2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat: First Look

© FCA USA New Hellcat
Five years ago, Dodge introduced its venerated Charger and Challenger models with a new designation — Hellcat. Vehicles in the Hellcat series have Supercharged HEMI V8 engines with more than 700 horsepower — an insane figure for road-going cars built for everyday driving. Now Dodge adds to its Hellcat portfolio with something guaranteed to entertain the whole family: the all-new Durango SRT Hellcat. With 710 horsepower on tap and three rows of seats, the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat becomes the most powerful production SUV on the road.

© FCA USBrotherhood of Muscle
“The Brotherhood of Muscle includes families of all sizes and the Durango delivers Dodge performance as the Charger of the three-row SUV segment,” said Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars — Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA — North America Tim Kuniskis. “And new for 2021, we have raised the bar even higher. The 710-horsepower Hellcat is the most powerful SUV ever. It’s the last piece of the puzzle and, alongside the Charger and Challenger, completes the Dodge brand’s performance lineup,” noted Kuniskis.

© FCA USStandout Styling
The entire Durango model line gets updated styling for 2021 (more on that later), although the Durango Hellcat has many of the styling cues seen on the Charger Widebody. This big Hellcat SUV stands out with a more aggressive front fascia, LED headlights with signature LED running lights, a new two-piece chin splitter and a unique low-gloss black grille designed for better air intake. The big V8 engine needs plenty of cold air — provided by the functional hood scoop as well as the deletion of Durango’s fog lights to create additional air intakes in the fascia. Since this Durango is the most powerful SUV on the road, owners can add available dual-center racing stripes — and rightly so.

© FCA USRear View
At the rear of the 2021 Dodge Durango Hellcat sits a new spoiler that balances the aero improvements up front and increases rear downforce by 400 percent. The twin 4-inch exhaust outlets add to the high-performance look while delivering a wonderful throaty exhaust note that has been tuned specifically for the Durango Hellcat. Durango also features 20-inch machined wheels with mid-gloss black pockets, and the SUV wears the largest Hellcat badge in the SRT lineup.

© FCA USUnder the Hood
Powering this muscle-bound SUV is the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI Hellcat V8 engine producing a prodigious 710 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque. Power gets sent to all four wheels via a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. The full-time automatic all-wheel-drive system can vary the torque to send as much as 50 percent to the front axle for snowy conditions or when towing; conversely when in track mode (yes, there is a track mode in the Durango Hellcat), 70 percent of the power is sent to the rear wheels.

© FCA USVery Fast
The Durango is not a small or lightweight vehicle, although 710 horsepower can overcome a lot of mass. The Durango SRT Hellcat sprints to 60 mph in a mere 3.5 seconds, and the NHRA has certified a time of 11.5 seconds to complete the quarter mile. Top speed is rated at 180 mph — certainly a unique experience from the third row of an SUV.

© FCA USMore Than Power Upgrades
Certainly capable of flying down a dragstrip, the Durango SRT Hellcat has been created with better performance all around. Suspension upgrades provide improved responsiveness, better stability and more grip with reduced understeer. Thanks to massive Brembo high-performance 6-piston front and 4-piston rear brake calipers as well as vented rotors at all four wheels, the Durango SRT Hellcat stops from 60 mph in 116 feet.

© FCA USHigh-Tech Interior
Along with the rest of the Durango lineup, the Durango SRT Hellcat gets an updated look inside with a driver focus inspired by its Challenger sibling. A large 10.1-inch display screen angles toward the driver, providing the feeling of a high-tech cockpit. Forged carbon fiber trim, red-accented gauges and a new flat-bottom performance steering wheel with paddle shifters also add to the cockpit aura.

© FCA USFront Seats
Heated and ventilated front seats are trimmed in Nappa leather with suede inserts and an embroidered Hellcat logo. A tempting upgrade is Laguna Leather in Demonic Red, featuring an embossed logo.

© FCA USRear Seats
The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat comes with six-passenger seating featuring second-row “fold-and-tumble” captain’s chairs as well as a fold-flat third row. Multiple USB ports are offered, including two Type C ports for second-row passengers. A rear-seat Blu-ray video entertainment system is also available — a pleasant distraction if the driver is having a bit too much fun.

© FCA USUconnect 5
Standard equipment on the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, the latest infotainment system from FCA is Uconnect 5 with its centerpiece 10.1-inch touchscreen display. Five times faster than the previous version, Uconnect 5 is built on the Android Auto operating system and offers a long list of innovations. The Uconnect 5 system can be customized for up to six user profiles and not only includes music preferences but also preloads temperature settings, seating position and mirror placement. With card-based screens, each user can also create a custom home screen that highlights preferred features. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included, and phones can now be connected wirelessly — one of the first systems in the industry to offer this capability. The Uconnect 5 system can also manage two Bluetooth phone connections simultaneously.

© FCA USStill an SUV
A passing glance at the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat’s performance stats might make it easy to forget that this Durango is still a very capable SUV. With space for up to six occupants and plenty of cargo space, the Durango SRT Hellcat can tow up to 8,700 pounds. With plenty of ground clearance and all-wheel drive, this Durango can also easily venture off pavement.

© FCA USDurango Updates
In addition to the Hellcat, the rest of the Durango lineup — SXT, GT, Citadel, R/T and SRT 392 — all receive updated styling and new features for the 2021 model year. The redesigned front end has a new fascia, slimmer LED headlights, a sculpted hood, a rear spoiler and a range of new wheel options. The interiors have more of a performance-oriented cockpit similar to the Hellcat, as well as Uconnect 5 availability with the 10.1-inch display.

© FCA USDurango R/T Tow N Go
Dodge will offer the Durango R/T with a new Tow N Go package that gives the HEMI-powered Durango the aggressive styling of the higher-level SRT as well as an increased top speed of 145 mph in addition to its 8,700-pound towing capacity.

© FCA USHellcat for One Model Year
Dodge will offer the Durango Hellcat for the 2021 model year only. Orders can be placed this fall, with deliveries expected to start early in 2021. The rest of the updated 2021 Dodge Durango lineup will also arrive this fall.

© FCA US2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Fog lights are deleted to provide better air flow.

© FCA US2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
The rear spoiler can provide up to 140 pounds of downforce at 180 mph.

© FCA US2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
The perfect vehicle for towing a race car.

© FCA US2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Large Brembo high-performance brakes.

© FCA US2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Unique red-accented gauges.

© FCA US2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Forged Carbon Fiber trim provides a unique look.

© FCA US2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Seats feature a stitched SRT Hellcat logo.

© FCA US2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
All-wheel drive provides traction for slick surfaces.

© FCA US2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Most powerful 3-row SUV on the road – or track.

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