After years of speculation, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has finally debuted with the same 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 in Dodge’s Hellcat models. This means the SUV has 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque and is able to get to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, which is not only impressive for an SUV, but impressive even by sports car standards. The Trackhawk does the quarter-mile in 11.6 seconds at 116 mph and tops out at 180 mph.
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Up until now, the Bentley Bentayga was the world’s most powerful SUV with its W12 engine pushing 600 hp and getting the luxury SUV to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, a full half-second slower than the new Trackhawk and for a lot more money. We’re curious to see how it compares to the Tesla Model X, which can get to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds.
“The Jeep Grand Cherokee is now the most powerful and quickest SUV as well,” said Jeep boss Mike Manley in a news release. “The new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk delivers astounding performance numbers … with luxury, refinement and an array of innovative advanced technology.”
Of course, the Trackhawk gets performance upgrades all around, starting with bigger 15.75-inch Brembo brakes up front, which are the biggest front brakes ever on a Jeep. The eight-speed transmission has also been made more robust to handle the increased torque over the already bonkers SRT model, a stronger rear axle, a new quad exhaust setup, a functional cold air scoop, a more robust front suspension, and more. The fog lights have also been taken out to allow more air intake and cooling, while the ride height is 1-inch lower than the standard Grand Cherokee.
Like the upcoming Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk features a Torque Reserve launch-control feature that holds the supercharger bypass valve open briefly, while cutting spark and fuel to specific cylinders. This system limits torque before the brake is released, helping the SUV jump out of the gate.
The Trackhawk also gets five driving modes: Automatic, Sport, Track, Tow, and Snow, and a custom mode. In Track mode, power is split 30/70 front to back, and in Automatic mode, the split is 40/60. Towing capacity is still rated at 7,200 lbs.
Inside is pretty standard fare for Jeep Grand Cherokee models, expect “Trackhawk” branding stitched into the seats and the big UConnect infotainment screen gets Performance Pages, which helps monitor and log performance.
The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will make its public debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show and should arrive at dealers in the last quarter of this year. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but we can expect something in the mid-$80,000s in the U.S., which seems like a bargain when you consider the slower and less powerful Bentley Bentayga costs more than $200,000.