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VIDEO: Bystander Catches Jeep Engineers Testing Grand Cherokee Hellcat

Posted in News on January 21, 2016
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Photographers: Chris Doane Automotive

Hot on the heels of last week’s announcement regarding the inevitability of a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT fit with Chrysler’s supercharged 6.2L Hellcat V-8, some lucky citizen caught the thing testing at a Fiat Chrysler facility.

Although the video is short, the Hellcat’s supercharger whine is immediately apparent, imbuing the engine with a heroic sound unlike any SUV this side of a Mercedes-AMG G63. Also apparent in the quick sound bite is the Grand Cherokee’s wheelspin-less launch, something that’s almost impossible with the rear-wheel-drive Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcat.

That suggests that Jeep engineers are working on an all-wheel-drive system that’s stout enough to handle the Hellcat engine’s prodigious 650 lb-ft. That system would also need to play nice with the 8HP90 transmission found in the Dodge Hellcats, since it’s the only eight-speeder in the company’s stable that can rein in the Hellcat engine.

It’s not certain how Jeep will brand the ne plus ultra of Grand Cherokees. A recent trademark filing suggests the company will use the Trackhawk name, which would keep the brand’s unique image intact (and dovetail nicely with its current lineup of off-road–ready Trailhawk offerings).

Take a look at the video and tell us what you think. Is Jeep on the right track in pursuing German foes like the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and BMW X5M, or should it focus on off-roaders and near-lux SUVs?

Source: Chris Doane Automotive

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