The Dodge Durango, an SUV that’s been around forever at this point, will reportedly become the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat at the upcoming New York Auto Show. While I am not one to complain about having over 700 horsepower, I am befuddled by its application here.
The current Dodge Durango has been in production since 2010, with its latest facelift way back six years ago. But in typical FCA fashion, Dodge isn’t done with the Durango yet. Motor Authority claims its sources have confirmed the Durango will get its most powerful trim yet when the SRT Hellcat model debuts in April at the New York Auto Show.
Take Motor Authority’s sourcing with enough salt to clear a winter road, but a Dodge ad from this past weekend seems to hint that the Durango Hellcat is very real. Check out the Hellcat logo on the fender, which looks like it could belong to a Durango, at around the 17-second mark in the ad:
Here’s the frame:
Dodge wouldn’t put a Jeep in one of its brand ads, and neither the Charger nor Challenger Hellcats have fenders or wheel wells with travel distance like what’s shown. It also doesn’t match the current Ram 1500.
If the sourcing is right and the ad does feature a Durango, then it’s likely going to be a very similar setup to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, as the Grand Cherokee already shares a lot with the current-gen Durango. That means a 707 HP supercharged V8, an 8-speed auto, and four-wheel drive. The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk starts at $86,900, so the Dodge may come in around a similar price.
But the Jalopnik team’s mind went to one place: this all begs the question of why we’re getting a Durango Hellcat before we ever get a Ram Hellcat. Is there really a better business case for putting a big motor in a ten-year old model versus one of the best-selling pickup trucks like the Ram 1500?
I guess at this point, any higher margin on a Durango is just pure cash in the company’s pocket, so they don’t have to be worried about losing money. Maybe a lot of the work was already done for the Grand Cherokee so it’s easier than doing a Ram. It just also raises a lot of questions about the judgement to not sell Americans a 700-horsepower truck yet.