If you think the world doesn’t need another 700-plus horsepower mega SUV, the fine folks over at Dodge would beg to differ. Engineers have been cranking that ludicrous knob more toward eleven for the past five years or so, ever since the original Challenger SRT Hellcat launched. Now their efforts include their flagship family crossover. Meet the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat.
FCA did tease the Durango Hellcat a few months back. Those of us who loved the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk — and I’ll shamelessly admit I’m one of them — knew it was only a matter of time until we saw the supercharged Durango, and Dodge claims it’s now the “most powerful SUV ever”. To wit, it’s also a three-row family SUV. As far as production models go, they’re not wrong: At 710 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque, the Durango SRT Hellcat has three more horsepower than the Trackhawk. It has an equally insane (considering its three-ton mass) 3.5 second 0-60 time, and a top speed of 180 mph.
Beyond the power boost, the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat can also tow 8,700 pounds. That’s the same figure as the 6.4-liter, 475 horsepower SRT model. Now you’ll just be in an SUV that can run the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds. On a 2.1-mile road course, Dodge says the Durango SRT Hellcat can run a hot lap 1.5 seconds faster than its less powerful sibling.
Other performance upgrades
Since the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat gets a heap of supercharged grunt over the rest of the range, it also gets upgraded brakes. At the front, the mega-SUV gets six-piston Brembo calipers with 15.75-inch rotors. Move around to the back, and you get 13.8-inch rear rotors with four-piston calipers. Thanks to the extra stopping power, Dodge says the Durango Hellcat will stop from 60 mph in 116 feet. That’s slightly longer than the Trackhawk, but still impressive given its sheer size.
In the handling department, Dodge fitted stiffer top mounts for the rear shocks to help keep the car planted. Total rebound control has increased 20 percent, which should help keep the SUV from wallowing too much in the corners, and gripper rubber reduces understeer by 2.5 percent.
Styling and tech
Beyond sheer performance, the 2021 Dodge Durango lineup packs some fresh looks and tech over the previous model. Up front, the range gets slimmer LED headlights and running lights, while the grille has also been restyled in the spirit of the Charger sedan. The Hellcat has a bespoke grille pattern, as does the other models. For the Hellcat’s part, the grille has larger openings to improve cooling.
Inside, the touchscreen display has also been updated. All models except the entry-level SXT and GT get the new 10.1-inch Uconnect 5 infotainment system as standard equipment. It’s optional on the GT, while the SXT still gets the 8.4-inch display.
R/T models also get a “Tow N Go” package, which offers the same level of towing capacity with the Durango’s 5.7-liter Hemi V8. There, you’ll still get an 8,700 pound towing capacity and a bump in top speed to 145 mph.
The Durango SRT Hellcat is a single-year model
If you’re looking into getting the 710 horsepower Durango, a word of caution: Do it sooner, rather than later. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, it’s likely the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat will land somewhere in the $80,000 range. What FCA did announce, however, is that the Hellcat will only exist as a 2021 model.
The Dodge Durango should receive a more comprehensive update for 2022, so it seems the Hellcat will not carry over with that new version, at least not immediately. For you horsepower-crazed folks out there, Dodge has also announced the Challenger SRT Super Stock and the Charger Hellcat Redeye, so check those out as well.