We knew this was coming, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. Production of the 710-hp Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat three-row SUV is winding down. The 2021 model year will be the supercharged super-SUV’s last.
Why? Somewhat predictably, the Durango’s supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 Hellcat engine does not meet new emissions standards that take effect for 2022. The engine is not compliant for evaporative emissions in an SUV, but the Hellcat can continue to be used in Dodge’s muscle cars. Therefore the 2022-model-year Durango lineup will not offer the top-performance SRT Hellcat variant.
On the bright side, the semiconductor chip shortage inadvertently extended the production run of the 2021 model, which was only supposed to last about six months. The global microchip shortage forced production slowdowns and shutdowns. Instead of ending the 2021 run earlier this year, the powerful version continued to be assembled at Detroit’s Jefferson plant. But production will slow down and end by the end of the year to make way for the next model year, Dodge Brand CEO Tim Kuniskis told MotorTrend.
It is not easy to fix emissions problems, Kuniskis says. We agree—how are we to stifle our eyes’ water emissions after losing one of the most exciting entrants to date in an otherwise boring vehicle segment?
At least there is still a Durango R/T with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine available, as well as a non-Hellcat SRT with a naturally aspirated 6.4-liter V-8. The Durango remains the only three-row SUV in the segment available with a V-8 engine—at least, next to the new Jeep Grand Cherokee L—and it is a strong seller.
The R/T’s smaller Hemi V-8 generates 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, while the regular SRT’s 6.4-liter lump pumps out 475 hp and 470 lb-ft. The 6.2-liter Hellcat pumped out 710 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque with a top speed of 180 mph.
At some point, the Durango will be replaced with an electrified SUV, which could easily be even quicker than the Hellcat-powered version.
Dodge has said it will offer its first electric vehicle in 2024. Kuniskis won’t say if it will be an electric Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Durango, or a new addition to the family with a new nameplate.
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