A week ago, Dodge pulled the sheet off of its 2021 model year lineup, shedding the pedestrian Journey crossover and Grand Caravan minivan in exchange for a duo of fire breathing muscle cars and a massively powerful SUV. Of course, we’re talking about 2021 Dodge Challenger Super Stock, 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye, and 2021 Dodge Durango Hellcat.
The latter of the three was once reported to be a limited-run, serialized offering. Kuniskis claims that’s not the case. Although, perhaps not for reasons you might think.
“(The Durango Hellcat) is not limited, not serialized like what we do with (Dodge Demon), but we’re only building them for six months,” said Kuniskis. “With all of the changes we made in the plant to come back up (to production) post-COVID with the sequencing and spacing in the plant, it’s changed the number we can build… I don’t have an actual number but it will be less than 2,000. I don’t how much less than 2,000. It will be determined by customer demand and how much we can build in that six-month period.”
Like the rest of the industry, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have heavily disrupted the plans for the refreshed Durango, and for collectors, that will likely make the SUV all the more desirable. But besides the COVID-19 pandemic, regulatory issues are also a major headwind for the Durango SRT Hellcat.
“When we switch to ’22 model year, there’s new evaporative emission requirements that come in that the Hellcat engine does not meet in that platform,” said Kuniskis. “And with the change in platforms for the next generation (WL) Jeep Grand Cherokee, it’s a one year cycle (for Durango Hellcat).”
The next-generation 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is expected to debut later this year, and is expected to hit showrooms next year. The Grand Cherokee and Durango are built at the same Jefferson Avenue Assembly facility in Detroit.
Kuniskis also clarified that this does not endanger the Dodge Charger or Challenger Hellcat models beyond the 2021 model year. That being said, the LX Platform Charger and Challenger are still likely reaching the end of their product life cycles. After 2023, they could begin life anew on a worked-over version of the Alfa Romeo Giorgio platform.
Production of the 2021 Dodge Durango Hellcat will begin at the beginning of 2021. Kuniskis also pointed out that the one model year run of the Dodge Durango Hellcat does not imply the end of the product lifecycle for the SUV.
“Durango continues on completely uninterrupted,” he said.
Orders for the 2021 Dodge Durango begin in Q4 2020, with assembly and deliveries beginning early next year.