Popular culture wants us to believe that everyone needs a crossover. These unsightly boxes have put a dent into the SUV market, which has made the big automakers go to extremes to keep them viable. This is where the Super SUVs have gained a cult following. Jeep has a history of building powerful Grand Cherokees. The latest example was just revealed at the New York Auto Show, and it packs serious power into a potent chassis.
The first super Jeep was the 5.9-liter Limited Edition in 1998. It used a modernized version of the Chrysler 360 small block to send 345 lb-ft of torque to all wheels. Next up was the SRT-8 Grand Cherokee which packed the 6.1 liters Hemi from 2006 to 2010. They are coveted by collectors because of launch control along with 420 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. When the Hellcat arrived with 707 horsepower, Jeepers began asking how they could get in on the fun. The usual response would be a “sorry, not sorry” from the engineers because of fuel economy standards, but SRT chose to build something wild.
Jeep’s 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will arrive with the Hellcat power and 645 lb-ft of torque. The press release also mentions the cast iron block is cooled by a water jacket around the cylinders– what a groundbreaking innovation! Stuffing a monster motor into a stock Jeep is a recipe for destruction, so the eight-speed automatic transmission was beefed up along with the transfer case and axles. Launch control returns, but now it has an ace in the hole. A new torque reserve system builds boost by killing half the cylinders and leaving the supercharger wide open. Much like a two-step used in drag racing, it allows the engine to launch at full boost.
To make sure it stays cool, the fog lights were deleted to direct more air at the radiators. Trackhawk rides one inch lower on Bilstein adaptive suspension. Brembo brakes are the largest ever (13.78″) offered on a Jeep to provide a 60-0 of only 114 feet. Gloss black accents in the headlights and rear diffuser offer a menacing appearance, and the quad tip exhaust will be heard for miles. The only response from the competition was Chevrolet announcing the Escalade’s 6.2 will be offered in the Tahoe, but it will need a Z06 transplant to even be in the same ballpark. If you want a beastly Jeep, our dealers will have all the info. Stay with us for more Mopar news and coverage of the NY Auto Show.