The 3-row SUV market was missing one thing: a truly diabolical, muscle-car inspired family hauler capable of producing well over 700 horsepower. Well, Dodge made it happen with the 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat — the world’s most powerful SUV, at the moment anyways.
Propelled by a burly supercharged 6.2L HEMI Hellcat V8 engine, Soccer Moms can expect this fairly unassuming looking sport utility to reach 0-60 mph in 3.5-seconds, run the quarter-mile in a NHRA-certified time of 11.5-seconds, and reach a 180 mph / 290 km/h to ensure Jonny makes it to practice on time.
Insane Durango SRT Hellcat horsepower, 0-60, and top speed exceeds what families need (and that’s ok)
Matted to an 8-speed automatic transmission, this beast will make 710-hp and 645 lb.-ft. of torque. Really, is this much power really necessary in a family sport utility that seems better suited for the track and not the local Walmart? Probably not, and we’re certainly not complaining.
Managing all this power, Dodge is throwing in Launch Control and Launch Assist as standards, providing the Hellcat SUV more consistent straight-line acceleration and better grip by modifying torque attributes. And all this performance and handling means nothing without a proper brake assembly, particularly in a larger vehicle like the Durango which finds massive Brembo brakes and vented rotors requiring only 35 metres (116 feet) to come to a full stop from 97 km/h (60 mph).
For the more technically-inclined, here are some key details on the Hellcat engine:
- Cast-iron engine block with water jackets between the cylinders for optimal cooling
- Forged-steel crankshaft with induction-hardened bearing surfaces
- Specially tuned crankshaft damper, burst tested to 13,000 rpm
- High-strength, forged-alloy pistons
- Powder-forged connecting rods with high-load-capacity bushings and diamond-like, carbon-coated piston pins
- Piston-cooling oil jets
- Heat-treated aluminum-alloy cylinder heads
- Sodium-cooled exhaust valves, hollow-stem intake valves and steel-alloy heads that stand up to temperatures as high as 900 degrees Celsius (1,652 degrees Fahrenheit)
New Durango R/T Tow N Go Package: lots of power but can it tow?
Even without the mind-boggling V8, the Durango is a leader in the 3-row SUV segment when it comes to towing capacity. Now, the optional Tow N Go Package new for 2021 will deliver 3,946 kg (8,700 lb.) towing capacity from a 5.7L HEMI V8, while increasing the SUV’s top speed to 145 mph or 233 km/h — all riding on 20-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in Pirelli Scorpion Zero all-season tires, exclusive to this package.
A nice bonus, the towing package also includes 4 modes (Track, Sport, Snow, Tow) for more fine-tuned performance, re-tuned SRT Active Noise Cancellation, new Electronic Limited Slip Differential and SRT Active Damping Suspension, and Performance Pages which come standard on all Dodge R/T models.
Availability and pricing
Dodge hasn’t released pricing or an official release date at time of writing, but have made it clear the Durango SRT Hellcat is built for the 2021 model year only. Stay tuned.