Jeep keeps up grand pace

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By BRUCE McMA­HON

JEEP’S next gravel-shred­ding SRT8 Grand Chero­kee should land here by mid-2011.

Chrysler Aus­tralia has con­firmed the hot-rodded SUV is slated to top off the new Grand Chero­kee fleet in the sec­ond quar­ter of this year.

And 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 0-100km/h in about 4.8 sec­onds, aided by a stump­pulling 630Nm of torque fed through a per­ma­nent four­wheel drive sys­tem.

And as be­fore, the SRT8 wagon is not for rock­climb­ing or mud-plug­ging — it’s just for get­ting places with a de­cent amount of pace.

Jeep’s five-speed auto, with pad­dle shifts, has been re­worked with re­vised ra­tios; coil springs and Bil­stein dampers have been fit­ted all round, and the Grand Chero­kee chas­sis has been stiff­ened by some 25 per cent.

There are big Brembo brakes and a lock­able rear dif­fer­en­tial, plus three driver-se­lectable sus­pen­sion modes to best keep the SRT8 at the right sort of attitude for dif­fer­ent tasks.

Un­til then, the all-new 3.7 litre V6 and 5.7 litre V8 Grand

Jeep’s five-speed auto, with pad­dle shifts, has been re­worked with re­vised ra­tios; coil springs and Bil­stein dampers have been fit­ted all round, and the Grand Chero­kee chas­sis has been stiff­ened by some 25 per cent

Chero­kees are keep­ing Chrysler Aus­tralia busy.

‘‘We can’t get enough of Grand Chero­kee at the mo­ment,’’ says Chrysler Aus­tralia’s mar­ket­ing man­ager Dean Bon­thorne.

‘‘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, priced less than $70,000.

Jeep’s lat­est hot-rodded SRT8 Grand Chero­kee is ex­pected to un­der­cut the $90,000 price mark

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