Motor Authority finds custom Hellcat-powered SUV that’s ready to school sports cars
“In the future, every car will be a Hellcat for 15 minutes,” Andy Warhol once did not actually say. But that’s only because the Hellcat did not exist at the time. While FCA’s use of the Hellcat engine throughout the lineup has been sparing, at least for now, it doesn’t mean that Mopar fans are necessarily limited by what’s on the official dealership menu.
Enter the Durango Hellcat, a one-off created for a customer who wanted to get her husband a gift, as Motor Authority reports, by turning his daily driver into something with a little more punch. Plum Floored Creations, a Mopar shop in the Phoenix area, obliged by dialing up a 2011 Dodge Durango R/T to Hellcat specs.
What did that all entail? First and foremost, Plum Floored installed a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 Hellcat engine, ditching the stock 2.3-liter supercharger in favor of a Whipple 2.9-liter unit in the process. The supercharger swap required some CNC machining of the 6.2-liter heads, but the point of the supercharger swap itself was the ability to use the Durango’s stock ECU to run the electronic blow-off valve, as the Durango’s older ECU did not play with the modern Hellcat’s supercharger.
The swap is not as plug-and-play as it might first seem, mostly due to electronics and the requirement of a new transmission.
You’ve probably guessed by now that the stock Durango’s transmission was probably not up to the challenge of handling that many horses, at least not for long, so Plum Floored replaced the stock unit with a six-speed ATS Stage 3 transmission complete with a billet torque converter, billet input shaft and a one-off aluminum drive shaft. Motor Authority reports that Plum Floored kept the stock all-wheel-drive system, deemed able to handle the power, but upgraded the brakes with Brembo six-piston calipers featuring drilled and slotted 15.0-inch rotors in the front and four-piston calipers paired with 13.8-inch drilled and slotted rotors in the back.
As the upgraded brakes no longer cleared the wheels, the shop gave this Durango new black-painted 22-inch aluminum wheels wearing 285/40 tires. Motor Authority notes that the shop also upgraded the exhaust by a custom-built 3-inch system with 5-inch tips — larger than the stock Hellcat offers — in addition to giving the Durango a visual makeover courtesy of FX Graphixs with a Hellcat logo on the sides, black leather seats with red cloth inserts with Hellcat logos, and an SRT-style hood with working heat extractors.
The results you can listen to yourself in the video below, with the Durango Hellcat reportedly churning out 698 hp at the crank and 570 hp at the wheels.
The interior received a few upgrades as well, in keeping with the Hellcat imagery.
The cost? Motor Authority says that the shop can replicate the hardware part of this project for $40,000 plus a donor Durango, without the visual upgrades. That’s not unreasonable, we have to admit, given that this isn’t quite a plug-and-play installation and due to the use of custom-made parts.
What’s keeping Dodge from offering a Durango Hellcat straight from the factory? Right now, it’s the Hellcat-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, but we wouldn’t rule out a Durango version down the road — no car company wants to offer too much of a good thing all at once. Perhaps Dodge is merely letting the Jeep version have its 15 minutes of fame until it offers its own Hellcat-powered SUV.
Fuente: Auto Week