Dodge will manufacture the 710-horsepower, Hellcat-powered Durango SRT only for approximately six months. The company explained that, while it won't stop production after building a pre-determined number of SUVs, it won't be able to extend the model's life cycle due to several manufacturing- and government-related hurdles.
"The Durango SRT Hellcat is not limited, it's not serialized like what we did with the Challenger SRT Demon, but we're only building it for six months. With all of the changes we made in the plant to come back up to production post-COVID-19, with the sequencing and spacing in the plant, it's changed the numbers we can build," explained Tim Kuniskis, the head of Dodge, in an interview with enthusiast website Muscle Cars & Trucks.
He added no one on his team knows precisely how many SUVs the Jefferson North factory on the outskirts of Detroit will put a Hellcat engine into. It largely depends on customer demand. Asked to provide an estimate, Kuniskis revealed he expects "less than 2,000" units will be made. They will all be 2021 models.
In theory, Dodge could at least double that number by bringing the Durango SRT Hellcat back for the 2022 model year. It's not that simple in application, however, because the company won't be able to drop a supercharged, 6.2-liter V8 in its biggest SUV after 2021 without leaning on the wrong side of looming emissions regulations.
"When we switch to the 2022 model year, there are new evaporative emission requirements that come in that the Hellcat engine does not meet in that platform," Kuniskis said. He also noted the Jefferson North factory will be busy retooling for production of the next-generation 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee tentatively due out in 2020.
Still speaking to Muscle Car & Trucks, Kuniskis clarified that the Hellcat-powered variants of the Charger and the Challenger will stick around in the foreseeable future; making them compliant with the upcoming emissions regulations is easier. And, he stressed the standard version of the Durango will carry on "completely interrupted."
In other words: Act fast if you want a Durango SRT Hellcat. Dodge will begin taking orders in the fall of 2020, and production is scheduled to start in early 2021, with deliveries following shortly after. Pricing information hasn't been announced yet, but we expect its base price will be pegged in the vicinity of $90,000.