It was gone and it wasn't supposed to return. Now the most-powerful (gas-powered) SUV ever launched is back.
On Monday during its Dodge Speed Week festivities at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, Dodge announced the Durango SRT Hellcat will return for 2023 in all its 710-hp glory. Dodge says it revived the Durango Hellcat due to popular demand.
The Durango SRT Hellcat debuted for the 2021 model year and was supposed to be limited to 2,000 examples. Dodge eventually opened up more production to build one for every sold order, expanding the number to 3,000 units.
While an ability to meet 2022 emissions standards was originally quoted as a reason for the vehicle's one-and-done stature, Dodge has fixed that issue so the Durango Hellcat can return for 2023.
Like the 2021 model, the new Durango Hellcat is the most powerful gas SUV ever thanks to a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that makes 645 lb-ft of torque in addition to its 710 horses. Teamed with standard all-wheel drive, that's good for a 0-60 mph run of 3.5 seconds, an 11.5-second quarter-mile time, and a top speed of 180 mph. It can also carry up to seven passengers can tow up to 8,700 lb.
2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
All that power can be hard to put to the pavement, so Dodge provides both Launch Control and Launch Assist to achieve those performance figures. The latter uses wheel-speed sensors to detect wheel hop then adjusts the torque to regain grip.
The Hellcat V-8 uses a 2.4-liter supercharger that can spin up to 13,000 rpm. The V-8 is teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel paddle shifters for manual control. The Durango Hellcat also has seven driving modes, including Auto, Sport, Track, Snow, Tow, Eco, and Valet.
But the Durango Hellcat gets more than just a monster engine. Big Brembo brakes help haul it down from its extra-legal speeds. Up front, it has two-piece 6-piston calipers that clamp down on 15.8-inch vented rotors, while out back it gets 4-piston calipers and 13.8-inch vented rotors. Dodge also tunes the suspension to handle the power and provide a sportier feel.
Hellcat exterior styling elements consists of a front fascia with a chin splitter, engine oil cooler duct, air guide, and a snorkel for cold air induction. A rear spoiler provides 140 lb of downforce at 180 mph, while SRT Hellcat fender badges tell onlookers what lurks under the sculpted hood.
2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
Inside, the 2023 Durango Hellcat gets red-accented gauges and nappa leather- and suede-covered sport seats with heating, cooling, and embroidered SRT logos. Launch Control is accessed via a dashboard toggle, and drivers will see a "Smoke Show" startup sequence, as well as other Hellcat-only graphics on the digital instrument cluster and 10.1-inch center touchscreen. An available Plus package adds Laguna leather seats, a sunroof, a trailer towing package, and additional safety features. On top of that, a Premium package adds red seat belts, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, carbon-fiber interior trim, and a Harman Kardon 19-speaker sound system.
Those who missed out on the first run of 3,000 vehicles can put in their orders for the new Hellcat in September and expect to get their vehicles in early 2023. The SRT Hellcat joins a 2023 Durango lineup that also contains SXT, GT, R/T, Citadel, and SRT 392 trim levels.