People love Hellcats and it's easy to see why. So it makes sense that Fiat-Chrysler has been Hellcatting all the things, from the
Jeep Grand Cherokee
and even an upcoming Ram. Now the
is getting in on the fun.
Making its debut Thursday, the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat has plenty of power: 710 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque. That, coupled with all-wheel drive, means this big, three-row SUV will haul its considerable bulk to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and will carry on to an aero-limited top speed of 180 mph. It'll run the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds, too -- a figure officially certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
Of course, adding that much power to an already sizable SUV means that other aspects of the vehicle need to be improved too. The suspension now uses an adaptive Bilstein setup at all four corners. The brakes are upgraded to colossal six-piston Brembo calipers up front with only slightly less massive stoppers out back. Did we mention this thing can also tow 8,700 pounds?
If all of this kind of sounds like a
version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, you aren't completely wrong. But the Durango is bigger than the Grand Cherokee, more aggressive looking (that functional spoiler makes 140 pounds of downforce at 180 mph) and has Fiat-Chrysler's new Uconnect 5 infotainment system -- just like the regular 2021 Durango. Also, the Durango has three more horsepower. Three!
Another notable difference is the exhaust. The Durango gets a unique 260-millimeter crossover for its X-pipe exhaust system. This helps to better equalize the exhaust pressure coming from each bank of cylinders -- and it also gives the Durango Hellcat an even meaner sound than the Trackhawk, if you can believe it.
Here's the catch: The Durango is a one-year-only model. The reason? C02 emissions. The rules change for the 2022 model year, so the Durango Hellcat only gets one trip around the dance floor. To be totally clear, this does not mean the other Hellcat models are going away; it only applies to the Durango. Dodge plans to give the Durango Hellcat a roughly six-month production run, which means that it will likely be able to crank out a maximum of 2,000 of these things -- based on customer interest. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but we're sure people will be bugging their dealers as soon as the order books open this fall.
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is the 1-year wonder we've been waiting for