Here’s what we believe to be our first look at the Hellcat-powered 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The sole image of what is to become the world’s most powerful production SUV appeared on Wheelsage today, prior to its debut at next week’s New York auto show.
That said, we don’t have all the answers you might be looking for, but we did find out that the Trackhawk will get the same 707hp treatment from the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 as the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats, despite some previous reports claiming that output might be lowered to accommodate the SUV’s all-wheel drive.
In other words, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will be a beast, not only compared to the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT that draws its mojo from a naturally-aspirated 6.4-liter Hemi V8 rated for 475hp and 470 lb-ft (637Nm) of peak torque, but basically, most of the cars you’ll ever meet on the road.
Just how fast is the Trackhawk? A source told us it will hit 60mph (96km/h) in a blistering 3.5 seconds and the quarter mile in the mid-11 second range, making the Grand Cherokee SRT sound slow – it’s anything but at 4.8 seconds for the 0-60mph with a 1/4 mile run in mid-13seconds.
To put those numbers in perspective, the Challenger Hellcat reaches 60mph in 3.6 seconds and the Charger Hellcat in 3.4 seconds, while Chevy’s new 650hp 2017 Camaro ZL1, in 3.5 seconds with a quarter mile time of 11.4 seconds.
Remember gents, we’re talking about an otherwise, regular mid-size SUV that can out-accelerate -at the very least until 60mph- purebred sports cars like the 500hp Porsche 911 R (3.7sec), all while hauling your family, their luggage as well as a trailer!
“I don’t see any reason to stop our current Grand Cherokee SRT just because we’ve launched the Trackhawk, because they’re going to be very different vehicles,” said Manley. “With Grand Cherokee, we have built up for a long time, that concept of capability at the two bookends — one: capability off-road, two: capability in terms of on-road performance.”
You may have noticed that we haven’t said anything about the Trackhawk’s appearance in this first image. That’s because the visible differences over the SRT model are limited to the removal of the front-fog lights and the addition of chrome trim on the vent surrounds, the “Supercharged” lettering under the Grand Cherokee door logo, and black rims with yellow brake calipers. We can’t see if there’s anything different at the back, but it looks like Jeep took a conservative approach, given all that power under the hood.
In the same interview last year, Manley revealed that the new 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will reach US showrooms in “September or October”, followed by select international markets in Asia and the Middle East.
You can keep track on any updates regarding the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk as well as all other vehicles heading to the New York Auto Show over at our guide.
Thanks to Nico for the tip!
Post has been updated with new information