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...
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