SRT- Tuned Jeep Cherokee May Come, But Only If It Can Make Money for Chrysler

The first reviews of the all-new Jeep Cherokee are in, and so far, the car has been praised for both its on- and off-road capabilities, as it seems to be surprisingly talented at doing both – surprising for what is for all intents and purposes, a tall all-wheel drive hatchback.

Now, specifically because it uses a compact hatch’s underpinnings, there may be more in it for Jeep. Currently, their top of the range Cherokee is the off-road-tuned Trailhawk, however, a lowered, road-going SRT model would make a lot of sense too.

It would only come about, though, if it can convince Chrysler officials that it can make them some money, and not just break even, according to a report from Motoring, citing Steve Bartoli, Jeep’s Head of International Product Planning as the source. Bartoli said that a Cherokee SRT would be “a lot of fun” and that he thinks, “the chassis has a lot of legs to it”.

“The suspension is really good, nothing’s impossible especially with that platform. I think we have a lot of flexibility with it,” he replied when asked if an SRT-tuned Cherokee model was in the brand’s future.

It if does materialize, most of the modifications are predictable: lower, stiffer suspension, bigger brakes and some subtle styling tweaks both inside and out completed by plenty of SRT badges. The problem is the power plant they could use…

Currently, the most powerful engine on offer is the 3.2-liter Pentastar V6, but that’s just a regular motor, and not a performance-tuned unit, so it wouldn’t do it justice. They could also turbocharge one of their four-pot units, like the base 2.4-liter, and see where that takes them.

By Andrei Nedelea

PHOTO GALLERY

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