Jeep CEO Mike Manley (possibly the most fitting last name ever for a Jeep boss) confirmed yesterday that the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, shown here, would get a Hellcat variant by the end of 2017. Speaking to racing driver Brian Makse at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Manley guaranteed the 6.2L supercharged V-8 would find its way into the Grand Cherokee, confirming suspicions that have been around since the engine’s debut. We hope a max-performance Grand Cherokee will wear the Trackhawk badge, because it’s just too cool a name to waste.
The Hellcat V-8 produces 707 hp in the Challenger and Charger, but we’d bet a Jeep version would be detuned slightly to suit the SUV’s different priorities, just as the Grand Cherokee SRT’s V-8 produces 475 hp, compared to the 485 found in the equivalent Dodge sports cars. But even if output for the Grand Cherokee Hellcat dropped to 650 hp, it would still be the most powerful SUV on the market today. The Range Rover Sport SVR produces 550 hp, while the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S makes 570 hp. The current king of the hill in terms of power is the Mercedes-AMG G65, which throws out 621 hp. We don’t expect the Benz to be dethroned in terms of torque any time soon though, as its twin-turbocharged V-12 can twist out 738 lb-ft compared to the Hellcat V-8’s 650 lb-ft.
Any increase in power would be accompanied by commensurate driveline and suspension improvements. Chrysler’s TorqueFlite HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission might be adequate for the Grand Cherokee’s all-wheel-drive platform, and we’d bet Jeep will extensively retune the SUV’s Selec-Track transfer case to suit the higher output of the Hellcat V-8. Plan on a lower, stiffer suspension and upsized brakes, to help keep the “Trackhawk” shiny-side-up.
With less than two years on the clock (per Manley’s prediction), we’ll know what Jeep has up its sleeve for the Hellcat V-8 soon enough. Now, about that Ram version...
Source: Brian Makse, via YouTube