotainment features.
These American cars are loved by enthusiasts, so you might want to pick one up sooner rather than later.
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