The Hellcat pack just added another member in the burly 2021 Dodge Durango, which will get a limited run with a supercharged HEMI V-8 engine that will dish out 710 horsepower.
The Durango SRT Hellcat, which is fortified with a retooled suspension, is just one piece of Dodge's portfolio planned for 2021. The brand also is upping the performance ante with a Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye that churns out 797 hp and the Challenger SRT Super Stock, which tops out at 807 hp.
Dodge, which helped usher in the minivan era, is now fully dedicated to muscle. The Journey utility vehicle and venerable Grand Caravan, the top-selling minivan in the United States and Canada last year, are gone after the 2020 model year.
With the Grand Caravan, which is built in Windsor, Ont., and Journey chapters ending, Dodge — once a mainstream brand with a broad car and truck lineup that stacked up against Ford and Chevrolet, and whose U.S. sales routinely topped one million as recently as the early 2000s — will be carried by its "Brotherhood of Muscle."
Tim Kuniskis, FCA's head of passenger cars for North America, said the automaker has kept the Challenger, Charger and Durango fresh through the years by continuing to deliver surprises and "embracing our strengths."
During a media briefing, Kuniskis said the brand has been "giving our passionate, engaged and very vocal performance enthusiasts exactly what they want: more performance."
"These three vehicles address the varying life stages of our consumers, three vehicles that can go from cool to crazy with just a single check of a box on the order form. If you step back a little bit and think about what we've been doing, we've been growing this brand by enabling our buyers to grow within it, to grow with us," he said.
The Durango, in addition to getting the Hellcat treatment, has been freshened for the 2021 model year with a new interior and a driver-oriented cockpit. The Durango is slated to be the second FCA model to hit the market with the Uconnect 5 infotainment system, after the 2021 Pacifica, which is also built in Windsor, Ont..
Ryan Nagode, who leads interior design for Dodge, said the upcoming Uconnect system is "a culmination of 15 years of design and development."
"It's really been about sharpening the needle, really getting in there and figuring out what customers are liking, and improve upon that," Nagode said.
The exterior gets an aggressive touch that includes a forward-leaning profile and a new front fascia. Dodge says the Durango Hellcat will be able to tow 8,700 pounds, or 3,950 kilograms, while featuring a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. Less than 2,000 are expected to be produced.