Whoa there, slow down. I know I’m treading on thin ice shouting out an SUV, let alone one a left-hand drive one wearing a Dodge badge. But I’d like to invite you to put step away from the keyboard for the next few minutes while I do my very best to explain why this particular Dodge proves that SUVs (well, some of them at least) can have a sense of humour.
Let’s start off with the idea of a performance SUV, which, on paper at least, is a contradiction on wheels. Take a large, extremely heavy vehicle designed for ‘lifestyle’ holidays, rip out all the bits that make it comfortable and thrown in some trick electronics that work overtime to disguise the fact that you’re basically driving about in a turbocharged sideboard. And I’m not here to bash those who are into these kinds of SUVs - not at all - but there’s no denying they’re a compromise, no matter how well struck.
So, onto the Dodge Durango. In standard form, it’s hardly the most inspiring car to come from the US marque, sharing its underpinnings with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the now redundant Mercedes ML and GL. And with an extra row of seats in the boot, the Durango is well established as Dodge’s family car. But with its two stablemates, the Challenger and Charger, all being offered with drag-focused performance variants, the manufacturer thought it would be deeply humourous (and no doubt lucrative) to do the same with its soccer mom flagship.
The result is the Durango Hellcat; a family SUV with the same 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8 that can be found in the Challenger and Charger of the same name. Performance is truly mental. With an output of 710hp, the Durango Hellcat is up there with the most powerful SUVs ever made. All that power is sent across both axles via an eight-speed auto ‘box, again plucked from previous Hellcats, helping launch you and your family from 0-60mph in a likely terrifying 3.5 seconds.
Of course, you’d expect a bunch of chassis upgrades to help manage all that power, right? Well, you do get beefier Brembo brakes, a tweaked suspension setup and a reworked steering ratio. But that’s about it, no active systems to report here. The interior is also to your standard US-grade with absolutely zero frills, aside from some a Hellcat graphic on the digital dash and SRT logos embroidered into the seats. It’s by no means an ugly cabin, but it’s not like Dodge has tried very hard to make the Hellcat look or feel all that different to a regular Durango.
Naturally, they were only sold in select right-hand drive territories, making them somewhat of a rare find in the UK. This one’s a POA, but for reference the Durango Hellcat commanded a price tag of around $84,000 in the US. Expect to pay more than that, given this one’s been imported from mainland Europe, but it ought to be a chunk cheaper than most of its high-performance and prestige-badged SUV rivals. And that, folks, is what makes the Durango Hellcat so wonderfully absurd. It doesn’t pretend to be supercar on stilts or a track day demon, it's entirely comfortable with the fact it's a six-seat people carrier with a ridiculously big engine up front. And for that, in this day and age, I salute it.
SPECIFICATION | DODGE DURANGO HELLCAT
Engine: 6,166cc, supercharged V8
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 710@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 645@4,000rpm
Year registered: 2022
Recorded mileage: 33
Price new: $84,000 (US)
Yours for: POA
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