Dodge brings muscle-car power to sedan, SUV in a more family-friendly package

Dodge adds practicality but doesn't ditch the horsepower from new family-friendly Hellcat Redeye.
In the revival of the Detroit muscle-car wars, here's the current horsepower champion: the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye.

It offers nearly 800 horsepower from a supercharged V8.

But that might not be practical enough for some, as it only has two doors. So how about two more?

Here's its new sibling for 2021, the Dodge Charger with the Hellcat Redeye treatment. Same 797 horsepower, same distinctive supercharger sound.

If you've heard the phrase "screaming like a banshee," that's what the whine of a supercharger can sound like. At full throttle, that combined with the throaty V8 exhaust make it well known that this is a muscle car.

But a muscle car in a more family-friendly package, with a decent-size back seat for two or three. Standard also on the Charger Hellcat Redeye is the wide-body styling treatment, with fender flares to wrap around the massive wheels and tires, which in turn surround massive brakes.

This car stops as well at it goes, fortunately. It might be crazy-powerful, but it can be used as practical everyday transportation if you like. Just plan on lots of fill-ups at the pump, as the official EPA fuel economy is estimated at a dismal 12 mpg in city driving, and 15 mpg combined. (Highway fuel economy is officially rated at 21 mpg.) That gets the car slapped with a federal gas guzzler tax at purchase, which helps push the sticker price to over $80,000.

Some might wonder how a car company can ONLY make fuel-thirsty muscle cars. Well, Dodge is not a car company, but a brand, part of the overall company Stellantis. They have other brands to suit other tastes, so it was decided sometime back that Dodge would be their "muscle" brand.

And with that, they've now given the big-power treatment to the Dodge SUV, the Durango.

Also new for 2021 is the Durango Hellcat. Sorry, it doesn't have 797 horsepower; you'll have to get by with "only" 710 horsepower, also from a supercharged V8.

But if you need to haul the family around, Dodge claims this is the most powerful production SUV ever.

Sure, that fire-breathing V8 has to move more weight, but all-wheel drive at least gives you a fighting chance of putting the power to the pavement. And after you cough up the $80,000 base price, you'll have to cough up a lot more for lots and lots of 91 octane gasoline, with EPA fuel economy estimates of 13 city and 19 highway. On the practical side, it can tow up to 8700 pounds, so it can serve those needs as well.

So if you think having a family and driving a muscle car don't go hand-in-hand, Dodge says otherwise. With four doors...or four doors and six seats. And lots of horses under each hood.
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