New Model News

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat delivers 710 horsepower, satisfying purr

Dodge is adding a Hellcat version of its SUV to the lineup for one year only.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Calling it a "Cat out of Hell," Dodge unveiled the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat today. The model, which builds on the Durango SRT, delivers the type of performance Dodge has become synonymous with in recent years. The model will be a single year offering.

"The Brotherhood of Muscle includes families of all sizes and the Durango delivers Dodge performance as the Charger of the three-row SUV segment," said Tim Kuniskis, Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. "And new for 2021, we have raised the bar even higher. The 710-horsepower Hellcat is the most powerful SUV ever. It's the last piece of the puzzle and, alongside the Charger and Challenger, completes the Dodge brand's performance lineup."

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat The model features nearly the same body styling as every other Durango.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

At the heart of the Durango SRT Hellcat is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine. It achieves 710 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. There are seven drive modes – Auto, Sport, Track, Snow, Tow, Eco, and Valet.

The power plant features a cast-iron block with water jackets between the cylinders; a forged-steel crankshaft with induction-hardened bearing surfaces; a specially tuned crankshaft damper; high-strength forged-alloy pistons; powder-forged connecting rods with high-load-capacity bushings and diamond-like, carbon-coated piston pins; piston-cooling oil jets; heat-treated, aluminum-alloy cylinder heads; sodium-cooled exhaust valves; hollow-stem intake valves; and steel-alloy heads.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat Body stripes are available.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The SRT Hellcat has an aggressive new chin splitter, which takes advantage of the two-piece design for added downforce. The model is not available with fog lights. The lower front fascia of the SUV instead features a scoop to help cool the engine.

Dodge offers the model with dual-center exterior stripes, that cover the front and rear fascias, hood, portions of the roof, spoiler and the tailgate. Stripes are offered in five colors: black with Redline accent tracer, Bright Blue, Flame Red, Gunmetal Low Gloss (metallic finish) and Sterling Silver (metallic finish).

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat Dodge is equipped the model with Brembo calipers.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

All-wheel drive is standard. Dodge is giving the model standard 20-inch machined faced wheels with mid-gloss black pockets. Pirelli Scorpion Zero 295/45ZR20 all-season performance tires are standard; Pirelli P-Zero 295/45ZR20 three-season tires are available.

The SUV comes standard with electric power steering with selectable steering tuning - that helps with grip, which is important in a top-heavy SUV. There are paddle shifters as well as two launch performance technologies. Launch Control is utilized via a toggle switch in the cockpit that manages tire slip while Launch Assist uses wheel speed sensors to monitor the SUV for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and works to modify torque should hopping occur in an effort to maintain grip. This function happens in milliseconds.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat The SUV delivers best-in-class towing.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

It takes just 116 feet for the Durango SRT Hellcat to come to complete stop from 60 mph. It features high-performance six-piston, two-piece (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers by Brembo and vented rotors at all four corners.

According to Dodge's calculations, the Durango SRT Hellcat runs zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, covers the quarter-mile in 11.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 180 mph.

The SUV has a best-in-class 8,700-pound towing capacity.

Dodge has refreshed the design of the interior of the Durango for 2021. All models get new cockpit styling, instrument panel, center console, and front door uppers with new relocated seat memory switches.

The new 10.1-inch infotainment screen is angled toward the driver and run by FCA's new Uconnect 5 system. The center stack is slimmer than before and there are now chrome-accented toggles and dedicated buttons for heated and cooled seats.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat The interior of the SUV was refreshed for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Dodge has given the Durango more small item storage, standard flat-bottom steering wheel on the Durango SRT Hellcat, and available wireless charging. A family entertainment system is available through Durango's Blu-ray video rear-seat entertainment system with two high-resolution 9-inch screens, one on each front seat back.

SRT Hellcat Durangos get forged carbon fiber interior accents, red-accented gauges, standard heated and ventilated Nappa leather with suede front seats with an embroidered Hellcat logo (available Laguna leather interior in black/Demonic Red).

The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT starts at $62,995. Expect to pay around $70,000 for the 2021 Durango SRT Hellcat when it goes on sale later this year.

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New sports sedan

2022 Infiniti Q50 gets more standard tech

The car sees new tech and interior features for 2022.

Infiniti

The Infiniti Q50 is an aging but still-stylish sedan that offers value and power, but it hasn't quite kept pace with the crop of more engaging premium European cars. However, it's still worth a look, and to press that point further, Infiniti has updated the car for 2022 with a healthy list of standard features.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Exterior styling has not changed for 2022.Infiniti

Headline updates for the 2022 Q50 are wireless Apple CarPlay and newly standard Bose Performance Series Audio. There's now leather for every trim, but in the ways that count, the car is the same as the one we saw last year, the year before, and so on.

That's not to say that the car is bad. After all, it still offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbo V6 as standard and can be upgraded with a 400-horsepower version of the engine. And, despite its aging exterior styling, it's still a handsome car with smooth, sculpted bodywork. The seven-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive remain in place.

2022 Infiniti Q50 All-wheel drive is available for all models.Infiniti

Pricing for the 2022 Infiniti Q50 starts at $43,125, which includes a $1,025 destination fee. The car gets standard wireless Apple CarPlay, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and Bose Performance Audio. All-wheel drive is available for a $2,000 upcharge.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Wireless Apple CarPlay and Bose audio are standard.Infiniti

The mid-range Q50 Sensory starts at $48,825, and comes with 19-inch wheels, black open-pore wood interior accents, navigation, and an air purifier system. Stepping up to the top Q50 Red Sport 400 will run $56,975, and brings the more powerful V6 engine, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and Dynamic Digital Suspension, which adjusts damping settings depending on road conditions and driving style.

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Buying guide

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

This is a clean modified truck, but they don't all end up this way.

Bring a Trailer

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.

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