While the shouty V8 monster stealing the show in New York is undoubtedly the brilliantly ridiculous Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, it’d be remiss of us not to take a look at its newly revealed FCA stablemate. Yep, it’s that Hellcat-engined Jeep Grand Cherokee ‘Trackhawk’ we’ve been expecting for a while, and it looks rather mighty.
The stats will sound very familiar: we’re looking at 697bhp (or a much neater 707hp) and 645 lb ft of torque, courtesy of a 6.2-litre supercharged V8. 0-60mph takes just 3.5 seconds, and it’ll top out at 180mph. Jeep claims this makes the Trackhawk the quickest SUV ever, and so far as we can think, they’re right.
Thanks to the Grand Cherokee’s on-demand four-wheel drive system it shouldn’t have any trouble besting a Challenger Hellcat in a straight line battle either, thanks to its coupe cousin’s habit of lighting up the rear boots off the line. The Trackhawk is further helped by a ‘Torque Reserve’ system which fiddles with the supercharger bypass valve and spark timing during the launch control sequence to generate “a reserve of torque that can be instantaneously delivered upon acceleration from a standing stop”. Expect to see Hellcat vs Trackhawk drag races popping up on YouTube before too long.
Thankfully, Jeep has done more than just shove a preposterous amount of power through the Trackhawk’s 295-section tyres. The hottest Grand Cherokee gets beefier Brembo brakes, Bilstein adaptive dampers and various other suspension upgrades. The eight-speed automatic gearbox is stronger, too.
It’ll be in US Jeep showrooms by the fourth quarter of 2017, but what about the UK? The Challenger isn’t sold in any form on our shores, but the Grand Cherokee is officially available in right-hand drive in Britain, including the SRT. Nothing’s confirmed yet, but we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed…