High off its surprise number-one ranking on J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Rankings (tied with Kia), Dodge is forging into the new decade with three seasoned, familiar models modified by in-house performance arm SRT, including the one-year-only 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat. The two other highlights are the 2021 Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, and the 807-horsepower 2020 Challenger SRT Super Stock factory drag racer.
During SRT’s media preview of the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, 2021 Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, and 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock, Fiat Chrysler passenger car brand chief Tim Kuniskis dismissed criticism that the brand, which has languished at the bottom of J.D. Power’s IQ rankings for years, shot to the top only because the company’s factories have been spitting out the same models for years.
Dodge has worked hard to improve quality, and it’s “laser-focused on the core attributes that customers want,” Kuniskis said.
“Do you want technology for technology’s sake,” Kuniskis continued, “or do you want technology for performance’s sake? I think everyone would take performance.”
Two of its oldest models, the Dodge Grand Caravan and Journey, are discontinued for 2021, Kuniskis said, leaving the brand with only Charger, Challenger, and Durango in its portfolio—models he described as “three vehicles that can go from cool to crazy with just a check of a box” on the order sheet.
Check the right boxes, and this is what you can be driving for 2021…
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Dodge’s Durango SUV gets the Hellcat treatment and becomes the first such model with standard all-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive, with the same engine found in the Charger and Challenger Hellcat, a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 rated at 710 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque. The TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic is also standard equipment.
The 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat is also the only Hellcat that can claim an 8,700-pound tow rating, which ought to put the stream in your Airstream.
Dodge claims a 3.5-second 0-60 mph time for the Durango Hellcat, and says it has a National Hot Rod Association-certified quarter-mile time of 11.5 seconds. Top speed is 180 mph (equal to the Bentley Bentayga V8, though 10 mph short of the Bentayga Speed), and Dodge says it’s 1.5 seconds faster than a Durango SRT 392 on a 2.1-mile road course, a figure equal to nine car lengths after just one lap.
To Hellcat the Durango’s aero package, SRT added a chin splitter to reduce front-end lift, and an “aggressive” rear spoiler at the top of the hatch-lid window for more stable high-speed maneuvers. The Durango’s front foglamps have been deleted to let cold air for the engine into the left-hand side of the lower front fascia, and to cool oil from the right-hand side.
If you have to have one, you’d better get in line now. The SRT Durango Hellcat will be offered for the 2021 model year only because the Durango Hellcat will not meet EPA evaporative emissions standards for the 2022 model year. The problem is related to the Durango’s platform and not its powertrain according to Kuniskis, which means the Dodge SRT Charger and Challenger Hellcats will continue on through 2022.
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat Quick Facts
- 710 horsepower
- 645 lb-ft of torque
- 8-speed automatic transmission
- 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds
- Top Speed: 180 mph, just 10 mph slower than the Fastest SUV in the World
- Tow rating: 8,700 lb
|2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat Specifications|
|ON SALE:||Fall 2020|
|ENGINE:||6.2L OHV 16-valve supercharged V-8/710 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 645 lb-ft. @ 4,800|
|LAYOUT:||4-door, 6-passenger, AWD SUV|
|L x W x H:||201.2 x 75.8 x 7.19 in.|
|WEIGHT:||5,600 lb (est)|
|0-60 MPH:||3.5 sec|
|TOP SPEED||180 mph|
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