Published on November 7th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat 710HP SUV At RM335,000
Dodge delivers the worlds most powerful SUV
While the German car manufacturers work on battery powered SUV’s and work on small capacity petrol engines with big turbochargers to move 3 row seating large Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV), stateside auto manufacturer, Dodge is keeping petrol-heads happy with petrol guzzling V-8 powered SUVs. Meet the 710HP SUV!
The Dodge brand was founded in 1900 by the Dodge brothers and is currently headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. This American car brand is now part of the FCA Group (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles,) and Fiat is the primary owner. Fiat builds compact vehicles and is going electric in a big way due to strict European Union emission laws. So, Dodge can carry on with its V-8 power for North American buyers, but for how long?
Dodge recently opened the order books to this 710 hp Durango SRT Hellcat SUV. Powered by the proven supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine delivering 710 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque, the Durango SRT Hellcat runs 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.5 seconds, has a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) -certified quarter-mile elapsed time of 11.5, a top speed of 180 mph and runs 1.5 seconds faster than the SRT 392 on a 2.1-mile road course, equal to 9 car lengths after one lap.
Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, this large SUV completes the century sprint in a Porsche 911-rivalling 3.5 seconds. On the drag strip meanwhile, a quarter mile time is an NHRA certified 11.5 seconds. To put it into perspective, that is about the same time achieved by an Audi R8 V10. These impressive straight line speeds are aided of course by the Durango Hellcat’s standard fit Launch Assist and Launch Control, though that beast under the hood deserves most of the credit here.
Continuing on other performance upgrades, the Durango SRT Hellcat adds selectable SRT Drive modes with options of Street (Auto), Sport and Track. All in an attempt to give the driver their best chance rein in what is hiding under the bonnet bulge of this insane SUV.
Braking performance has been significantly improved too over the standard Durango, thanks to Brembo brakes all round. Six pistons up front and four pistons out the back clamp onto massive vented rotors, thus bringing this 2.5-ton SUV to a dead stop from 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 116 ft (35 m).
Speaking of upgrades over the standard SUV, the SRT Hellcat Durango gains a radically revised front fascia design. Complete with a new chin splitter, updated engine oil cooler duct, air guide and snorkel for cold air induction. A bespoke rear spoiler is added out the back to not only balance the meaner aesthetics up front, but also to improve the aerodynamic balance of this performance SUV. According to Dodge, these aerodynamic modifications done here represents a 400% increase in rear downforce when the Durango is at its 180 mph (290 km/h) top speed.
Nevertheless, despite its jaw-dropping performance being the main selling point, Dodge has also focused on the practicality aspect of this monster SUV. The SRT Hellcat variant still maintains the Durango’s best-in-class towing capacity, with its ability to tow up nearly 4,000 kg (8,700 lbs). Seven seats are standard too, though there is an optional Lightweight Performance Package which does away with the third row and replaces the second-row captain chairs with 60/40 split folding bench.
On the topic of the interior, the Durango SRT Hellcat maintains the standard largest-in-class 10.1 inch Uconnect 5central infotainment touchscreen. That said, being a performance variant, a flat-bottom steering wheel also makes an appearance, as does leather and suede combination seats and even SRT-branded floor mats.
Available exclusively for the 2021 model year only, these Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat super SUVs is set to retail at USD80,995 (RM335,000). While it is a whole lot for a Dodge Durango, it doesn’t seem all too much for the world’s most powerful SUV. Moreover, it is a touch cheaper than its Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk stable-mate, which incidentally also features the same insane engine.
Opinion and Text by Joshua Chin