Jeep has introduced a new Grand Cherokee SUV to specifically give some serious competition to the Mercedes AMG GL SUV, the Range Rover Sport SVR, and BMW X5 M. And the number speaks for themselves: With a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine that spits out 520 kW of power, with 875 Nm of torque, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is faster and powerful than any of its current competitors in the premium SUV market. It is no wonder it is already being described as “the most powerful and quickest SUV ever”, by Fiat Chrysler Automobile.
The Trackhawk’ supercharged engine is mated to an upgraded high-torque capacity TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, and provide world-class on-road driving dynamics thanks to new Brembo brakes to deliver a new level of performance of sprinting to 96 km/h in 3.5 seconds, crossing a quarter mile in 11.6 seconds at 186 km/h, and reach a top speed of 288 km/h.
Only there is one problem. The car is only set for release to the public next year and thus far Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are yet to confirm whether or not they would manufacture the model for southern Africa.
But should Fiat Chrysler Automobiles decide to bring this monster to southern Africa, there is surely guaranteed to be pandemonium at racetracks in Windhoek and Rehoboth. The Trackhawk is even fitted with gear select option for ‘track’, to give serious headaches to other SUV who happen to show off at on the racetracks.
In ‘Track’ mode the transmission shift times are reduced 68 percent to 160 milliseconds for a quick automatic gear changing, stability control is enhanced to take on those hair-spin bends at insane speeds, the four-wheel-drive and steering systems are set for ultimate track performance. The paddle shifters are enabled and suspension is set to full firm to deliver maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces. And the noise is guaranteed to be deafening.
According to the manufacturer the Trackhawk will be equipped with the Jeep Quadra-Trac on-demand four-wheel-drive system, which includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential and a single-speed active transfer case. The new, full-time active transfer case uses forged steel chain sprockets and a wider chain for added strength and durability.
For cruising around the town, the Trackhawk rides one inch lower than non-SRT Grand Cherokee models and is further set apart with body-coloured wheel flares, side sill cladding and a sculpted hood with dual heat extractors.
The signature seven-slot upper front grille is flanked by adaptive, bi-xenon headlamps and surrounded by an LED character lamp treatment. The headlamps on the Trackhawk model feature a unique Gloss Black background to accent their jewel-like appearance
And, no, this SUV would not have front fog lights. They look nice, manufacturer agrees, but the front fascia needed to be cluster free to optimise airflow to cooling modules and air induction without compromising the vehicle’s balance.
From behind are four-inch Black Chrome quad exhaust tips that would provide an exhilarating and unmistakable exhaust note during maximum acceleration, a sound that would surely tell the men from the boys upon any acceleration.
Inside the driver-focused interior features premium soft-touch materials, unique Light Black Chrome finishes and carbon fibre spears, and a 7-inch driver information display (DID) instrument cluster, which features the tachometer in the middle. The 322 km/h speedometer is on the left side of the cluster.
The Trackhawk features standard Nappa leather and suede seats with an embroidered “Trackhawk” logo. A fully wrapped Signature Leather Interior Package with “Trackhawk” embossed on the seats, optional in black and Trackhawk-exclusive black and Dark Ruby Red is available. Seats are also heated (front and rear) and ventilated (front). Dark Ruby Red seatbelts and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof are also available options. It would have connection ability to Apple, with Siri Voice control, Android Auto with Google Maps and Google Play Music.