2023 Dodge Durango Hellcat splits a character


Half a lifetime in the past, I needed to stroll my bike on a climbing path prohibited to bikers, or so I used to be advised by a girl strolling her canine. She was about my age now, and inside a minute of well mannered chitchat she stated, “You’re a Gemini. I can sense the division inside you.”

This was within the Colorado foothills so the remark shouldn’t have shocked me besides for 2 information: I hadn’t talked about my birthday and I used to be in truth a Gemini, the inseparable twins anchored by Castor and Pollux within the sky and recognized for his or her twin character. I divided from her and took off down the path. 

Driving the 2023 Dodge Durango Hellcat round city left me with that very same unsettled feeling about my break up character. I’m in awe of machines that may defy physics. However I additionally respect practicality and motive. And I just like the Earth, simply possibly not as spiritually because the Gemini necromancer from so way back. A 3-row SUV with a 710-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that screams to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds had me all types of divided. 

Conceptually, the Dodge Durango Hellcat suggests to all of the gearheads and motormamas within the household approach that you would be able to nonetheless seat six in consolation but faucet a V-8 meant to blast all consolation. Nothing says midlife disaster on the college dropoff lane louder than a V-8 Hellcat, however Hellcat house owners can reply with equal disdain. 

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

That is ’Murica. Land of the free, house of the bravado, the place I can do what I would like how I would like so long as it suits with my worldview. 

The hearth-breathing Durango Hellcat is the final of its type, a raging sizzling burp of indigestion as the economic revolution consumes itself. It claws out yet another mannequin yr within the 2024 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, not less than till manufacturing formally ceases on the finish of this yr, smothered by rules capitulating to a warmer world. It’ll share a shallow grave with the 2024 Ram 1500 TRX, at the same time as its muscle automotive progenitors have already sealed their combustion legacies. 

The fuel guzzler tax of $6,400 is baked into this Durango’s $91,185 base worth ($106,665 as examined), however a 0-60 mph time of three.5 seconds is turning into frequent within the electrical age: The inexpensive Rivian R1S three-row SUV hits the mark in 3.0 seconds; the Tesla Mannequin 3 at half the value hits it in 3.1 seconds; even the Ford Mustang Mach-E matches the Durango Hellcat’s mark. And so they’ll do it at much better than the 8 mpg I averaged round city. 

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

It outperforms EVs after that, nonetheless, with a 11.5-second quarter-mile time and a high velocity of 180 mph, two stats that make it laborious to stay a law-abiding citizen. 

Certain, the Hellcat has change into an anachronism in our trendy local weather. Increase a toast to the wizards at Dodge, although. No automaker has wrought such pleasure and so many iterations of a supercharged V-8 engine. 

No matter Dodge turns into within the regulated confines of the longer term, it honored the engineering of the twentieth century and injected fuel-fed enthusiasm for yet another era, and in so doing helped that new era higher perceive its predecessors. How else might Dodge have stored the Charger and Challenger muscle vehicles new when the final time they had been truly new was 15 years in the past in 2008? It’s astounding, and Individuals liked all of the iterations of the Challenger and its retro bygone fashion a lot that it grew to become the bestselling muscle automotive over the past two years, for the primary time? 

What’s most spectacular about this accomplishment is Dodge did it solely by letting its engineers run wild with out constructing out new platforms or pricey assemblies. Ford dumped cash into the Mustang throughout the identical time, growing the Mach-E in addition to three distinct generations of Mustang, together with the seventh-gen mannequin that launched for 2024, and its beautiful Darkish Horse variant. Throughout this time, Chevy developed two generations of Camaro solely to…what the hell is occurring with the Camaro? Dodge simply tweaked an engine and suspension, revamped an inside, and created a legend. 

The V-8 not solely stored Dodge on monetary life help, it elevated the model to the highest of the muscle automotive zeitgeist. Making use of this cash maker to the fashionable cash maker in SUV type has been good. The Durango was final redesigned for the 2011 mannequin yr, and it rumbles on with the recent sense of function of the endangered. 

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

The Efficiency Pages within the 10.1-inch touchscreen let drivers maintain tabs as they attempt to wring probably the most comfy setting from the six drive modes, and there’s even an Eco mode for the 8-speed transmission that shifts up faster. The inexperienced button with the leaf icon is scrumptious irony. Extra widespread options is perhaps customizing Sport mode by tweaking the steering really feel, suspension damping, and AWD torque supply. The G-Power meter with separate pitch and roll readouts is particularly enjoyable with an EV-like curb weight of 5,575 kilos. The Durango Hellcat is a beast, and with the towing bundle it could tow 8,700 kilos. 

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

This monster SUV is all concerning the visceral really feel, and there’s nonetheless no primal name to arms just like the V-8, particularly with the supercharger whirring within the background. It’s not simply the sound however the chunky flat-bottomed steering wheel that’s so thick on the underside half I might hardly wrap my pointer finger to my thumb. Even the indicator stalk requires a tough click on to have interaction, emphasizing its sturdiness. 

It rumbles as firmly as a high-end sports activities coupe, and even with the Bilstein adaptive dampers tuned to the softest Avenue mode, I felt each little bit of highway negligence although the Pirelli P Zero tires mounted on20x10-inch fatty wheels. 

Then there’s a glance so aggressive it could come throughout as hostile, with a hood vent flanked by warmth extractors like snake nostrils. The sound and look prompted my 17-year-old son to ask why somebody would purchase this whereas my 16-year-old daughter circled round it, recording, yelling at me to start out it once more. 

Dodge does it not as a result of it could, however as a result of the buyer demand is robust sufficient to outweigh the regulatory fines, not less than via the tip of the yr. I can’t assist however respect the gumption, even in a home divided much less by era than by perspective.  

I might have predicted the response once I met my brother and pa for lunch on a sunny fall day. My 82-year-old dad left his 1967 Mustang and his 2006 Shelby within the storage, opting as an alternative for his newest toy, a Kia EV6. He parked subsequent to my brother in his Ioniq 5. Considered one of them gave a thumbs as much as the prowling thrum of the Durango Hellcat, whereas the opposite known as it so silly. Sure to each!



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