Dodge Durango Hellcat Reportedly Set to Debut in April
There have long been rumors that the Dodge Durango would eventually receive an SRT Hellcat trim level with the supercharged Hemi delivering upwards of 700 horsepower. The company campaigned a Durango police model with the engine from a Challenger Hellcat Redeye in One Lap of America last year, reinforcing the rumors, but there was still no official sign that a Hellcat Durango was coming to production.
That seemingly changed last week when Dodge rolled out a new commercial online in conjunction with the debut of the new Fast 9 movie trailer. In that commercial (you can watch it below), we get a quick glimpse of a Hellcat badge on the fender of a Durango. Some commenters insisted that the Hellcat Durango was from the movie, but it seemed like an odd choice for Dodge to show the vehicle if there wasn’t some production intent. The fact that it was shown so quickly also supports the idea that it was an intentional teaser of the high performance SUV coming to market.
Based on that commercial, we put together a piece yesterday that looks at whether we will see the Durango or the Ram 1500 with a Hellcat come to market first. I went so far as to suggest that the Durango Hellcat would debut in New York City and a few hours later, the folks at MotorAuthority published a piece stating that the supercharged SUV would, indeed, debut in the Big Apple – almost as if I knew in advance.
Hellcat Durango Debut
The report from MotorAuthority cites a “person familiar with Dodge's future products but unable to speak publicly about those plans” who stated that the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat will debut in April at the New York International Auto Show. That is the extent of the unique information in that article, but that is all that really matters. Provided that the report is accurate, and I do believe it to be accurate, we know that there is a good chance that the Durango will be the next FCA production to receive Hellcat power.
That is, of course, provided that the Ram 1500 Rebel TRX with the Hellcat Hemi doesn’t debut later this week in Chicago, but Ram does not have a press conference planned. It seems unlikely that such a vehicle would be introduced without a press conference, so we don’t expect any big news from Ram in Chicago. The same is true of Dodge, but Jeep, Chrysler and Mopar all have press conferences scheduled on Thursday and Friday.
After this week’s Chicago show, the next major American show is New York in April, at which point we fully expect to meet the 700+ horsepower Durango Hellcat.
Since there has been no official word on a Durango Hellcat from Dodge, we don’t have any details, but we don’t really need any details. The Durango Hellcat will almost certainly follow the form of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. This includes the 707-horsepower supercharged Hemi, an 8-speed automatic transmission, a heavy duty four-wheel-drive system, big Brembo brakes, adaptive suspension, a loaded cabin and a high performance look. Frankly, we aren’t sure what Dodge will do to make the exterior more aggressive, as the Durango SRT already has a similar hood design to that of the Jeep and Dodge Hellcat-powered vehicles, along with a front fascia that allows plenty of air flow.
There is a chance that the Durango Hellcat will look a great deal like the SRT model with the naturally aspirated 392-cubic inch Hemi, except for the addition of unique badges and maybe new wheels.
As for pricing, I expect that the Durango will have a lower MSRP than the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Across the trim level lineup, the Dodge tends to be a few thousand dollars less than the Jeep with similar features, and I expect that to be the case with the Hellcat models as well. The Trackhawk starts around $88,000 and I would guess that the Hellcat Durango will start in the low-$80k range.