High-performance SUVs used to be anomalies, now they’re becoming much more commonplace. Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Bentley, Maserati, Land Rover and many other automakers are getting in the high-powered SUV game. Jeep is typically associated with off-road prowess, but even it gets in on the action with the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
The brand’s close ties to other Fiat Chrysler products means the Jeep engineers have access to some seriously powerful engines and the know-how of the guys that run SRT. The Trackhawk has the Dodge Hellcat engine under its hood, making this one of the most insanely fast SUVs for the money.
A Jeep With 707 Horsepower?
Yep. This Jeep packs a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 under the hood that’s good for 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque. The supercharger adds 11.6 psi of boost to the eight cylinders and makes a forlorn wail as it does so. Pair that with the raucous, angry exhaust note and you have the soundtrack to your own personal racetrack. Suddenly everything is exciting. All you have to do is put your foot down.
To manage all that power, engineers put in a bunch of new powertrain components, including a tougher transmission, transfer case, driveshaft, differential and more. All that extra kit adds a lot of weight, so the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk gets SRT suspension that has been stiffened. Stopping power is supplied by six-piston calipers and 15.7-inch rotors up front and four-piston calipers and 13.8-inch rotors in the rear.
With the focus on performance, you might think that Jeep went cheap on the inside, but that’s not the case. It offers high-grade leather throughout the cabin and attractive hard-touch materials as well. While it’s no Mercedes-Benz or Porsche, few will complain about the level of high-grade materials in the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
Not Just a Monster
The Uconnect infotainment system is top-notch as well, with all the connectivity features you could want including navigation. On the center console, you have the drive mode selector. This allows you to put the car in different drive modes depending on the road conditions. It also allows you to access Launch Control, which helps you get the best possible launch off the line.
The stiffer suspension makes for a harsher ride than the typical Grand Cherokee, but that doesn’t mean it’s uncivilized. Over rough pavement, you get bounced around only slightly. If you want something that’s a riot to drive, upscale inside, practical and reasonably comfortable when you’re not burning rubber, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is it.