The Dodge brand is swimming against the tide in the industry - a move that has allowed it to achieve some success. Known for its high-performance models, the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) division is piling it on even thicker in 2021 with variants even more unbridled than before.
Where to start?
With the word Hellcat. The moniker refers to the famous 6.2L, 707-hp Hemi V8 engine on tap from Dodge. For 2021, an SRT Hellcat variant of the Durango will be in the catalogue. With that power, plus 645 lb-ft of torque, the SUV will be able to speed from 0-97 km/h in a ridiculous 3.5 seconds.
As for the quarter mile, it can be done in only 11.5 seconds, at a speed of 290 km/h. If the Durango SRT Hellcat finds itself with a long-enough stretch of straight road in front of it, it can reach a top speed of 327 km/h.
This borders on the ridiculous, we know, but it also raises the hair on our arms. Those tempted by this beast should know that production will only last six months and will not extend into 2022. The reason? A question of standards that the vehicle won’t be adhering to once the calendar flips over. Dodge also said the variant get many improvements to its chassis, because how else to keep it all together as the horses kick in?
In addition, the Durango range is undergoing some exterior design changes to keep it up to date. From where we sit they’re pretty successful, but don’t forget the model has been based on the same foundations for 10 years now.
Where the changes are most interesting is inside. The dashboard has been completely redesigned, to the point where it’s on the level you’d expect from a fully new generation. In particular, the console is more oriented towards the driver, and overall the design is similar to what’s inside the Charger and Challenger models.
Six Durango variants are to be offered: SXT, GT, Citadel, R/T, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat. For those who will use theirs to tow, the last three models can tow 8,700 lb.
A total of 11 exterior colours are available, which can be paired with 6 different interior combinations. And that's without counting the features specific to certain variants, including the iconic contrasting stripes that can cover certain models. It makes you wonder if two identical Durango models will ever leave the factory...
The 2021 editions of the SUV will be available for order during the summer, with the first copies arriving in the fall. As for the Hellcat version, it will be available for booking in the fall and will arrive in early 2021.
We will have the opportunity to come back to you with more details about the Durango. It looks like we're not done talking about it yet.
There’s more. If you thought Dodge was content with offering us a Hellcat variant of the Durango, you don’t know the company’s thinking process.
For 2021, Dodge is thus offering something new with the Charger sedan, namely that the model sees an SRT Hellcat Redeye version added to the lineup. With 797 hp under the hood, the company’s engineers continue to push the envelope even further. Never before has a sedan offered this kind of cavalry. As for torque, it's a mere 707 lb-ft.
In terms of performance, we're talking about a time of about 3.5 seconds for 0-97 km/h acceleration and 10.6 seconds for the quarter mileage. Here too, top speed is 327 km/h. And here too, we're talking about substantial modifications under the hood and to the chassis, all to ensure that the car doesn't fly away on acceleration.
And here’s a mind-blowing stat for you: if you decided to keep your foot on the floor, it would only take 11 minutes to empty the gas tank.
Finally, a new Challenger SRT Super Stock version makes its debut for 2021. It's to benefit from an enlarged body to accommodate tires capable of handling its 807 hp. Estimated 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) acceleration time is 3.25 seconds.
We'll leave it at that for now, as we could go on all day getting into the weeds of describing all the improvements and tweaks made to the Charger and Challenger to make them even more voracious and capable in 2021.
In both cases, the new, more-powerful versions are expected early next year. It’s safe to say these will quickly become prized by collectors.