Dodge flexes trimmed performance lineup


Dodge is going all-in on performance.

The Grand Caravan has ended production, and the Journey won’t live past this year, leaving the attitude-laden brand with only the muscular Durango, Challenger and Charger.

All three nameplates are getting power boosts for the 2021 model year, with the Durango joining the Hellcat family for a limited run with the supercharged engine.

The vehicles have had long lives in their current forms, but Dodge has found its niche and continues to cater to performance enthusiasts.

Charger: The speedy sedan finally gets the Redeye treatment with a 797-hp model. The SRT Hellcat Redeye, along with the standard Charger Hellcat model, comes with a newly designed, functional performance hood. Dodge said the hood design “provides maximum air intake to the high-output supercharged powerplant.” The 2021 Charger is scheduled to start arriving in dealerships in early 2021. A redesigned model could arrive in 2024.

Challenger: The new SRT Super Stock trim carries the “drag-racing, quarter-mile-crushing spirit” of the limited production 2018 Challenger SRT Demon iteration, Dodge said. The first Super Stock is a 2020 model on sale now, and the brand has promised to have “the ultimate Dodge drag-racing model in the 2021 model year.” A Challenger redesign is possible for 2024.

Journey: The compact crossover, after a 12-year run without a single redesign, will go out of production by the end of the year.

Crossover: A new crossover based on FCA’s minivan platform could replace the Durango in 2024.

Durango: The freshened Durango large SUV will arrive this year. It adds a 710-hp Hellcat engine next year, but that speedy hauler will only be available for the 2021 model year. The Durango in its current form debuted as a 2011 model, but it has held its own in the heavily contested three-row utility category. The Durango is scheduled to be the second Fiat Chrysler Automobiles model to hit the market with the new Uconnect 5 infotainment system, after the 2021 Pacifica minivan. The 2021 Durango gets a new interior with driver-oriented cockpit, and FCA’s contract with the UAW says a hybrid version will be available. Production of the Durango is expected to continue until 2023.

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