Dodge for 2021 – True Performance 3 700+HP Models
Dodge for 2021 – True Performance
Now with three 700+hp muscle cars
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
I’ve had the good fortune, thanks to Dodge, to drive SRT variants of the Challenger, Charger and Durango on six different road race tracks and two drag strips. This little personal tidbit creates a good picture of the Dodge brand for 2021…Ultimate Performance.
Dodge says it’s all about “Want vs. Needs.” A few months back Tim Kuniskis, Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America, in a web-based presentation to media members of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, said “Cars aren’t dead; commodity products are.” According to Kuniskis, while cars only make up 28% of market share, Dodge/SRT performance vehicles attract buyers because they have that “want” versus “need” appeal.
Just recently I participated in a Dodge product briefing program, held in a city that celebrates the sport of auto racing, Charlotte, North Carolina. Matt McAlear Head of Dodge Brand Sales Operations along with other SRT team members took us through the ins and outs of the 2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock, the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye and the Durango SRT Hellcat.
True performance, ultimate performance, American performance, as well as fast and powerful rolled off the tip of McAlear’s tongue describing what Dodge has to offer for 2021. The muscle car segment is not very large but buyers are all fulfilling the “want” in their brain with Dodge cars.
A late arrival in 2020 and continuing for 2021 is the 807-hp Challenger SRT Super Stock. Dodge says it’s the world’s quickest, most powerful muscle car, capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 3.25 seconds and covering the quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds. The 6.2-L Hemi V8 powertrain has been recalibrated and raises shift points from 6300 rpm to 6400 rpm. Many components from the SRT Hellcat Demon are used in the Super Stock including Bilstein adaptive-damping suspension, lightweight all-aluminum Brembo brake calipers with vented rotors, lightweight 18 inch X 11-inch wheels and 315/40R18 Nitto drag radials.
New for 2021 is the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye. With a 797-hp 6.2-L Hemi pulled from the Challenger SRT Demon it’s capable of a top speed of 203 mph, making it the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world. Widebody exterior is standard with integrated fender flares adding 3.5 inches of width.
New 20 inch X 11-inch wheels fitted with Pirelli 305/35ZR20 tires make the grip. The induction air box has three fresh air sources…a functional hood scoop, a mail slot grille opening and an opening near the wheel liner. This car’s engineering is very robust. The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye can cover the quarter mile in 10.6 seconds at 129 mph.
Also new for 2021 is the 710-horsepower Durango SRT Hellcat, which Dodge says is the most powerful SUV ever. This 3-row muscle car will do zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and the quarter mile can be covered in 11.5 seconds at 118 mph. A new front splitter reduces lift and rear spoiler adds more downforce. The exhaust note is very linear and very much Dodge.
The entire 2021 Durango lineup got an exterior-styling refresh for a more aggressive look. A slimmer upper and new lower grille and new wheels provide a distinctive fresh look. In the driver-centric cockpit there’s a new instrument panel and center stack as well as extensive application of hand wrapped materials. The new Uconnect 5 infotainment system with a 10.1-inch touchscreen is available.
A Durango R/T Tow N Go package is new for 2021 and the top line luxury trim Citadel has been updated. Of note, the Durango SRT Hellcat is for 2021 only…act fast.
I got out on the roads around Charlotte driving both the Durango SRT Hellcat and the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye. Without a doubt both models are very streetable and make great family transports. But the track is where they shine. Dodge opened up Carolina Motorsports Park for a long afternoon running laps around the 2.28-mile 14-turn road course.
It’s not difficult to go fast in a straight line and the engine output at my command proved that. It’s the repetitive heavy braking into the corners, the complete car control from the suspension, the high grip tires and the overall confident feeling at the wheel that make these Dodges shine.
Dodge also had the Durango SRT 392 with 475-hp for track driving. It too is very capable. It’ll run the corners as well as the Hellcat, with a little less top speed on the straights.
The 2021 Dodge Challenger Super Stock is priced at $79,595. The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is $78,595 and the Durango SRT Hellcat is $80,995. More information on the entire Dodge lineup can be found at www.dodge.com.
Want some track time? Dodge is the official sponsor of the Bondurant High Performance Driving School in Chandler, Arizona, where guests get behind the wheels of the fastest street-legal cars in the world with professional instruction and time on the track. Customers who buy a new SRT model receive one full-day session as part of the Dodge//SRT Package and have the opportunity to learn how to get the optimum performance from their new vehicles in a controlled environment. For more information, visit dodgegarage.com/track-experience.
Looking to the future, Dodge acknowledges that it will need to grow with the times for its products to remain relevant, adapting to CAFE standards and adding more offerings to its current vehicle lineup. But for now, Dodge’s strategy seems to be working.
The Rolling Stones lyric “You can’t always get what you want” doesn’t apply here. You can get lots of “Satisfaction” at Dodge.
This report comes from an invitation-only Dodge launch event that allowed special access to the vehicle and executives. Dodge provided my overnight accommodations, meals, and transportation.