2021 Dodge Durango Hellcat: First Look

Have you ever felt the need to catapult seven people up to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds? Well, now's your chance.

Dodge got rid of all their smaller sedans and coupes some time ago, and the Journey and Grand Caravan go bye-bye next year. In this shrinking lineup, it looks like Dodge is aiming to be a muscle car brand. You're probably already familiar with Dodge's Hellcat package in the Challenger and Charger, and now that 6.4L V8 is being shoehorned under the hood of the Durango.

The Durango SRT Hellcat isn't being touted as a limited production model, but it'll only be offered in 2021 as the engine won't meet emissions requirements for 2022, and Dodge plans on a six-month production run. With demand being what it is and the Durango's $80k price tag, that will probably equate to a few thousand units.

Dodge Durango Hellcat

The Dodge Durango Hellcat | FCA US

What It's Got Going On

The Durango will be using the same Hellcat Hemi V8 as the brand's muscle cars, with 16 valves, standard AWD and an IHI supercharger for 710 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. A few specs from Allpar.com:

  • Shorter stroke gives the ideal bore vs stroke ratio for high RPMs
  • Supercharger is designed with four heat exchangers, cooling intake air to 140 degrees F at all times
  • 92mm throttle body is the biggest ever fitted to a Chrysler engine
  • High-flow oil pump services eight separate piston cooling oil jets, with an external oil cooler to keep oil temperatures down
  • Straight-through dual exhaust with ceramic catalytic converter elements
  • Forged pistons, carbon-coated wrist pins and cast-iron block for durability
  • Every engine is dynamometer-tested for 42 minutes before being approved and shipped.
Dodge Durango Hellcat

Dodge Durango Hellcat | FCA US

The Hemi is then bolted up to an eight-speed 8HP95 Torqueflite transmission and heavy-duty AWD transfer case. To get all that mass to a dead stop, there's a Brembo braking system with six-piston calipers and 15.75" rotors up front, and four-pistons/13.8" rotors in back. 20-inch wheels are shod with Pirelli Scorpion Zero (Pirelli P Zeros are optional) all-season tires, and the Durango's suspension has been reworked with adaptive Bilstein dampers for tight handling and control.

Up front, the truck's front fascia and hood have been redesigned for aerodynamics and downforce at high speed, with a spoiler in back working with the front fascia for extra stability and enhanced aerodynamics. Put it all together and, along with that rocket sled-like 0-60 time, the Durango can cover the quarter-mile in 11.5 seconds and can tow 8700 pounds, if you don't feel like going fast. Its top speed is around 180 mph.

Dodge Durango Hellcat Interior

Dodge Durango Hellcat | FCA US

The Other Stuff

Inside, the Durango is a driver's vehicle all the way, with layout and ergonomics that call to mind the Challenger and Charger. That includes paddle shifters, heated and ventilated nappa leather seats, a big 10.1" touchscreen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa functionality for voice commands. Like you'd probably expect at that price point, the Durango is well-appointed and comfortable, with plenty of interior room and enough cargo space to swallow up plenty of suitcases, bags of mulch or whatever else you toss back there.

The Durango will be offered in wild colors like F8 Green, Octane Red and In-Violet. Keep your ears open, because you're likely to hear a Durango Hellcat before you see it, and if you see it you'd better not blink because it'll be gone again.

Would you have one of these in your collection? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Last updated July 31, 2020