Super SUV Showdown: Durango Hellcat vs. Urus vs. Trackhawk
The Hellcat engine’s days might be numbered, but Dodge isn’t letting it go gentle into the good night. This is why, for 2021 only, there’s the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat. But it’s not the only high-powered SUV available; it’s not even the only one Stellantis offers. There’s also the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and Lamborghini’s super SUV, the Urus. And YouTube team Throttle House wanted to settle the question: which is the fastest?
The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, and Lamborghini Urus are seriously fast SUVs
To be fair, the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat has more to offer than just straight-line speed. But for many, the SUV’s best feature is what’s under the hood. It’s the eponymous 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8 which, in the Durango, makes 710 hp and 645 lb-ft. And it makes this version of the Durango the most powerful three-row production SUV, Car and Driver reports.
Weighing 5334 pounds, the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat isn’t exactly light. But even so, thanks to AWD and an eight-speed automatic, it goes 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. That’s 0.5 seconds ahead of the next most powerful Durango, the 475-hp SRT 392, Car and Driver reports. And it’s only 0.1 seconds behind the 797-hp Charger Hellcat Redeye.
However, as we said, Dodge isn’t the only Stellantis brand to offer a Hellcat-powered SUV. And with the Durango Hellcat gone after 2021, there’s only the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk left. Admittedly, its version of the Hellcat V8 is slightly detuned to 707 hp. But it matches the Durango’s torque output.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is only about 80 pounds lighter than the Durango Hellcat, Car and Driver reports. Plus, it also packs an eight-speed automatic and AWD. However, on paper, it’s slightly faster: Car and Driver clocked its 0-60 mph time at 3.5 seconds.
Finally, there’s the Lamborghini Urus. It, too, has a V8 engine. Specifically, a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 rated at 641 hp and 627 lb-ft. Initially, then, it seems slightly outmatched by the Hellcat twins. And on Car and Driver’s scales, its curb weight splits the difference between the Jeep and the Durango.
However, while the Urus isn’t quite as fast as some other Lamborghinis, it’s still fast. With an eight-speed automatic and AWD, it goes 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, Car and Driver reports.
How Throttle House tested them
Throttle House’s tests were simple. The three SUVs first lined up for two ¼-mile drag races from a standing start. The first race was run with launch control, and the second without, to better mimic a real-world start. After that, they competed in another ¼-mile drag race, this time from a rolling start at 50 mph.
At first, it seems like the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk are at a speed disadvantage. And in the video, all three SUVs are rolling on Pirelli tires, so none of them has a clear traction advantage.
However, as tuner Hennessey demonstrated, the Trackhawk can keep up with the Urus given a good-enough launch, Road & Track reports. And as for the Durango Hellcat, Car and Driver found it goes 5-60 mph 0.2 seconds faster than the Urus. The Jeep Trackhawk’s 5-60 mph time was even faster, Car and Driver reports.
But, while the Dodge and Jeep SUVs share an engine, they’re tuned slightly different. And not just in terms of outright output, either. The Durango’s Hellcat makes its peak torque at lower RPMs than the Trackhawk’s engine, MotorTrend reports. So, theoretically, the Dodge makes more power lower in the rev range, Car and Driver explains.
So, what happened when the rubber met the racetrack?
Did the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat smoke the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and Lamborghini Urus?
As fast as the Lamborghini Urus is on paper, the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat beat it in the real world. Kind of.
In both standing-start races, the Durango Hellcat beat the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and the Urus. Although the Jeep did slightly better the second time, neither of the other two SUVs could win over the Durango. However, the Urus did win the rolling race outright, with the Dodge coming in last place.
Unfortunately, the Durango Hellcat is all sold out and isn’t coming back for 2022. But the Trackhawk keeps the Dodge’s spirit alive for roughly one-third the price of the Urus.
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