Hennessey-Tuned 1,000 HP Dodge Durango Hellcat Falls Short Against BMW M4

Jul 31, 2023 2 min read
Hennessey-Tuned 1,000 HP Dodge Durango Hellcat Falls Short Against BMW M4

It just wasn't enough...

Hennessey Performance Engineering's 1,000-hp upgrade to the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat may seem impressive on paper, but when faced with a quarter-mile sprint against the BMW M4 Competition xDrive, the hefty Durango found itself coming up short. In the high-stakes world of performance vehicles, sheer power doesn't always equate to victory.

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As witnessed in the video evidence below, the Durango's substantial curb weight and less-than-optimal aerodynamics negatively affected its performance. On the other hand, the svelte, green BMW M4 Competition xDrive, armed with an eight-speed automatic transmission similar to the Hennessey H1000 SRT Hellcat Durango, exhibited its prowess on the track.

The crucial difference between these two beasts lies not just in their weights (the BMW at roughly 3,800 pounds (1,724 kilograms) and the Durango tipping the scales at about 5,715 pounds (2,592 kilograms)) but also in their transmission calibration. The brutal launch control in BMWs with this transmission, coupled with the German automaker's unique M xDrive all-wheel-drive system, provides an almost unbeatable advantage. This system also offers a rear-only drive mode for tire-smoking thrill-seekers.

In terms of engine configuration, the M4 Competition xDrive utilizes a six-cylinder engine while the Durango is powered by a larger V8. However, with FCA US LLC shifting its focus towards six-cylinder engines, the V8 will soon be phased out. Chrysler's new Hurricane engine, a twin-turbo six-cylinder powerplant, is already being implemented in models like the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, which share the Ram 1500 platform expected to receive the same engine soon.

As of June 2023, the top-of-the-line Hurricane engine delivers 510 horsepower and 500 pound-feet (678 Nm) of torque, marginally outperforming the M4 Competition xDrive's 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet (650 Nm). However, real-world performance is often starkly different from what's stated on paper, with BMW's inline-six engines known to outperform their officially stated figures.

As both vehicles rocketed from a standstill, the M4 Competition xDrive effortlessly overtook the Durango Hellcat before reaching the finish line. While the Durango's Hennessey-tuned Hellcat upgrade may be a feast for the eyes, the BMW M4's M xDrive system is proving to be a real-world performance winner, offering an outstanding value proposition at $84,940 (excluding the destination charge) in the US market. The Durango SRT Hellcat starts at $97,740, and the Hennessey's H1000 upgrade adds a hefty sum to the price tag, demonstrating once again that power alone doesn't always guarantee success.

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