Mini road test: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
We get behind the wheel of the 'quickest, most powerful SUV ever', which boasts 707hp
Think Jeep, and most of us will automatically start visualising tough, dusty off-roading, such as that we experienced in the new Wrangler. Except for one group of loons at the American manufacturer, who clearly prefer their kicks on harder ground, ideally of professional motor-racing standard.
Jeep claims that its new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the quickest, most powerful SUV ever. It is following in a burgeoning tradition at the Fiat-Chrysler group for jamming impolite amounts of power into their vehicles, quite often of the variety that you wouldn’t immediately associate with horsepower figures more usually found in supercars.
That stat in the Trackhawk? Oh, no big deal – just 707hp. That’s the same as in tyre-thrashing hooligan muscle car the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. It comes courtesy of the Trackhawk’s supercharged 6.2-litre V8, which also means 875Nm of torque and 0-to-100kph in 3.7 seconds. To put that into further context, the SUV is hardly a featherweight – it tips the scales at the best part of two-and-a-half tonnes.
Sound sort of familiar? Well, we recently reviewed its seven-seater cousin, the Dodge Durango SRT, although that brand of enjoyable crazy is comfortably eclipsed by the Trackhawk’s prowess.
Fittingly for such a speedy SUV, I get behind the wheel in and around the grounds of a Formula One circuit: the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
For something this potent, there isn’t actually the aural fireworks that you might expect to assault your eardrums – the exhausts only really spit back at you on enthusiastic upshifts, however hard you try to encourage such histrionics under deceleration, even in Sport or Track driving modes.
The whine of the supercharger is distinctly unsexy, meanwhile, but crikey, does the Trackhawk move, noises or otherwise. Please do keep your skull pushed against the headrest when you abuse the right-hand pedal, because otherwise your neck might just get snapped.
In the contoured landscapes of Austria, you are only ever seemingly a few minutes away from terrain fit to test any car, but we wisely go nowhere near a mountainside in the Trackhawk. Picture putting 707hp along a muddy, tree-lined track: it would be the most fun final few minutes of your life imaginable. A head-to-head with Lamborghini’s Urus surely awaits.
Updated: July 26, 2018 06:56 PM