Jeep Track­hawk

Europe can keep its fancy tur­bos and hy­brid what­nots – in Amer­ica the su­per­charged V8 is king. But things are get­ting a lit­tle out of hand...

Top Gear (UK) - - CONTENTS -

It’s of­cial: Amer­ica is god­damn drunk on horse­power. Just a month af­ter un­veil­ing the de­ranged, wheel­iepop­ping 840bhp Dodge De­mon, the FCA group has now de­cided to drop Dodge’s won­drous 707bhp, su­per­charged 6.2-litre HEMI V8 from the Hell­cat into some­thing un­usual. Ev­ery­body, brace your­self for the Jeep Grand Chero­kee Track­hawk: the world’s most pow­er­ful and quick­est SUV.

Want some num­bers to chew on? How about 0–60mph in 3.5 sec­onds, quar­ter-mile in 11.6 sec­onds (at 116 mph), top speed of 180mph, 60–0mph in a dash­board-head-butting 35m and 0.88g pulled on the skid­pad. All in a car that’s meant to be a pre­mium way to tot­tle over rocks.

With Fer­rari and Lam­borgh­ini-ri­valling power – plus 645lb ft of torque – some sub­stan­tial beefng up has had to hap­pen to pre­vent the Grand Chero­kee’s chas­sis look­ing like a cheese twist with each squirt of the throt­tle. The 8spd au­to­matic trans­mis­sion has been strength­ened, rear drive­shaft bol­stered and con­nected to a stronger, stifer rear axle and the adap­tive Bil­stein adap­tive dampers have been re­worked to stop it wib­ble-wob­bling like jelly on a plate.

To help try to shave of that 180mph top speed be­fore you hit some­thing im­mov­able, Brembo was called upon to pro­vide the largest-ever front brakes ft­ted to a Jeep – whop­ping 400mm two-piece vented ro­tors with six-pis­ton yel­low calipers. Then there’s the noise. A ca­coph­ony of su­per­charger whirr and head-bang­ing V8 woomph.

Like all proper Jeeps, the Track­hawk is 4WD with an elec­tronic lim­ited-slip dif at the back and a sin­gle-speed ac­tive trans­fer case. The torque split varies de­pend­ing on what mode you’re in, but in the most hard­core Track set­ting, you’ve got a 30:70 front-rear split. Given that the lower-pow­ered SRT Chero­kee is more than happy wag­ging its booty and

lift­ing a front wheel, we’re sure that this much more pow­er­ful Track­hawk will also oblige.

Looks mean, too. Swollen with wider arches, side sill cladding and a sculpted hood with two nos­trils to help ex­tract the colos­sal heat pro­duced from the ram­pant su­per­charged V8. And if you look closely, the fog lights have been deleted and there’s a scoop in­te­grated into the front bumper, both al­low­ing for plenty of air to be sucked into the 92mm throt­tle body and su­per­charger. Out the back, there are four black chrome ex­hausts.

The in­side has been jazzed up with red and black leather suede seats com­plete with ‘Track­hawk’ em­blems, a speedo that reads all the way to 200mph and four­ishes of car­bon fbre. Com­fort and func­tion are taken care of thanks to plenty of dis­plays, Ap­ple CarPlay and all the cubby holes you’d ex­pect from a fam­ily of-roader.

So, a pro­duc­tion Jeep with su­per­car power and the safety of a fac­tory war­ranty.

Don’t be fooled by squishy leather arm­chairs – this won’t be a re­lax­ing ride

Is there any­thing that can’t be im­proved by adding a Hell­cat en­gine? Nope

Soon to be a highly un­likely sight at ev­ery drag strip across Amer­ica

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