The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is a screaming muscle car wrapped in an aggressively styled three-row sport utility vehicle.
The star of the freshly updated 2021 Dodge lineup is the one-year-only Durango SRT Hellcat. Powered by the HEMI Hellcat V8 straight out of a Challenger SRT Hellcat. It’s the most powerful gasoline engine offered in a production SUV.
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Topping the 6.2 L HEMI in the Durango Hellcat is a 2380cc IHI supercharger with integral charge coolers that deliver a total boost of 11.6 psi. The specifications of engine internals reads like a shopping list for a racing engine: forged-steel crankshaft, high-strength forged alloy pistons, powder-forged connecting rods, heat-tread alloy cylinder heads with hollow stem intake valves and sodium-cooled exhaust valves.
The power output of the supercharged 6.2 L HEMI is 710 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque. Backing the powerful engine is a robust, quick-shifting TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission. Power is delivered to the ground via an AWD system with electronic rear limited-slip differential.
The 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat accelerates to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, tying the record for the fastest production SUV. To prove its track performance beyond a shadow of a doubt, Dodge brought in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to certify the results. The Durango SRT Hellcat covered the quarter mile in an elapsed time of 11.5 seconds with a top speed of 180 mph. SRT engineers upgraded the Durango SRT Hellcat to improve handling, including several race-inspired technologies accessed through selectable drive modes.
Drivers can choose from seven different drive modes on the Uconnect 10.1-inch touchscreen; drivers can tailor transmission shift speeds, steering, paddle shifters, traction, all-wheel drive (AWD) and suspension settings. Another feature is the Performance Pages app, which provides access to real-time vehicle performance information, including timers, G-force, gauges, and engine performance.
The independent front and rear suspension have been retuned for this most sporty application. As a result, the Durango SRT Hellcat laps a 2.1-mile road course 1.5 seconds faster than the SRT 392. That’s nine full car lengths of difference on just the first lap. Two other technologies coming straight from the track include Launch Control, which manages tire slip to achieve consistent straight-line acceleration. The other is Launch Assist which helps prevent driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch by controlling engine torque until the tires can regain full grip.
With all those capabilities, the brakes on the Durango SRT Hellcat need to be up to the task. Fitted are massive Brembo high-performance six-piston, two-piece front and four-piston rear calipers, vented rotors at all four corners. The Brembo brake package pulls the Durango SRT Hellcat from 60 mph to a full stop in just 116 feet.
Around those massive brakes are standard 20-inch-by-10-inch machined faced alloy wheels, wrapped with a choice of standard Pirelli Scorpion Zero 295/45ZR20 all-season performance tires as standard with Pirelli P-Zero 295/45ZR20 three-season tires as an available option.
On top of everything else, the Durango SRT Hellcat has a towing capacity of 8700 lbs. which will deliver you first to the boat launch on a Saturday morning.
The Durango SRT Hellcat benefits from several exterior refinements as well. With the more aerodynamic front fascia shared with other new Durango models, openings (located where fog lights would normally be) feed cold air to the engine and oil cooler. A unique splitter adds downforce to the front, balanced by a new two-piece rear spoiler that generates 400 percent more downforce than the standard design.
On the inside, look for some features unique to the 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat. The SRT Hellcat interior package includes red-accented gauges and standard heated and ventilated Nappa leather and suede front seats with an embroidered Hellcat logo, or an available Laguna leather interior in black/Demonic Red includes an embossed Hellcat logo. The performance-oriented flat-bottom steering wheel features a red-backlit SRT logo, exclusive to the SRT Hellcat package.
As the official sponsor of the Bondurant High Performance Driving School, new SRT model buyers receive one full-day session as part of the Dodge//SRT Package to learn how to get optimum performance from their new SRT vehicles in a controlled environment.
The Durango SRT Hellcat will start at $80,995. Orders will open this fall, and vehicles are expected to arrive in dealerships early in 2021. The word is only about 2000 Durango SRT Hellcat models will be produced.
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