What is it? As with the previous-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, the range for the current model will be topped by an SRT8 version fusing muscle-car performance into the SUV. And just as the 2011 Grand Cherokee kicked it up a notch, so does the 2012 SRT8, with performance numbers that seem borrowed from the Dodge side of the corporate garage.
The Grand Cherokee SRT8 is powered by a 465-horsepower, 6.4-liter V-8 engine with a matching 465 lb.-ft. of torque. All that power enables a claimed 0-60 mph blast in 4.8 seconds, a feat that few factory muscle cars in history could match. Jeep officials cite a heroic 0-100-0 time in the mid 16 seconds.
The Hemi V-8 includes cylinder deactivation to conserve fuel, as on other Chrysler eight-cylinder engines. And it is a good thing, too, as achieving those numbers will clearly demand steady gasoline diet.
The Grand Cherokee is treated to a full suite of suspension, brake, and interior updates befitting an SRT8 model. The suspension features active damping, controlled via the Selec-Track system that allows the driver to dial in the personality, affecting shifts, torque transfer, limited slip, and throttle.
What’s new or notable? As formidable as the Grand Cherokee sounds, literally, and with its muscle-car-grade performance, it still seems notable that as a Jeep, there is no “trail” mode on Selec-Track. Clearly, this model is engineered true to the performance division designation for Street and Racing Technology.
When will it be available? Third quarter 2011