Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat Revealed, But Ford Doesn’t Really Have A Rival

Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat: Dodge//SRT Introduces the Most Powerful SUV Ever – 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat delivering 710 horsepower
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Those who appreciate V8 power have to hand it to Ford’s cross-town rival Dodge these days. While much of the rest of the automotive industry continues to shy away from eight-cylinder powerplants, Dodge continues to stuff its supercharged 6.2L Hemi engine into just about everything it makes. The latest is the Durango SRT Hellcat, which should make Ford fans just a little jealous, since The Blue Oval doesn’t have a direct rival for it.

Dodge calls the 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat “the most powerful SUV ever,” which is a bold but seemingly accurate claim. Its engine, shared with the Challenger and Charger Hellcat, produces 710 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque, which is oddly enough 7 horsepower and 11 pound-feet less than its passenger car brethren. Shifts are are handled by a TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic transmission.

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Nonetheless, that’s enough juice to propel this three-row SUV from 0 to 60 miles-per-hour in a blazing 3.5 seconds. The quarter-mile takes a mere 11.5 seconds, and if the driver keeps their foot to the floor, the Durango SRT Hellcat will reach 180 miles-per-hour. For a kid-hauling grocery-getter, that’s quite impressive.

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The souped-up utility also packs a tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, a new front fascia design, chin splitter, updated engine oil cooler duct, air guide, and a snorkel for cold air induction. A new, unique rear spoiler creates an improved aerodynamic balance with the new front-end design, resulting in an increase in rear downforce of 140 pounds at 180 miles-per-hour. Interestingly, Dodge is only planning on building the Durango SRT Hellcat for one model year – 2021.

Unfortunately, the closest rival Ford has to the Durango SRT Hellcat is the Explorer ST. And that’s not even really a fair comparison. The Explorer ST features Ford’s 3.0L EcoBoost V6, which produces 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque, and takes 5.2 seconds to go from 0-60. That’s obviously impressive, but nowhere near the Dodge SUV.

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And that’s a shame, really, because these days, more and more people are interested in performance-oriented SUVs. The Blue Oval could certainly stuff a supercharged 5.0L Coyote V8 in the Ford Explorer and have an immediate rival for the Durango Hellcat, but whether or not it would sell in any sort of quantity is hard to say. Regardless, we’d love to at least see Ford try.

We’ll have the latest on what Ford’s rivals are up to moving forward, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest  Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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10 Comments

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  1. Given the existing competition is selling performance versions of their full size SUV’s, I have wondered for some time why Ford didn’t offer a coyote powered Expedition? Is it really such a stretch?
    I don’t think that a couple of thousand of these niche market SUV would ding the sales numbers for the Lariet versions of the F150 to any measurable degree.
    The upside of offering a performance Expedition is that it could raise the visibility of Expeditions with buyers who are considering an SUV, even if they are not looking for a $70 grand sporty version. It would definitely create showroom traffic.

  2. Quite difficult to believe that with the vehicle sitting that high off the ground, that it would ever make it close to 180 mph without floating the front end…I’d have to see testing results to confirm that one…there’s a reason why high performance cars are low to ground…

  3. Another vehicle soon to be gone from this world. With Maserati and Alfa Romeo both having high performance V6 twin turbos, the big stupid Dodges will soon fall in line with everything else. But with a 630hp 3.0L twin turbo or a 533hp 2.9L twin turbo V6, no one will miss the archaic big V8 engines under the hoods of these cars and if they decided to put hybrid systems behind these new engines, the V8 engines people swoon over will be so obsolete it wont be funny. Better chassis and everything else will be under the new Dodge Performance vehicles soon and hopefully the Challenger, Charger, Durango names will go extinct like the rest of the muscle cars. It’s time for something new. Nostalgia has become boring and predictable and played out. How about paying attention to the new sports cars that have double wishbone suspensions and twin turbo V6 hybrid powertrains? Make the Viper and the Hellcat their own actual models and rename the Durango the Tomahawk. Even if the Dodge Hellcat sedan kept alot of the same cues as the current Charger, make it lighter and better with the twin Turbo V6 engines and better drivetrains and all wheel drive, The Viper 2+2 “coupe” should challenge upcoming sports cars and the Tomahawk should be on part with the Levante Trofeo (just not in price) The Ram 1500’s name should be changed to the Rebel and the Heavy Duty Rams should all be Power Wagons and electric. The Rebel should have electric powertrains as well as twin turbo V6 hybrid powertrains. Drop Chrysler and Jeep completely and Bring Ram back into the Fold. This way, the company has a coupe, sedan and SUV and it’s trucks. that’s all that is needed.

  4. Who cares about hellcat, the only thing DODGE has goes in straight line and fast , not many straight roads off the interstate in the southeast .
    When they can run the road course and turn like MUSTANG AND CAMERO then they can come cross town and talk. it takes more creative engineering to make a small cubic inch engine put out power Dodge is living in the past . Let ford put one of the new 500 cubic inch engines in a expidition see what happens.

  5. The closest FORD came to this was back in the 90’s it was called Explorer Saleen which had a 5.0 some where even SuperChargered. It would be nice but,Not going to happen today WRIONG people running FORD. DODGE is Establishing itself as the American Muscle Car Co. Am not made at you DODGE there’s a lot of DragRaces out there Competition is good for the market

  6. It’s because no one else feels the need to compare members all the time. Dodge has the smallest one and by god, they’re going to prove it.

    “See? See!? I win, I win! Look! I can do the same thing over and over again and somehow it means we are the best. Even thought quite literally anyone could do the same thing. Come to think of it, if Ford did the same thing, we would scoff and write it off. Hell, we’d be pissed that they could be as unimaginative as us.”

    It’s because cramming the same engine into different vehicles is as creative as Dodge can ever get. The engine itself is just like Ford supercharging the 5.0L Coyote V8 to ridiculous proportions, changing a couple of components and pretending it’s a brand new marvel of engineering science. To further the illustration, imagine how annoyed and sickened Dodge would be if Ford lazily stuffed the aforementioned engine into every vehicle they could with no further thought. Into the Mustang, into the GT, into the Explorer, into the (now dead) Taurus, into the Fusion, into the F-150, and even the Expedition. It would be lazy and all about bragging rights, not passion or genuine interest.
    You know what though; maybe Ford should give Dodge a piece of their own medicine. Ford could do it and do it better. All the while, it wouldn’t have to be about measuring and comparing.

  7. FPVfan, Six cylinder engines sound like crap. REPEAT: SOUND LIKE CRAP! The nameplate on them doesn’t matter. Ford has been missing the boat for nearly a decade by not offering an EcoBoost V8 in ANYTHING.

    Ford invented the affordable V8. It kickstarted grassroots motorsports and hot rodding. And it should have done more to stay true to that heritage. Sadly, the current management couldn’t even buy a clue.

    Ford missed the boat when it didn’t engineer a four-valve DOHC head for the Boss V8. Thus all of Ford’s performance V8s gave up cubic inches and bore-center width to GM and FCA, hurting the popularity of Ford in the aftermarket and many high-performance niches.

    Ford could have destroyed the GM LS and the Gen III Hemi with a DOHC Boss, but the bureaucrats, steady-Eddies, and bean-counter lifers that bloat the Ford bureaucracy JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE STREETS AND SPORTSMAN RACE TRACKS OF AMERICA. They’ve been mostly out of touch for (excluding a few exceptions) since the days of the Flathead V8 (which, incidentally, the GM cast-offs, has-beens, and “Whiz Kids” assembled by the Deuce wanted to replace V8s with buzzy sixes to “match Chevy” in the early ’50s — so myopic stupidity in the Ford ranks is hardly a new phenomenon).

    Ford admitted it missed the boat when it released the Godzilla pushrod V8 — apparently to compete better with the GM LS/LT and FCA Gen III Hemis. Although a two-valve pushrod engine is antique technology, they still dominate the aftermarket and many enthusiast sectors and among the Luddites who value cheapness over efficiency.

    So it’s not surprising that Ford missed the boat in competing with the many variations of the Hellcat, including without limitation the newest headline-grabbing SUV. The list of such misses would take pages and pages to recount. Just. More. Of. The. Same. “Buddy” (can’t) Hackett . . . .

  8. And one more thing, V8s don’t have to be huge. There were 1.5 liter V8s in Formula 1 in the early ’60s. The legendary Ford-Cosworth DFV was 3.0 liters (the Indy Car derivations even smaller). Ford’s V8-60 Flathead which essentially lived on for decades in, inter alia, the Simca Vedette, was a petite 2.35 liters.

    So while I disagree with the inane premise that all big V8s should all be discontinued, the future of small engines doesn’t have to be awful threes, fours, fives, and sixes. A small-cube turbo-hybrid DOHC V8 with cylinder deactivation (or Variable Displacement Engine (VDE) in Ford-speak), could be a spectacularly efficient powerplant with massive power density, a symphonic repertoire of sounds, and great adaptability to many forms of motorsports. Such an engine would quickly establish its dominance over similarly-sized fours and sixes.

    Of course the company that first made V8s affordable hasn’t, won’t, and probably can’t — barring a management sea-change — do even half of that! The future doesn’t have to be crap-sounding sixes. It doesn’t have to be poor fours or threes either. V8s forever!

    • Not all six cylinder engines sound like crap. Toyota Supra, Nissan Skyline, Ford Barra I-6 turbo, the Ford GT Ecoboost and several other six cylinder cars sound actually fairly decent along with the Nissan VQ-series. Ford could have easily made a much smaller displacement V8 engine like they did with the Lincoln LS (jaguar sourced 3.9L V8 engine), with all of the same internals as the GT500 (forged for boost) and had an Ecoboost setup on it, sure. Probably would have been good for about 495hp/500tq. Maserati has had a twin turbo 3.8L V8 under the hoods of their vehicles for awhile now and it works great. Honestly it would be a great idea but Ford won’t do that and most car companies are gearing towards alternate engines for power meaning that the V8 will be dead very soon. Ford, Dodge, Chevy, Benz, everyone is going to be switching from V8 engines to small engines probably within the next 4-6years if not sooner. Yeah it sucks but that’s the world we live in.

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