Dodge adds more horsepower and other performance tweaks to its 2021 hot-rod Charger and Challenger passenger cars, plus a facelifted Dodge Durango SUV, including the SRT Hellcat high-performance treatment for the Durango, for the first time.
“As of the 2021 model year, we have distilled the brand to the highest level of performance,” says Tim Kuniskis, global head of Alfa Romeo and passenger cars, North America, for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US.
The ’21 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock, for instance, takes what’s standard on the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye and adds an additional 10 hp, for a total of 807 hp.
The extra horses and other enhancements mean the ’21 Super Stock beats the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye by three car lengths in a quarter-mile drag race, Kuniskis says in a press briefing.
Boiling it Down
“Distilling the brand” is also a nice way of saying Dodge is dropping the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan and the Dodge Journey CUV for the 2021 model year. That leaves the 2-door Challenger, 4-door Charger and Durango SUV as the last three models in the Dodge brand lineup.
Dodge has been hinting for more than a year the Grand Caravan might not be around much longer. The minivan got a “35th Anniversary special edition” sendoff trim and equipment package for the 2019 model year, but the sendoff was delayed.
“We want to distill the Dodge brand and stop producing Caravans and Journeys. But no matter how many times I said it, the sales always continued, and we continued making them,” Kuniskis says. “The ’20 model year — this is really the final production year.”
Out with the Old
The current Grand Caravan is a fifth-generation descendant of the first Chrysler minivan, which in turn was based on the front-drive Chrysler K-car platform. The K-car is credited with saving the former Chrysler Corp. from bankruptcy in the early 1980s, but minivans no longer fit Dodge’s tire-smoking image.
Neither does the minivan-ish Journey crossover. The ’20 Journey is Dodge’s price leader; it starts at $25,170 suggested retail, including $1,495 destination, although the Dodge.com website lists significant incentives.
Here is a summary of the changes in the Dodge lineup for this fall:
As noted, Dodge adds the ’20 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock high-performance package to the Challenger. The Super Stock is a spiritual successor to the 840-hp, ’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, which was produced for one model year only and limited to 3,000 units for the U.S. market and 300 for Canada.
Besides the extra horses compared with the Hellcat Redeye, the Super Stock gets different shift points for the eight-speed automatic transmission and a uniquely tuned high-performance suspension.
There’s no Super Stock badging. Dodge says the only visible giveaways are 18-in.-by-11-in. low-gloss wheels with sticky, drag-racing-style tires. Dealer orders are scheduled to open this summer. Production starts this fall in Brampton, ON, Canada, with dealership deliveries to begin later this year.
The Super Stock package also continues into the 2021 model year, Dodge says.
For 2021, Dodge adds the Redeye treatment for the Charger. The ’21 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye produces 797 hp and 707 lb.-ft. (959 Nm) of torque. Dodge claims it’s the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.
It’s 1.2 seconds faster than the 717-hp Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat on a 2.1-mile (3.4-km) road course, or about seven car lengths after one lap, the automaker says. For the 2021 model year, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and the new Hellcat Redeye both get a new hood design, with a functional scoop to increase air intake.
Dealer orders open this fall. U.S. dealerships are expected to get deliveries in early 2021.
The ’21 Dodge Durango SUV gets a facelift with more aggressive exterior styling and the optional SRT Hellcat package for the first time, available for a limited production run for the 2021 model year only. Kuniskis says it took some doing to “convince the suits we needed a Hellcat in this thing.”
The key to the package is a supercharged, 6.2L Hemi Hellcat V-8 that produces 710 hp and 645 lb.-ft. (875 Nm) of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. That in turn produces zero-to-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.5 seconds.
Exterior styling includes cues from the Charger Widebody design, with a new grille, front fascia, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and rear spoiler, and new wheel options.
“From a designer’s perspective, it just looks badass and makes the car look like it’s planted on the road,” says Brian Nielander, chief designer-performance, passenger and utility vehicles.
The redesigned interior includes a new instrument panel and center console canted toward the driver, new air vents, updated USBC ports, a new wireless charger and key-fob storage behind the shifter.
Dealer orders for the 2021 model year open this summer, with the first vehicles arriving in the fall. Orders for the ’21 Durango SRT Hellcat open in the fall, with dealership deliveries starting in early 2021.