Is the Dodge Durango SRT Really Faster Than the Charger Hellcat Redeye?

It seems like Dodge’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team can’t leave any vehicle undefiled. These mad scientists invented the company’s first factory supercharged engine: the glorious 707 horsepower Hellcat. Then they jammed this beast into every available drivetrain. The latest result of this mission is the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat. Speed demons want to know if the supercharged SUV is faster than the OG, the Charger Hellcat. The surprising answer is yes! (Sort of).

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat RedeyeDodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Output797 horsepower710 horsepower
0-60 MPH4.0 seconds3.4 seconds
1/4-mile time11.9 seconds @ 126.6 mph11.7 seconds @ 117.3 mph
Figure-8 course24.8 seconds (0.80 Gs avg.)25.0 seconds (0.77 Gs avg.)
Top speed203 mph (claimed)180 mph (claimed)
MotorTrend’s test numbers

Dodge SRT offers a 710 horsepower Hellcat engine in the Durango

A row of SUVs including two 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcats on the track | Stellantis
The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat was the flagship of the SUV lineup | Stellantis

RELATED: Dodged Killed The Durango Too Soon: Wins Multiple Awards On Best Midsize SUV 2021 List

Dodge SRT has been building its own version of the Durango since 2018. This scary-fast SUV featured a high-performance variant of the 6.4-liter “Scat Pack” HEMI V8. Then for 2021, the team rolled out a Hellcat variant. The Durango Hellcat shares its supercharged 6.2-liter engine with 700+ horsepower Dodge SRT Challengers and Chargers.

This top-trim Durango’s improvements aren’t limited to its engine bay. This SUV shares an AWD system with SRT’s Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

The SRT team also upgraded the suspension. To combat the vehicle’s high center of gravity, the engineers added internal rebound springs to its dampers. These limit body roll without the downsides of stiffer anti-roll bars. Finally, the Durango Hellcat benefits from SRT’s advanced launch control software.

The Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat beats the Charger Hellcat Redeye to 60 mph and in the 1/4-mile

Publicity shot of a 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat and 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye | Stellantis
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat and 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye | Stellantis

RELATED: The Three Fastest Trucks Motortrend Has Ever Tested: a Toyota Tundra, a Supercharged 4×4, and a Surprising EV

The resulting supervehicle is very fast. The Durango Hellcat can rocket to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds. That’s 0.3 seconds faster than the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 and 0.6 seconds faster than its Hellcat cousin: the 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye.

The Durango Hellcat continues on to 100 mph in just 8.4 seconds. MotorTrend tested the SUV’s 1/4-mile time at 11.7 seconds. Even on the 1/4-mile, the Charger Hellcat Redeye lagged 0.9 seconds behind.

The Dodge sedan only beat the SUV on MotorTrend’s figure-8 course. And even on the track, the Charger pulled ahead by just 0.2 seconds. Isn’t the Charger supposed to be the last word in speed? What gives?

The Charger Hellcat is not a great 0-60 MPH car

Press photo of the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat and 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye | Stellantis
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat and 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye | Stellantis

RELATED: The Fastest ‘Fast and Furious’ Charger Ever

It’s official, Dodge is killing the Charger Hellcat. The 2021 Charger Hellcat Redeye may prove the ultimate evolution of this beast. First, SRT tuned its already powerful Hellcat engine to make 90 additional horsepower, bringing its total to 797. Then they fit the sedan with a factory widebody kit.

A regular Dodge Charger rides on 9-inch wide tires. The Redeye’s fender flares make room for 11 inches of rubber. But even with its huge 305-section tires, the Charger Redeye has major traction trouble at low speeds.

“The Charger Hellcat Redeye feels like it pulls harder from 90 mph than most sports cars do from 40 mph.”

Duncan Brady, MotorTrend

A helpful illustration: Each of the AWD Bugatti Chiron’s four tires must put 369 horsepower to the pavement. Each of the RWD Charger Hellcat Redeye’s rear tires must manage 398 horsepower. This is why stomping on the Charger Hellcat Redeye’s accelerator even at 70 mph causes the car to burn out.

Despite its gobs of power, the 4,610 pound Charger Hellcat Redeye is not a great 0-60 mph car. It’s not even a great 1/4-mile car. What’s this car good for? Charging into the triple digits. MotorTrend writer Duncan Brady put it well: “The Charger Hellcat Redeye feels like it pulls harder from 90 mph than most sports cars do from 40 mph.”

While the Durango Hellcat may be better off the line than any Charger Hellcat, the sedan would definitely trounce the SUV in a high-speed highway pull to 150…and beyond.

RELATED: Will the New 2024 Dodge Charger Be Based on This Forgotten Concept Car?