At 0-100 in sub-five sec­onds, this is SA’s fastest Jeep

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - ADRIAN BUR­FORD

This Jeep is the fastest four-wheel-drive ‘off-roader’ in SA.

The rather spe­cial Jeep Grand Chero­kee SRT8 was tested on Gerotek’s famed Long Straight re­cently by notquite-tame race driver Jac­ques ‘The Stiglet’ Jou­bert, where it hum­bled the 0 – 100 km/h sprint in a VBOX-ver­i­fied 4.74 sec­ond.

Then it blitzed to 400 me­tres in 12.85 sec­onds at a ter­mi­nal speed of 177.2 km/ h. And as a fi­nale it dis­patched the stand­ing kilo­me­tre in 23 and-a-bit sec­onds, the 1 000 me­tre board flash­ing by at 230 km/h.

If any­one has a faster road-go­ing, street-legal SUV, it is time to “haal uit en wys …”

Rob Green from RGMo­tor­sport isn’t given to hy­per­bole, but he’s im­pressed at just how fast his team’s lat­est cre­ation is, and in the same test ses­sion it achieved a 0 – 250 km/h sprint time of just un­der 30 sec­onds, only re­quir­ing 1 408 me­tres to get there.

By com­par­i­son, the stock SRT8 — no slouch by any stan­dards — needs an ex­tra 23 sec­onds and 1,3 kilo­me­tres to clock the same speed.

“This is a mon­ster,” says Green with a grin. “But it is a mon­ster which re­mains easy to drive in a nor­mal way in day-to-day traf­fic. We’re in the busi­ness of mak­ing our cus­tomers’ per­for­mance dreams come true, but the re­al­ity of that dream is that they still want a car they can use ev­ery day.”

Of­ten, highly-mod­i­fied ve­hi­cles do sac­ri­fice drive­abil­ity, which is one of the rea­sons RGM takes a holis­tic ap­proach, and make de­ci­sions in con­sul­ta­tion with the client and with one eye firmly on long-term en­joy­ment – that means prop­erly en­gi­neered so­lu­tions that’ll last. Bear­ing tes­ta­ment to this is the suc­cess of projects like the su­per­charged Nis­san 350Z (of which some 33 were suc­cess­fully mod­i­fied) and more re­cently the Toy­ota 86 Su­per­charged, head­ing for the half-cen­tury mark, and count­ing.

Forced in­duc­tion cour­tesy of a su­per­charger is the route most fre­quently cho­sen by RGMo­tor­sport, a so­lu­tion which doesn’t sac­ri­fice re­spon­sive­ness or breadth of power­band, and also of­fers su­pe­rior re­fine­ment. In the case of the SRT8 Jeep an RGM-Whip­ple twins-crew ‘blower’ sits atop the 6.4-litre V8, and has a self-con­tained lu­bri­ca­tion sys­tem as well as a ded­i­cated air to liq­uid in­ter­cooler. An end-to-end RGM-Tech­ni­flow 76 mm ex­haust, high vol­ume cold air in­duc­tion sys­tem, and cus­tomised RGMo­tor­sport en­gine soft­ware fin­ish off what is a 520 kW/1 000Nm pack­age …

Up­grades on the Jeep Grand Chero­kee SRT8 (and the sim­i­larly-en­gined Chrysler 300C SRT8) start from R190 000, in­clud­ing RGMo­tor­sport’s stan­dard six month/20 000 km war­ranty on parts and work­man­ship. More on www.rgmo­tor­


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