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Dodge reveals Durango Hellcat as ‘most powerful SUV ever’

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Fiat Chrysler

Fiat Chrysler cleans up its Dodge performance brand by increasing the range of its muscle cars and Durango SUV, while canceling a minivan and crossover for the 2021 model year.

The car manufacturer unveiled a new “Hellcat SRT”

; model of the Durango SUV 2021 on Thursday, calling it “the most powerful SUV ever.” The high-performance variant features a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat V8 engine that will deliver 710 horsepower and 645 pounds of torque.

“We are a complete, distilled performance brand,” Tim Kuniskis, director of Fiat Chrysler’s passenger car division in North America, told CNBC. “To do that, it was the perfect time to bring the most powerful versions of them all. It only made sense to do them at the same time” with the interruption of the other models.

Production of the Dodge Journey crossover and the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan will end later this year. The vehicles were expected to be discontinued years ago. The car manufacturer continued to produce them as sales remained relatively stable largely due to their lower costs compared to other competitors and similar vehicles offered by other Fiat Chrysler brands.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

Fiat Chrysler

According to the manufacturer, the car manufacturer is expected to produce fewer than 2,000 of the Durango Hellcat models in 2021, which will be in production early next year. The high-performance SUV is only offered one model year because of emissions regulations that begin the following year, he said.

The car manufacturer currently offers Hellcat models for their Dodge Challenger and Charger cars. While such models represent a small amount of sales for the brand, they are considered “halo” or “hype” products that attract buyers to the overall brand. They have helped Dodge keep relatively stable sales among newer competitors and as consumer preferences shift to transitions.

“Our vision was very clear,” Kuniskis said of the new SUV. “Our goal was to deliver a Dodge: Big, bold and aggressive. A three-row, super-charged Hemi muscle car.”

Fiat Chrysler has sold more than 40,000 Hellcat models since the models were launched for the 2015 model year.

The new Hellcat model is part of an updated lineup for Durango 2021, which will arrive in showrooms this fall. Changes include exterior styling tweaks and significant interior upgrades, including a newly designed driver cockpit and available next-generation infotainment system with a 10.1-inch touchscreen.

Dodge SRT Performance lineup: Challenger SRT Super Stock, Durango SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Fiat Chrysler

Fiat Chrysler also on Thursday introduced new performance models of the Charger and Challenger for the 2021 model year, including a “Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye” model capable of nearly 800 horsepower and 0 to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds.

“We give our patient, dedicated and very high-ranking enthusiasts exactly what they want: more performance,” Kuniskis told reporters during a media briefing.

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