Chrysler Pacifica SRT Hellcat Trim Coming In 2021?
Photo Credit: Abimelec Design
There are few vehicles on the road like the Chrysler Pacifica, the most awarded minivan ever made. However, not many customers know that the Pacifica is built by the same company that produces the world’s fastest production muscle cars from the Dodge brand (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles). So, what would Chrysler Pacifica look like if the production team decided to swap out the 3.6-Liter V6 Pentastar engine for one of those massive and strong V8 HEMI engines instead for the Pacifica? The truth is, we already know.
Is Chrysler Building A Hellcat Pacifica?
Could the Chrysler Pacifica someday gain the power and speed of having a turbocharged V8 engine? Extremely unlikely, however, before 2020 who could have guessed the Dodge Durango, a three-row SUV, would have gained the same engine used in the Dodge SRT Hellcat muscle cars? In fact, another company that is a part of the same Fiat Chrysler Automobiles family is the Jeep brand. The Jeep brand added a V8 HEMI into the Jeep Cherokee to create the fastest Cherokee trim, the Trackhawk. So, would Chrysler go so far as to add this upgraded powertrain in the future model years of the Pacifica? No.
The Companies That Took Minivans To New Horsepower Heights
The Chrysler Pacifica minivan does more than fine with the power to haul families and luggage and storage goodies anywhere they ask. However, this wasn’t good enough for the folks at Abimelec Design. The company didn’t to add a hood with an air-intake and overhaul the entire front of the Pacifica. The ride height was also lowered to reduce drag and wider fenders were added to help complete the design appearance of this rather unique vehicle. This creation was fitted with larger wheels as well to help have a better grip with the massive power the Hellcat provides. They even added the SRT badge on the engine with the Hellcat logo.
The Hellcrate engine that packs 707 horsepower can swap into many different vehicles, but we didn’t think we’d ever see the Pacifica minivan as one of the vehicles that received this addition. The perks of the Pacifica are mainly found inside the interior, not under the hood, but this is a shocker for sure.
The First Minivan To Go Over 700 Horsepower
While, this isn’t the first time a minivan has received some acclaim for having a massive V8 engine added, Renault once introduced at the 1994 Paris Motor Show a minivan that carried a V10 engine (3.5-Liter V10 from the 1993 Willaims-Renault FW15C Formula 1 car) that hit 820 horsepower and went from 0-60 in just 2.8 seconds at a mind-bending speed of 193 mph as its top-speed. That’s likely a vehicle that will never see a production run, just like the work added to the Pacifica, but these stories are nice to read. Need to know more about why owning a new Chrysler Pacifica is the right call? We can offer our readers the current lineup that is ready to go today at Kendall Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.
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With three rows of seats and 710 horsepower on tap, the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is a rollercoaster ride the entire family can enjoy—or fear. As its name suggests, there's an almighty, unholy supercharged V-8 engine hidden within its intimidating bodywork, and its standard all-wheel-drive system is only too eager to assist its breathtaking acceleration. The howl of its supercharger and the rumble of its exhaust can go from background music to auditory assault at the press of a pedal. And when Dodge's supreme SUV isn't making its passengers squirm and regret their lunches, it can tow up to 8700 pounds and haul plenty of groceries. The 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat might seem like an excessive and expensive mid-size SUV, but not to those who appreciate its outrageousness.
What's New for 2021?
The Hellcat-powered Durango is all-new for 2021. However, the hugely powerful SUV is only scheduled for a single year of production. While the company pulled a similar move with the highly hyped and limited-edition Challenger SRT Demon, we hope strong sales and enthusiast interest will prolong this devilish Durango's life.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We think the 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat's asking price is rather steep, especially since the 10Best-winning Ram 1500 TRX is about $10k less to start, but, apparently, buyers disagree, because Dodge has confirmed that all 2000 limited copies have already sold out. Since it's still configurable on the consumer site, our model of choice was optioned without any of the gaudy dual stripes and upgraded with the Pirelli P Zero three-season tires for maximum performance. The available 19-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system is also a great way to drown out the omnipresent supercharger whine.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
There's a monster of an engine hiding underneath the bulging and vented hood. It's a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that summons 710 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque. This earth-shattering power is directed to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Hellcat engine exhales through an enhanced exhaust system that amplifies its thunder. That soundtrack mixes with the unmistakable whine of its massive supercharger, but we wish the blower didn't also squeal at low rpm. The version we tested launched to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds (matching a 797-hp Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye we tested) and cleared the quarter-mile in 12.0 seconds at 115 mph. Plus, it's capable of towing 8700 pounds, which is more than any other mid-size crossover SUV. The Hellcat Durango rides on a specially tuned suspension with adaptive dampers and 20-inch-by-10-inch wheels with standard Pirelli all-season tires or optional Pirelli P Zero three-season tires. Equipped with the latter, our example demonstrated surprisingly taut body control and 0.87 g of cornering grip. The top-dog Durango also employs a powerful Brembo brake system that clamps its 15.75-inch front rotors with six-piston calipers and its 13.8-inch rear discs with four-piston binders. These stoppers hauled the 5334-pound down from 70 mph in just 165 feet.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat will earn a measly 12 mpg in the city and a not-so-impressive 17 mpg on the highway. Once we have the opportunity to test the 700-plus-hp family hauler on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate its real-world mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the Hellcat Durango has a driver-centric layout that looks similar to the dashboard on the Dodge Charger and Challenger. The super SUV's gauge cluster features exclusive red accents, and its flat-bottom steering wheel hosts a pair of paddle shifters as well as an SRT logo that has red backlighting. The Hellcat model also comes standard with heated and ventilated seats and nappa leather upholstery, which includes microsuede inserts on the front cushions. The cabin can also be upgraded with Laguna leather that comes in a black and Demonic Red color scheme with embossed Hellcat logos. The center console contains a pair of cupholders, a prominent T-handle shifter, a capacious storage bin, and space for a wireless charging pad. The Durango provides comfortable accommodations and a foldaway third row. Models we've tested in the past have also held an impressive amount of carry-on suitcases, too, with the ability to swallow four bags behind the backmost row and up to 26 with the second and third rows stowed.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Its infotainment system runs through a large 10.1-inch touchscreen that supports the company's latest Uconnect 5 software. The interface is primarily manipulated via touch inputs, but there's also a rotary volume and tuning knob built into the climate-control panel below. The addition of Amazon Alexa functionality allows expanded voice commands, and the system also allows two Bluetooth devices to be simultaneously connected. Other popular features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot. The Durango can also be equipped with a rear entertainment system that features a pair of 9.0-inch screens mounted on the back of the front seats.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The mightiest Durango should also be available with a handful of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. For more information about the Durango SRT Hellcat's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard rear automated emergency braking
- Standard automatic high-beam headlights
- Available front automated emergency braking
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Dodge offers the bare minimum when it comes to its limited and powertrain warranty. Likewise, the company doesn't offer any type of complimentary maintenance, unlike rivals from Hyundai and Toyota.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2021 Dodge Durango Hellcat
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 6-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$89,665 (base price: $82,490)
supercharged and intercooled pushrod 16-valve V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, port fuel injection
376 in3, 6166 cm3
710 hp @ 6100 rpm
640 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm
Suspension (F/R): control arms/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 15.7-in vented, grooved disc/13.8-in vented disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero Runflat, 295/45ZR-20 (110Y)
Wheelbase: 119.8 in
Length: 200.8 in
Width: 76.4 in
Height: 69.8 in
Passenger volume: 142 ft3
Cargo volume: 17 ft3
Curb weight: 5334 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 3.6 sec
100 mph: 8.9 sec
130 mph: 16.0 sec
150 mph: 23.9 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.2 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.3 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 2.6 sec
1/4 mile: 12.0 sec @ 115 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 165 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 323 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.87 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 12 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/city/highway: 13/11/17 mpg
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
More Features and Specs
Dodge recently announced that the beloved Durango SUV will stop production completely after the 2024 model year. The Durango has been in production for over 10 years with very few design changes. Instead of receiving massive upgrades, it’ll soon cease to exist. The most interesting thing about the discontinuation is that it could be replaced by a Hellcat minivan. If you think that doesn’t make any sense, you’re absolutely right. Though the idea of a Hellcat minivan is too much fun not to speculate about.
Could the Dodge Durango be replaced by a Hellcat minivan?
With the Dodge Durango leaving production soon, the rumored Chrysler Pacifica SRT Hellcat could take over. Dodge no longer has minivans in its lineup, but its parent company Stellantis has the Pacifica with Chrysler. Just about everything from Ram trucks to the Jeep Grand Cherokee is getting a Hellcat trim. The company knows what its customers want, power and performance from all vehicles. The main thing they’re looking for, whether in a Challenger or a pickup truck, is the Hellcat engine. So why not put one in a minivan?
For a few years, there’s been a (fictional) rumor that a Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat minivan was in the works. An artist even made a rendering of what it might look like back in 2020. The unlikely combination of a minivan and a 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 would undoubtedly get people talking. Though the idea is very unlikely to ever happen, it is one of the more fun rumors to think about. When considering the absence of a large and powerful SUV, what can really replace it? It is far more likely Dodge will get another, fully redesigned SUV. That is nowhere near as much fun as a Hellcat minivan. As imagined in the 2020 Abimelec Design rendering, the Pacifica would get a widebody kit, Hellcat wheels, badging, and a power hood scoop. A 707 horsepower minivan would be the highlight of any road on which it drives.
DIY Hellcat Pacifica
For the Dodge Durango to be replaced by a Hellcat minivan, the engine would need to fit. Though the engine bay makes it basically impossible to fit into a standard Chrysler Pacifica, it would technically be possible for a savvy Pacifica owner to make happen. FCA sells a crate version of the Hellcat’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine with 707 horsepower. It’ll cost around $20,000, which is roughly half the price of most Chrysler Pacifica models. If someone were able to mod the Pacifica into using this engine, it would be the coolest minivan on the road.
Go straight from soccer practice to your next drag race in the Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat. Something has to take over for the Durango, which has had a Hellcat trim since 2015. The Durango itself has sold over 60,000 units every year since 2013, according to GoodCarBadCar. 2020 saw a roughly 10,000 unit drop off in sales, which is normal for the year with a global pandemic. Still, the 2020 sales were 57,828 in the US. That seems really respectable for an SUV to be discontinued. The future of Dodge is up in the air since as of 2021 there are only three different new models for sale. It is very likely this means that over the next few years brand new models will be introduced as well as electric versions of everything.
Is Dodge going electric?
Sticking with the theme of powerful vehicles, Dodge is releasing an all-electric muscle car in 2024. Not much information has been revealed about it, though we assume more EVs will enter the Dodge lineup around the same time. The growing trend in the industry is to release an entire lineup of EVs around the 2024-2025 model years. It is safe to assume Dodge will do something similar.
So the answer to could the Dodge Durango be replaced by a Hellcat minivan is, probably not. Though it is definitely one of the more fun ideas to think about. The Durango is a large SUV known for its power and performance, so turning to the Chrysler minivan to achieve the same thing would be really interesting. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is now using the same platform as the Durango and taking the engine, so it’s not likely to come back on the same platform. There are plenty of other options for where the Hellcat engine can go next, but we hope the Pacifica, or maybe a new Dodge minivan model somehow comes away with it soon.
RELATED:Dodge Just Killed the Durango SUV
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