2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat released into the wild

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This was inevitable, right? The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat has arrived, and Dodge hasn’t held anything back. FCA has essentially taken its lovely Hellcat engine and dumped it into the largest SUV it sells. Cheers to that.

Power from the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 is rated at 710 horses and 645 pound-feet of torque in this application. It has 3 extra ponies beyond the traditional 707-horsepower version, and that’s probably just so Dodge can call it the most powerful SUV in the world, eking by the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk that has 707. The Durango Hellcat will crack off a 3.5-second 0-60 mph time and hit a top speed of 180 mph, assuming you’re brave enough to take it there. The 0-60-mph time is 0.9 second quicker than a non-supercharged Durango SRT. Dodge pitted the two against each other on a 2.1-mile road course, and the Hellcat completed the lap 1.5 seconds quicker than the base SRT. All the shifting continues to be handled by an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Of course, Dodge is also giving the Durango SRT Hellcat more braking and more suspension to handle the extra power. The upgraded suspension is tuned to be more comfortable in Auto mode and offer better handling in Track mode with less roll, less understeer and better rebound control. This is thanks to newly tuned shocks and stiffer top damper mounts. The brakes are upgraded to massive Brembo six-piston calipers in front and four-piston calipers in the rear. They clamp onto vented rotors at all four corners (15.75 inches in front and 13.8 inches in rear). Tires are 295-square, which is the same size as the regular SRT. You can choose between all-season or summer Pirelli tires.

SRT says it tailored the Hellcat engine to the Durango to make sure it could handle sustained track use. It has a unique cooling circuit for the charge air coolers that’s designed to keep air going to the engine cooler than 140 degrees. The lower front fascia hides a “cold-air scoop” where the Durango pulls air in from. It’s all spit out through a new exhaust system that’s definitely going to be loud as hell. Dodge says it features a 260 mm X-pipe, which is the largest in the SRT lineup.

From a styling standpoint, the Hellcat stands out from its brethren without looking too ostentatious. There’s a new front fascia (deleted the fog lamps for more airflow), chin splitter, larger rear spoiler (that produces 400% more downforce than before) and Hellcat badges all around. The interior and the rest of the Durango lineup has been updated for this year, but you can read about all of those details in our dedicated standard Durango post. Unique to the Hellcat are red gauges, heated/ventilated leather seats with suede inserts, and Hellcat logo-embossed seat backs. It’ll still tow just as much as other Durango’s, as the Hellcat is rated to pull 8,700 pounds.

If you want a Durango Hellcat, you’ll have to act fast. Dodge says it’s only building the SUV for one model year with six total months of production. It’ll be limited by how many folks order, or if demand is too high, how many Dodge can screw together in that time period. Order books open this fall, and Durango Hellcats are scheduled to arrive in dealerships early in 2021.

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Saurabh Shukla

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