A new report from Car and Driver indicates that the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is set to become the Trackhawk, as Dodge now exclusively uses the SRT name, and that the Hellcat engine will be an option. While this report is outstanding, particularly the 707-horse Hellcat engine, it is not without its issues.
The big issue at hand in transplanting the 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat engine into the Mercedes-base Grand Cherokee is keeping its four-wheel-drive system from grenading under the stress of the 650 pound-feet of torque the blown V-8 produces. Chrysler engineers are working hard on a solution to this issue, one of which includes electronically limiting the torque in lower gears. The other solution is to eliminate four-wheel drive altogether, which is highly unlikely.
The Hellcat V-8 paired with the Grand Cherokee’s four-wheel-drive system could give it Porsche Cayenne Turbo S-rivaling acceleration, as it may crest 60 mph in less than four seconds.
Don’t go thinking that the Hellcat is the only engine the Trackhawk will have to offer. Jeep will also continue to offer the standard 6.4-liter V-8, which is good for 475 horsepower and a 4.8-second 0-to-60 mph sprint time in the 2015 Grand Cherokee SRT. We may see a mild uptick in power in the new Trackhawk, but that is unlikely given the Hellcat engine is coming.
According to the report from C&D, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk should start rolling into dealers in the middle of 2016. Look for it to retain its roughly $65,000 price tag in its base format, while the Hellcat model will likely fetch in excess of $80,000.
With its launch likely right around the corner, look for more information to start rolling out on this new fast people hauler. We’ll bring you all of the details as they become available.