For when you need to get the kids to soccer practice — and you need them there now — Fiat Chrysler will soon offer the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, a three-row SUV with a 710-horsepower supercharged V8 engine.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles bills it as the most powerful factory-produced SUV ever offered by any automaker. The Durango SRT Hellcat will be able to launch from a stop to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds and will have a top speed of 180 miles an hour, according to the company. (That leaves the Durango short of being the fastest SUV in the world, a title claimed by the Bentley Bentayga, with its 190 miles per hour top speed.)
Since it introduced the Dodge Challenger Hellcat in 2014, a high-performance two-door muscle car, Fiat Chrysler has further refined the Hellcat’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine and now uses it in a wide variety of other models.
In the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye, a version of that engine can produce as much as 797 horsepower, and an even more extreme variant produces 840 horsepower using racing fuel in the Dodge Challenger Demon. Versions of the Hellcat engine are also offered as an option in the Dodge Challenger sedan and in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk performance SUV.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango share much of their engineering, but the Durango is longer and has a third row of seats. Dodge markets the Durango as the “muscle car of SUVs.” It’s already available in a sporty SRT version, minus the Hellcat name, with a 475 horsepower 6.4-liter V8.
In addition to all that power, the Durango SRT Hellcat’s suspension has also been tuned for better track driving capability, according to Fiat Chrysler. Drivers can select Street, Sport and Track driving models. Steering feel, suspension settings, automatic gear shifting and all-wheel-drive behavior change in the different modes.
The Durango SRT Hellcat will have an eight-speed automatic transmission, though drivers will be able to shift gears for themselves, if they wish, using steering wheel paddles. The Hellcat SUV will be offered for the 2021 model year only, Fiat Chrysler announced. Orders will be taken this summer with the first SUVs being delivered in the fall. No pricing was announced.
At the same time that it unveiled the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, Fiat Chrysler also announced a number of other changes for the Durango.
The Durango hasn’t been completely redesigned in a decade, a long time by auto industry standards, but it has received a number of upgrades and changes over that time. For the 2021 model year, Durango models will get a new interior designs, improvements to various technology features and some exterior changes, including new headlights.