"We are still dealing with physics below. I just want you to bear in mind that." So says Erich Heuschele, manager of SRT vehicle dynamics, to the 20 or so authors he's about to turn loose on a racetrack in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. We're managing physics, sure, yet additionally an earnest initiative to defy them with equivalent parts horse power and insanity. State "707-horsepower Jeep" to any individual who hasn't already been listening as well as they just shake a finger into an ear as well as squint at you. "Huh?".
That exact same expression, the one with the big number lashed to that old military word, carries the magical power to convince even the most jaded car writers to pull back from the lobster roll and also put on a balaclava. We did own the maximum Jeep on public roads, yet it says "track" right there in the name, so we likewise struck Club Motorsports, a New Hampshire club track so new that crews were still setting up Armco obstacles the week prior to we showed up. It's a 2.5-mile StairMaster that works its way backwards and forwards 250 feet of altitude modification at a maximum 14 percent grade. Maintaining his brand-new Trackhawks from bending that fresh Armco is something about which Heuschele cares deeply.
The topography, on the other hand-- nobody's also concerned about that. Few things squash the hills fairly similar to this much horsepower. Ridiculous as it may be, the 707-hp Hellcat engine must at least know now. Down 251 cubic centimeters compared with Mopar's naturally aspirated SRT engine, it's a 6.2-liter V-8 capped with a 2.4-liter IHI supercharger, which stuffs those 8 cylinders with 11.6 psi of boost. In the Trackhawk, it makes its full complement of horse power however sheds five pound-feet of torque-- to 645-- because of a more limiting exhaust system.
Caught up in a sledgehammer fight against the V-8, engineers applied the very same blunt-force mentality to the rest of the powertrain: There's a beefier transmission and also a stouter transfer case, plus a reinforced rear driveshaft, half-shafts, Curriculum Vitae joints, as well as differential. The front axle coincides as the normal SRT Jeep's. That transmission is still a ZF eight-speed, currently christened 8HP95 and officially rated to take care of up to 811 pound-feet of torque. The transfer situation courses torque ahead with a wider chain than in the naturally aspirated SRT, with forged-steel sprockets instead of powdered-metal ones. Tube-wall thickness is up on the rear driveshaft, as well as the differential housing gains an install, going from 3 to 4. Inside, the diff itself goes from 2 spider equipments to 4, with a modified tooth geometry for better stamina. The Hellcat engine alone outweighs its normally aspirated brother by 108 pounds, and also whatever aft of it adds an additional 105, inning accordance with Jeep. Yet that's for identically equipped lorries. At 5258 pounds, this Trackhawk really considers less than the last Grand Cherokee SRT we evaluated (at 5291 pounds), which was outfitted with a scenic sunroof.
Like the Challenger Demon, the Trackhawk obtains the so-called Torque Reserve function to aid establishing. With launch control involved as well as the Jeep brake-torqued, this system reduces gas to private cylinders, allowing the engine to rev greater and also the supercharger to develop more increase-- 6.4 psi as it rests at the line. Lift your foot off the brake as well as the Trackhawk will certainly squawk all 4 295/45ZR -20 Pirellis on its way to a 3.5-second zero-to-60-mph time. We couldn't match Jeep's 11.6-second-at-116-mph insurance claim for the quarter-mile; our best run took 12.0 seconds at 115 miles per hour. However the Trackhawk's acceleration made Club Motorsports' 14 percent grade really feel as flat as it searches in Google Maps' 2D view-- where, incidentally, the track still appears as a dirt whole lot as of this writing. We told you it was new. Our one grievance concerning the engine is that we want extra blower gripe when we mat the accelerator. There's a great little bit under lighter lots, but at full throttle, it fades behind a surging gargle gun of an exhaust roar so strong it sounds as if the tailpipes are clearing into the cabin. The call is coming from inside the house!Barging pull back Club Motorsports' hillsides demonstrates the rest of the Trackhawk's ability. It keeps the SRT's control-arm front and also multilink back suspension format, however the springs are 9 percent stiffer in advance and also 15 percent stiffer out back. Not unusual for something so hefty and also with so much rubber at each edge, it's quite secure-- a desirable characteristic on a course with lots of camber variances. However toe the brake and also it'll rotate. Lay into the brake as well as it'll dance disconcertingly, also in a straight line. The steering is a touch sluggish but hefty sufficient for noticeable weight to bleed off as the nose begins to wash out. We half anticipated to locate a fresh furrow raked around our skidpad after the Trackhawk turned 0.89 g, and also 2.6-ton cars do not usually quit from 70 miles per hour in simply 168 feet without at the very least one significant impact. That figure could be also shorter if the Trackhawk weren't shy on securing pressure. ABS never involved no matter just how hard we stomped the pedal. Defining his stopping tests, assistant technology editor David Beard pantomimed gliding under his lap belt with both feet reaching toward the bottom of the footwell.
At 15.7 inches, the Trackhawk's aluminum-hat front blades expand 0.8 inch over those on the naturally aspirated SRT Grand Cherokee. The rears, at 13.8 inches, stay the very same. Six-piston front and also four-piston rear calipers are utilized on both sport-utes, yet the Trackhawk's get a layer of yellow paint. Jeep wishes you like it, due to the fact that it's what you get no matter outside color or wheel selection.
Those yellow calipers are one of the Trackhawk's couple of exterior tells. Others consist of the removed fog lights, their nests burrowed for an oil colder where the ideal one utilized to live, and a cold-air intake at the previous address of the left one. A brand-new back fascia accommodates the quad exhaust outlets. There's a refined "Trackhawk" badge on the lower-right corner of the liftgate and "supercharged" manuscript below the Grand Cherokee lettering on the front doors. There are Trackhawk logos on the sillplates as well as the seats, a 200-mph speedometer-- hopeful by only 20 ticks-- and a readily available model-exclusive red-and-black inside.
The remainder of the cabin is typical SRT Grand Cherokee price: roomy, with comfortable sitting front and rear and a substantial cargo hold. There's a reason the Grand Cherokee is one of the very popular SUVs in the country, and those 200,000 or so annual purchasers typically aren't making poor decisions. A minimum of in this situation. While the Trackhawk's stiffer trip is noticeable on New England's bumpy nation two-lanes, it's not so severe as to be a turn-off.
Yet the Trackhawk offsets its 707-hp mating call with an inevitable growth: its $86,995 base cost. That's $17,905 greater than what you'll pay to obtain a Hellcat in a Charger and also $20,405 greater than it sets you back in a Challenger. The Trackhawk is almost as fast as both of those, as well as it's much more comfortable. Plus it'll tow 7200 extra pounds, sufficient to let you bring the Hellcat of your option along on a trailer-- even if it's a spare Trackhawk. The problem comes when you start adding options as well as take a look at similarly valued efficiency SUVs. It's not tough to top $100,000 with a Trackhawk. No, the BMW X5 M and also the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 don't have horsepower ratings starting with lucky number 7, but they're in the very same efficiency ballpark and also offer more gloss and also better-- if wholly different-- status. Unless, certainly, a purchaser just wants the Hellcat mania in a convenient plan. At a price factor as well as power level where factor has frequently left the structure, that's something we really can recognize.