For the longest time, the Dodge Charger and Challenger have been the only ones to come with the coveted Hellcat name. Powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 that doles out 707 PS and 875 Nm of torque, both the Challenger and Charger prove that there is still a market for high-performance, unapologetically American muscle cars.
Now, the folks over at Dodge have now put the Hellcat powertrain onto their full-size SUV. This is the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, and it's only available for one year. You read right, Dodge's biggest SUV is now available with a supercharged powertrain, upgraded suspension and brakes, improved cooling system, and a Challenger-inspired cockpit.
At the heart of the Durango SRT Hellcat is, you guessed it, a 6.2-liter HEMI V8 that gets a helping hand from a 2.38-liter supercharger. It cranks out 720 horsepower along with a whopping 875 Nm of torque. Power is then sent to an eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel-drive, allowing the SUV to sprint from 0 – 97 km/h in 3.5 seconds, and reach a top speed of 290 km/h.
With that kind of power, Dodge had to extensively upgrade the V8. It gets water jackets between the cylinders for optimal cooling, while the crankshaft and pistons are made from forged steel and forged alloy, respectively. The connecting rods, on the other hand, are powder-forged and come with high-load capacity bushings, along with carbon-coated piston pins. Finally, the aluminum-alloy cylinder heads are heat-treated to make it cope better with the heat generated by the engine.
To keep the powertrain and supercharger at optimal temperatures, the engineers made a dedicated cooling circuit for the charge air coolers integrated into the supercharger housing. This cooling circuit features a pump, coolant reservoir, and heat exchanger. As an added touch, the HEMI V8 has piston-cooling jets for better temperature management.
Providing the Durang SRT Hellcat with better handling comes courtesy of an upgraded suspension. The high-performance SUV gets retuned springs, stiffer rear dampers, and revised top mounts. All of these translate to better responsiveness, more grip with reduced understeer, as well as improved stability while turning into corners. The electronic power steering, meanwhile, comes with three selectable modes and is complemented by SRT Drive Modes like Street, Sport, Track, and Custom.
As far as braking is concerned, Dodge slapped on high-performance Brembo brakes on the Durango SRT Hellcat. All four corners come with vented rotors, with the front benefitting from six-piston calipers. The rear, on the other hand, gets four-piston calipers. Keeping the Durango SRT Hellcat planted to the pavement is done by a set of Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires.
Design-wise, the Durango SRT Hellcat received an extensive makeover inside and out. The supercharged SUV gets a Charger-like front grille, slimmer LED headlights, blacked-out mesh grille inserts, a two-piece front splitter, a reshaped rear spoiler that provides extra downforce at high speeds, massive 20-inch alloy wheels, and a distinct LED taillight design.
If the exterior gets a Charger-like look, the interior comes with a Challenger-inspired design. It gets a flat-bottomed leather-wrapped steering wheel, paddle shifters derived from the Charger and Challenger, and a new 10.1-inch touchscreen with Uconnect 5. Other available features on the new SRT Hellcat include Nappa leather upholstery, Performance Pages App on the touchscreen, red-accented gauges on the instrument panel, and optional Laguna leather interior finished in black and Demonic Red.
With the Durango SRT Hellcat available only for the 2021 model year, this high-performance family hauler could become quite the collectible piece of Americana. Just ask the factory-built drag car that is the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Only 3,300 were ever made, and all come with 850 PS plus 1,044 Nm of torque when filled with 100+ octane fuel.
We're keeping our fingers crossed Dodge Philippines will be able to bring some units of the Durango SRT Hellcat here.