BEAST UNLEASHED - Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
The most badass Jeep on the planet has landed and packs more power than a 911 GT2 RS
For some reason, whenever I think of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, ‘Mike Tyson comes to mind. Maybe because the Trackhawk, like ‘Iron Mike’, is a little rough around the edges, but holy hell it packs an unrivalled punch. Just like ‘Iron Mike’, the Trackhawk isn’t about finesse, it’s about handing out beatings more brutal than anything else out there.
And like Mike Tyson’s boxing career, the Trackhawk is all about statistics. The brawny SUV boasts some truly incredible outputs – 522kw and a staggering 875nm. As a result, the ‘King of SUVs’ runs the benchmark 0-100kph sprint in just 3.5 seconds, dusts the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds, and tops out at 290kph.
Whereas the regular Grand Cherokee SRT uses a naturally-aspirated 6.4-litre V8 to produce 344kw and 624nm, the Trackhawk dwarf’s its sibling with its stupendous amount of power. In fact, the only performance SUVs that comes close in terms of performance is the R3.5million Lamborghini Urus which produces 478kw and the R4million Bentley Bentayga whose 6.0-litre W12 powerplant produces 447kw.
To put things into perspective, the Trackhawk is more powerful than most exotic supercars. After all, Dodge transplanted the supercharged 6.2-litre V8 from the Dodge Challenger Hellcat into the Grand Cherokee. But unlike the Hellcat, the Trackhawk sends power to all four wheels, via an upgraded TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. Handling is enhanced by the fitment of Bilstein adaptive damping suspension, with the Selec-Trac system offering five drive modes.
As you would expect, the entire driveline has been strengthened to cope with the insane power, while traction is aided by the fitment of an electronic limited-slip rear differential as well as a single-speed active transfer case. The Trackhawk is also equipped with the Jeep Quadra-Trac on-demand four-wheel-drive system, which includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential and a single-speed active transfer case.
This muscular Yank is anything but stealthy. Like its SRT sibling, it screams out aggression from the top of the hills. While it doesn’t look too different from the SRT, the Trackhawk is distinguished by body-coloured wheel flares and side sill cladding, a sculpted hood with dual heat extractors, and 20-inch (10J wide) Titanium-finish wheels that contrast with massive yellow Brembo calipers. 6-pot calipers up front paired with 400mm rotors, and 4-pots coupled with 350mm rotors at the rear haul the big SUV to standstill from 100kph in just 35m.
Standard Trackhawk safety and security features include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop; Advanced Brake Assist; Blind-spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path Detection; Full-speed Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation; Front and Rear Park Assist; Lane Departure Warning-Plus; Ready Alert Braking and SiriusXM Guardian and Roadside Assistance buttons. It’s even capable of towing just under 3 tons!
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is available in nine exterior colours: Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Diamond Black, Ivory Tri-coat, Bright White, Velvet Red and True Blue. The SUV comes standard with every ‘possible option’ fitted as standard, with the only optional extras being a choice of exclusive colours – Rhino and Redline 2.
Relative to its core rivals, the Trackhawk is actually priced very fairly. A fully-loaded Trackhawk will set you back a cool R2.2 million. When you consider that the BMW X6 M is priced at R2 054 457, the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe at R2 267 127, and the Range Rover Sport SVR at R2 281 335 – all before any options are added – the Trackhawk, which aside from being significantly more powerful and a far rarer sight, makes a knockout case for itself.
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