Jeep gets grander
Hot-rodded American SUV tops the new range due here next year
JEEP’S next gravel-shredding SRT8 Grand Cherokee is expected to land here by mid-2012.
Chrysler Australia has confirmed the hot-rodded SUV as the rangetopper of the new Grand Cherokee fleet due in the second quarter of next year— at a price expected to undercut the $90,000 charged for the outgoing SRT8.
The 346kW, 6.4-litre Hemi V8 is claimed to top 240km/h and jump from 0 to 100kmh in about 4.8 seconds, aided by a stump-pulling 630Nm of torque fed through a permanent four-wheel-drive system. As before, the SRT8 wagon is not for rock-climbing or mudplugging, just for getting places with a decent amount of pace.
Jeep’s five-speed automatic, with paddle shifts, has been reworked with revised ratios. Coil springs and Bilstein dampers are fitted all round and the Grand Cherokee chassis is about 25 per cent stiffer.
There are big Brembo brakes, a lockable rear differential and three driver-selectable suspension modes to keep the SRT8 tidy.
Meanwhile, Chrysler Australia is being kept more than busy with the all-new 3.7-litre V6 and 5.7-litre V8 Grand Cherokees. Chrysler Australia marketing manager Dean Bonthorne said: ‘‘ We can’t get enough of Grand Cherokee at the moment.
‘‘ With that $45,000 starting price for the Laredo, and mixing it with the [Toyota] Kluger and [Ford] Territory, it’s an absolute winner.’’
The next wagon to roll in will be a ‘‘ bells and whistles’’ Overland version of the Grand Cherokee— and for less than $70,000.
Grand Cherokee SRT8: Not for rock-climbing or mud-plugging, just for getting places with a decent amount of pace