Dodge unveils the Demon’s follow-up act and, naturally, a Durango Hellcat
Was there really any question that Detroit’s resident horsepower factory would celebrate the Fourth of July in noisy, smoky style?
No, there really wasn’t. So if you’re singing to the glorious tune of American-powered burnouts, Dodge has got you covered. Its engineers cooked up another drag-special Challenger to replace the Demon, topped the Charger lineup with a 797-hp Hellcat Redeye model, and, to absolutely no one’s surprise, dropped a Hellcat engine into the Durango SUV. The most hardcore of the three models, the drag-strip-loving 2020 Challenger SRT Super Stock is essentially a non-limited-production Demon without the Demon Crate (and, most importantly, without the non-street-legal skinny front tires that came with that $1 option). “I swore that we’d never build another Demon, and we won’t,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Dodge Brand. However, the limited-production Demon apparently left some Mopar customers hankering for more strip-ready factory offerings.
Enter the Super Stock, which wears the same strip-ready rubber as the Demon wore from the factory: 315/40R18 Nitto NT05R drag radials all ’round. Clearly, Dodge wants to ring some nostalgia bells here, and so it will build as many Super Stocks as customers are willing to buy. Thanks to slightly higher shift points and tweaked engine mapping, the Super Stock’s Hellcat heart makes 10 more horsepower than its Redeye configuration, for a total of 807 on pump gas. Channelling all those horses through a 3.09 rear end, the Super Stock will run a 10.5-second quarter mile, according to Dodge. The Super Stock boasts the Demon’s adaptive suspension, which is tuned to shift weight rearward at launch; Launch Assist and Launch Control; and the SRT Power Chiller. (Fun fact: the Power Chiller concept debuted on Ford’s third-gen SVT Lightning muscle truck as the Super Cooler, but didn’t see production until Dodge adopted the tech.)
From the Super Stock, we step to less laser-focused models—that are still capable of racking up one helluva tire budget. The 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, similar to the Super Stock, is the top-tier model in its line. The Redeye, however, aims to be a track-capable daily driver, rather than a streetable drag car.
If Dodge’s nostalgia play with the Super Stock went over smoothly with 1960s Mopar fans, its tagline for this particular Charger may not; “the world’s only four-door muscle car.” If you’re newer to the Mopar party, however, and have to balance kid-schlepping with tire-shredding, five seats and 797 hp may be a sweet deal.
What about the 717-hp Charger SRT Hellcat, you ask? Well, just repeat to yourself that more is better. The Charger Hellcat Redeye’s 80-hp bump over a “standard” Charger Hellcat comes courtesy of the Demon’s same internal tricks: bigger supercharger, beefier connecting rods, burlier pistons, and a high-speed valvetrain, to name a few. Tacking on that extra “Redeye” moniker grants you an extra 3.1 pounds of boost on the bigger supercharger (2.7 liters, vs. the “regular” Charger Hellcat’s 2.4-liter unit) and—unlisted in the press release—invaluable bragging rights.
Finally, we have the Hellcat-stuffed Durango that, no matter how often Dodge tells us, we will never categorize as a muscle car. That’s not to shame the 710-hp Durango, either; name another car that can tow 8700 pounds and boasts six-piston brakes. We will point out, however, that a pre-production Hellcat-swapped Durango won the Truck/SUV class at Brock Yates’ One Lap of America. It may outstrip some (extremely capable) cars, but this thing is still an SUV.
With terminology out of the way, if you fall immediately in love with this three-row, tire-shredding SUV, you’ll need to act fast. Dodge is only offering the Durango SRT Hellcat for the 2021 model year. Once you’ve solidified a slot, you’ve officially entered the mind-boggling modern realm of SUVs that can scare most respectable sports cars. Dodge reports that the Durango Hellcat marks off 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, runs a 11.5-second quarter-mile, and tops out at 180 mph.
Which of these three Hemi-powered beasts would you pick?