If you are like most people, when you see the words “Grand Cherokee” pressed together, you tend to imagine the typical Jeep SUV -four doors, a rear lift gate, maybe a spot of leather, and you wouldn’t be far from the truth. Until now. In accordance with the brand’s hard hitting marketing campaign where FCA attempts to shock and awe consumers with a barrage of insanely powerful (think Hellcat and Demon) vehicles it seems that Jeep has been invited to the party.. The Demon claims the World’s fastest production car 0-60, fastest production car ¼ mile, highest horsepower production V8 ever produced and the list goes on and on, but I digress. We aren’t here to talk about an 840 hp Challenger, but just how far off track am I? The Grand Cherokee TrackHawk is insanely fast in its own right, establishing new performance records for SUV’s. And here’s how.
The big Jeep’s incredible performance owes itself to a number of techno gadgets and, more importantly, a supercharged 6.2 liter V8 with an astronomical 700 hp and 645 lb/ft of torque. It’s enough to catapult the TrackHawk to a record breaking 3.5 second 0-60 jaunt, a very quick quarter mile time of 11.6 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph. That’s just insane!
The 8-speed automatic transmission features Auto/Sport/Track/Tow/Snow configurations to match the characteristics of each terrain. In Track mode, gear changes take place in as little as 160 milliseconds splitting torque to 30% front and 70% to the rear. It’s impressive that at this level of performance, the Grand Cherokee TrackHawk can still tow 7200 lbs. So, you can have a track day on Saturday, then tow the boat out to the lake on Sunday. Isn’t technology grand?
Suspension and Brakes
The front suspension consists of the Bilstein adaptive-damping-suspension (ADS) system, short and long independent arms with coil springs. The rear contains a multilink with coil arrangement, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), a separate toe link. A hollow stabilizer bar rounds things out. Stopping duties are handled by a massive set of Brembo binders good enough for a 60-0 distance of 114 ft -very respectable for any SUV, or most passenger vehicles.
Appearance is enhanced with a one inch lower ride height (as compared to non-SRT models), a sculpted hood with heat extractors, and adaptive bi-xenon headlamps surrounded by an LED lamp treatment. A set of quad exhaust pipes exit at the rear providing a unique sound under full song. A set of 20x10 light weight aluminum wheels provide a 12 lb weight reduction, and are wrapped in 295/45ZR20 tires, either Scorpion Verde all-season or Pirelli P Zero three season.
Available paint options include: Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Diamon Black, Ivory Tri-coat, Bright White, Velvet Red, Rhino, Redline 2, and True Blue.
A race inspired three spoke steering wheel with flat bottom provides a sporty feel, while sitting in the Nappa leather and suede seats with embroidered “Trackhawk” logo -seat logos are all the rage, but we’re still not convinced. In typical Grand Cherokee fashion, there are some luxury items remaining. Including standard active noise cancellation, premium headliner, leather stitched instrument panel, doors, center console and armrest, Berber floor mats and available dual screen rear seat entertainment center with Blu-ray -because noise cancellation doesn’t work on kids. The Audio system is stout, boasting an 825 watt, Harman Kardon with 19 speakers and two subwoofers.
The TrackHawk is by no means an off road vehicle by design. Although, it is filled with all sorts of bells and whistles to keep it moving forward when the going gets tough, ground clearance and tiny sidewalls keep it from following even the base model Grand Cherokee off road. But that’s not really what this vehicle was built for. If you are looking for a high performance driving experience without the space constraints of a sports car, then the TrackHawk won’t let you down.