Almost three years ago, I began looking for a trailer to transport my Mark II…
Hellcat Durango leaked in F9 trailer reportedly confirmed for production
To paraphrase the wise Homer Simpson, horsepower is the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. Our pals at Mopar have been using the brutal application of horsepower to make mid-cycle-enhancements to cars, SUVs, and soon trucks, and we have no complaints. It adds excitement to the lineup and breathes new life into a product line, boosting sales down the model range. The latest benefactor is this horsepower free-for-all, according to a report over at Motor Authority, will be the Hellcat Durango, set to be revealed at the 2020 New York Auto Show.
A new Dodge commercial, launched to coincide with the trailer for the latest Fast & Furious movie, F9, briefly showed a glinting Hellcat emblem on a Durango fender. That was all it took for horsepower fiends to latch on and speculate that a production model was coming, and of course it is, it’s Dodge. It was only a matter of time before Hellcat V-8 version of Dodge’s biggest rear-wheel-drive SUV hit the scene.
We’ve already had the chance to buy the Hellcat in an SUV thanks to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The Jeep’s all-wheel-drive powertrain can launch it from 0-60 in under four seconds and makes it the top dog of performance Jeeps, which we admit is a strange category. However, the naturally-aspirated Grand Cherokee SRT has been in nearly continuous production since 2006, missing only the first year of the current Grand Cherokee’s WK2 platform. The 6.4-liter Hemi in the current Grand Cherokee SRT is shared with the top Durango, where they both make 470 horsepower. Of course, the 707-horsepower supercharged motor is a totally different animal.
Driving the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a blast, even on curvy roads and tracks, although its bulk is apparent. The Durango’s added size isn’t going to do it any favors on the track—it weighs about 1000 pounds more than a Charger SRT—but it likely won’t slow it down much in a straight line as it will no doubt inherit the Trackhawk’s all-wheel-drive system which will enable aggressive launches. Expect the Durango Hellcat to dip into the 11s in the quarter-mile with the right driver, enough to embarrass plenty of V-8 muscle cars and late-model pony cars.
The Grand Cherokee is moving to a new platform soon, bringing with it the return of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. With those storied nameplates adding three-row seating to Jeep showrooms, most auto enthusiasts—us included—assumed the Durango would end production. Instead, it looks like Durango will continue on at Detroit’s Jefferson North Assembly while the next-gen Grand Cherokee and revived Wagoneers will be built at Warren Truck Assembly, about 10 miles away.
Will you be lining up for a new 707-horsepower family hauler?