Dodge Places a Manufacturing Limit on the 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat
Dodge committed to manufacturing the recently-unveiled Hellcat-powered Durango SRT model only for six months, explaining that it doesn’t have a plan to stop production after a certain predetermined number of SUVs. Instead, the automaker stated it would be unable to extend the Durango SRT Hellcat’s life cycle due to upcoming regulations- and manufacturing-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,” stated Tim Kuniskis, Head of Dodge, during an interview with Muscle Cars & Trucks.
Kuniskis added that no one on the team has an idea of how many SUVs the manufacturer will be able to dole out from the Jefferson North Factory, on the outskirts of Detroit. The big factor that remains to be seen is customer demand. When asked to provide an estimate, Kuniskis revealed to the publication that he doesn’t expect more than 2,000 units will be made. All units produced will be 2021 models.
Some diehard enthusiasts allege that the brand should be able to double that number by bringing back the trim for the 2022 model year, but changing emissions regulations loom on the horizon. These days, it’s not seen as feasible to drop a supercharged, 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine into an SUV. The brand’s performance vehicles, such as the Charger and Challenger models, are considered more natural recipients of such a powerful engine, but critics find it questionable under the hood of an SUV.
“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 added, clearly showing that the automaker is well aware of the limitations in the future. Additionally, Kuniskis also mentioned that the Jefferson North Factory is undergoing an overhaul just in time for production of the next-generation 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee, thus the retooling will also play a part in this specific Durango’s manufacturing. The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is rumored to tentatively debut at the end of the year (2020).
Dodge enthusiasts shouldn’t be alarmed by the Durango’s limitations in this case, as Kuniskis clarified that the Hellcat-powered Charger and Challenger models will continue to be manufactured in the foreseeable future. Making the Charger and Challenger compliant with upcoming regulations is much easier due to the size of the vehicles. Kuniskis also stated that the standard Dodge Durango will carry on “uninterrupted.”
Dodge will begin taking orders for the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat in the fall of 2020, with production scheduled to start in early 2021 and deliveries to follow. Dodge has yet to announce any pricing information, but experts estimate the base price to be in the vicinity of $90,000.
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