Manifest Hellcat Future has introduced us the newest inevitable supercharged V8 machine from Mopar, the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat. And to make it extra-special, this 710-horsepower monster is probably the most highly effective SUV that Chrysler — or another automaker — has ever constructed, because of a three-horsepower bump over its shorter cousin, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. It’s additionally a limited-production mannequin, so it’ll be an prompt collectible. And it gives the distinctive alternative to share the Hellcat expertise concurrently with 5 different folks whereas additionally towing as much as 8,700 kilos. Oh, and having fun with the additional traction of all-wheel drive. However there are a pair drawbacks that make the Hellcat vehicles and the much less potent Durangos smarter selections.
The powertrain is what this SUV is all about, and it’s as candy as it’s in different Hellcats. Energy from the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 is wonderful, shoving you again in your seat with authority. It’s particularly efficient because the all-wheel-drive system’s further traction is best in a position to put all 710 horses and 645 pound-feet of torque to the pavement. Burnout followers will choose the rear-drive Hellcats, nevertheless.
The engine sound for probably the most half can also be excellent, with a mix of mellow rumble and supercharger shriek. The transmission will also be clean and delicate, or agency and quick, relying on the drive mode. It’s straightforward to see why folks love this factor.
It’s not excellent, although. For one factor, as fantastic because the exhaust word is, it’s a disgrace Dodge hasn’t fitted a dual-mode exhaust. Cruising on the freeway, there’s a continuing, low grumble. You may not give it some thought on quick journeys, however it’ll put on on you because the miles accumulate. Additionally, for those who’re simply cruising round city, between 2,500 and three,500 rpm, you may get some severe drone and resonance. Additionally, unsurprisingly, the Hellcat is the thirstiest Durango with a mixed gasoline economic system ranking of simply 13 mpg.
The SRT Hellcat additionally will get dealing with and stopping upgrades. It has adaptive shocks, 295-mm vast tires and ferocious Brembo brakes (six-piston up entrance and four-piston within the rear) for bringing this 5,710-pound SUV to a cease from Hellcat speeds. Dealing with is spectacular contemplating the dimensions and age of the Durango. Physique roll is gentle in the usual Avenue mode, and is generally eradicated within the Sport and Monitor modes. The Durango feels heavy, however it’s composed in corners in all modes and has a great deal of grip. The steering is disappointing, although, because it’s fully lifeless, albeit weighted properly. When first turning right into a nook, it’s somewhat disconcerting, however you shortly notice that you may belief the truck.
Experience high quality suffers with a few of these dealing with upgrades. The usual setting is somewhat too comfortable and crashes over massive bumps, and the Monitor setting is simply too stiff, feeling jittery and bumpy over even small imperfections. That leaves the middleground Sport mode as oddly probably the most comfy selection – it could nonetheless be somewhat stiff, however it has good physique management.
The inside advantages from the identical updates as all 2021 Durangos, with a brand new dashboard, revised door panels, and a ten.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system that runs the newest Uconnect 5 software program. As anticipated, there’s a little further SRT flare, which takes the type of some trendy “cast” carbon fiber trim, stitched leather-based on the bolstered seats and the sprint, together with a backlit SRT badge on the steering wheel. There’s a number of head and shoulder room up entrance, although the transmission tunnel intrudes a good bit, so your leg rubs in opposition to it everytime you’re utilizing the gasoline pedal. The second row is moderately roomy, however the third row is tight.
So mainly, for those who’re in search of a Hellcat that permits you to carry a bunch of stuff, share the enjoyable with as many as 5 passengers, and tow a heavy trailer, the Durango Hellcat does all that with out diluting the Hellcat expertise a lot. On high of that, the Durango Hellcat is definitely the most cost effective Mopar SUV with the supercharged V8. It begins at a still-lofty $82,490, however that’s lower than the two-row Grand Cherokee Trackhawk at $89,165 — this regardless of the Durango being bigger and a one-year-only mannequin.
For those who’re being logical (or maybe barely much less irrational), it would make extra sense to purchase a Challenger Hellcat that begins at simply $60,490. It is lighter, woolier and would go away you cash left over to purchase a used Durango R/T in your sensible wants. However for those who want a monster all-in-one machine, there’s no cheaper or higher technique to get this a lot energy and flexibility than the Durango Hellcat. Or at the very least there was, till it bought out.