Families in an extreme hurry have a new option, with the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat promising 710 horsepower from the automaker’s now-legendary 6.2-liter V8. Though it may be bigger – and seat more – than a Challenger or Charger SRT Hellcat, this hefty SUV can definitely hustle.
0-60 mph comes in 3.5 seconds, Dodge says, while the quarter-mile takes just 11.5 seconds. Top speed is a whopping 180 mph.
It’s all down to the 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat V8 engine, with its 645 lb-ft of torque. That makes it the most powerful SUV ever, Dodge crows. Standard is a TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic transmission, along with Launch Control for maximum performance in a straight line. Launch Assist, meanwhile, taps wheel speed sensors to each out for wheel hop at launch, and tweak the torque to boost grip.
Outside, there’s a new front fascia with a new chin splitter. A functional snorkel on the hood is joined by an air guide and updated engine oil cooler duct, to keep the drivetrain supplied with cool air. At the rear, there’s a new spoiler redesign for better aerodynamic balance. Rear downforce has increased by more than 400-percent, Dodge claims, hitting 140 pounds at 180 mph.
Along with electric power steering – with selectable tuning – there’s an upgraded suspension system. Compared to the Durango SRT 393, knocked off the top of the tree by this SRT Hellcat, there’s the promise of more comfort when you’re in Auto mode, and better handling in Track mode.
To do that, Dodge has used 18-percent stiffer rear damper top mounts, among other changes. The result is a 20-percent increase in total rebound control, the automaker says, plus 2.5-percent less understeer and more stability when headed into corners. Drive modes include Auto, Sport, and Track, along with a Custom mode which can be set with a variety of adjustments for the transmission, steering, traction control, AWD, and suspension behavior.
When it comes to stopping, meanwhile, Dodge has taken no changes. There are high-performance six-piston Brembo brakes with two-piece calipers at the front, and four-piston rear calipers. Vented rotors are all-round, measuring in at 15.75-inches at the front and 13.8-inches at the rear.
Like the rest of the 2021 Durango range, this SRT Hellcat version gets a revamped exterior and interior. There are new LED headlamps and daytime running lights – slimmer and more sinister, Dodge says – though the Hellcat loses the otherwise standard LED fog lamps so that the openings can be used for, you guessed it, more cooling.
Two-piece Satin Chrome SRT Hellcat fender badges have been added, while the standard wheels are 20-inch by 10-inch machine-faced in mid-gloss black. A Lights Out darkened version is available as part of the Black Package. Either way, Pirelli Scorpion Zero 295/45ZR20 all-season performance tires are standard, with P-Zero 295/45ZR20 three-season tires available.
Inside, there’s a revamped dashboard, dominated by a 10.1-inch touchscreen running Uconnect 5. The shifter is fully-electronic now, though it looks like a traditional version; the steering wheel has red backlighting for the SRT logo. The gauges, too, are matching red, while the seats are Nappa leather with suede as standard – with heating and ventilation – while a Lagnua Leather version in black and Demonic Red is available.
If you want to put a Durango SRT Hellcat on your drive, though, don’t hang about. Dodge says it will only be producing the performance SUV for the 2021 model year. Orders open up this fall, with deliveries from early 2021.