Jeep's Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee is a rolling monument to horsepower

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Manufacturer image

Jeep has a new version of the Grand Cheroke that will debut at the New York International Auto Show. Apart from the aforementioned 707 HP, the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 engine in the Trailhawk makes 875 Nm of torque. It also features a launch control system that optimises performance by coordinating the engine, transmission, driveline and suspension for consistent take-offs and straight-line acceleration.

The name Trackhawk might sound familiar - Jeep released an off-road-oriented version of the Grand Cherokee previous year called the Trailhawk. Jeep's official estimates are 060 mph in 3.5 seconds, the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds at 116 mph, a top speed of 180 mph, max lateral grip of 0.88 g, and 600-mph braking in 114 feet.

There's also a stronger rear driveshaft connected to a stronger rear axle and diff with revised housing, revised ring-and-pinion tooth geometry, new four-point axle mounting and new ultra-high-strength low-alloy vacuum melted steel half-shafts with upgraded eight-ball outboard constant velocity joints.

As standard the Trackhawk wears 20 x 10-inch wheels wrapped in 295/45 ZR20 rubber, while lightweight rims of the same size and Pirelli P Zero tyres are an option. The auto sits on Bilstein adaptive dampers that can be adjusted through five drive modes, and 20in alloy wheels with 295-width Pirelli tyres. The front grille is new, as are the bi-xenon headlights and quad tip tailpipes. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but we can expect something in the mid-$80,000s in the USA, which seems like a bargain when you consider the slower and less powerful Bentley Bentayga costs more than $200,000.

The engine and transmission have software that gives the SUV the ability to switch to five different driving modes: Automatic, sport, track, tow and snow.

In Tow mode, with a 60:40 front/rear torque split, torque delivery off the line is smoothed out and the suspension is adjusted to combat pitch and yaw for maximum towing performance up to a towing weight of 3273kg.

The Trackhawk will, naturally, have 707 horsepower like other Hellcats. They're there to optimise airflow to cooling modules and the air-gasping supercharger.

Luxury details include Berber carpets, an 8.4-inch Uconnect display, stitched leather dashboard and door panel coverings. The interior also gets some subtle updates in the form of black chrome and carbon fiber trim adorn the inside, while cooled Nappa leather and suede front seats are standard. There's a choice of two audio systems, including an 825-watt Harman Kardon unit with 19-speakers and two subwoofers. The wheels seen here can also be replaced with optional forged aluminium rims, saving just over 5kg a corner in unsprung mass. Paint colours include "Rhino", "True Blue", "Granite Crystal" and "Redline 2".

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