How much power is enough in an SUV? Jeep, synonymous with making one of the best off-roading vehicle platforms on the planet, has also dabbled in the performance side, taking the crosshair directly to the likes of the X5M, GLE63S, and the Range Rover Sport SVR. All mentioned fantastic vehicles.
The monstrous Grand Cherokee SRT8 has been with us since 2006 and its seen a body change and a facelift over the years, the engine has also increased in size to a mammoth 6.4l making an unmistakeable MOPAR noise. When we first tested the SRT8 WK2 in 2015, we were really impressed with the overall useability of it. The 345kw engine just grumbled along and was happy to just about do anything, cruise, drag race, or scare people at the traffic lights. If you fast forward to 2019 when the first Trackhawk came to South Africa, it was a whole new game. The new Trackhawk is fast, 522kw fast. Who needs a 522kw SUV? Well, you don’t really, but it does not hurt to have bragging rights at the braai right?
Overall the Trackhawk is not that much different externally from the SRT8. Black wheels, yellow Brembo 6 pot calipers, quad-tip exhausts, blacked-out badges and a painted grill with a Supercharged side badge reminds anybody at the robot that this means business. If the lumpy idle is not enough of a giveaway, the tenacious whine of the Supercharged 6.2l Hellcat engine should do it. The power delivery is sledgehammer-like. Floor the accelerator and everybody gets pushed back in their seats, gasping for air; and it will continue to do this right until its claimed top speed of around 290kph. The 0-100kph is claimed at 3.6seconds, but the onboard computer showed 3.3seconds; this from a 2.5 tonne SUV is nothing short of breathtaking, see, gasping for air again.
To feed all those horses – 707 of them, you need a lot of fuel. 93liters to be exact. This Jeep drinks much like any other vehicle with this sort of power; you don’t even think about the economy. For those that do care, we saw a very impressive 13l/100kph when you keep it in granny mode, overall expect to see about 16/17l/100km if you don’t rip up the tar on every green light.
The interior is still very much the same, with full electric leather heated and cooled seats, for both driver and passenger, as well as rear occupants. The steering wheel is also heated and electronically adjustable, something I’ve not seen very much in recent years. The parking brake is foot-operated and my only gripe is it interferes with where I rest my left foot. Its just something to nitpick on, I guess.
At the heart of it, its still a Grand Cherokee, which makes it spacious and comfortable. The Supercharged 522kw Hellcat engine just puts the Cherry on top for me and makes it one helluva experience.
At R2 200 000 the Jeep Trackhawk is not cheap but there is nothing else like it on the road. You either love it or hate it, I love it.