After tons of teasing, testing, and spy photos, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is official, and it’s just as badass as I was hoping it’d be.
The Trackhawk is here, and it is taking its spot firmly at the top of the SUV heap as the quickest ever. Its power comes from the 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine borrowed from the Hellcat brothers (Charger and Challenger) that cranks out 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with an eight-speed auto transmission and reworked drivetrain bits, including stronger rear drive shaft, rear axle, an updated rear differential housing, and more, to handle the massive toque.
All this awesomeness results in a 0-60 mph time of just 3.5 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 11.6 seconds, and a top speed of 180 mph. A standard Torque Reserve System, which is part of the Trackhawk’s launch control, helps in acceleration by prepositioning the supercharger bypass valve to generate some boost while cutting fuel and managing spark to select cylinders to prevent unintended wheel spin or front wheel slip. This helps build the initial torque needed for a powerful launch from a complete stop.
Of course, there is a valet mode to keep parking attendants from going full Ferris Bueller on your baby. This mode significantly reduces horsepower and torque, limits the engine to 4,000 rpm, locks out first gear, eliminates manual mode, disables the paddle shifters and launch control, and more. Basically, all the go-fast bits are incredibly limited.
So the Trackhawk can deliver the goods in all conditions, Jeep added a dynamic drive system with five drive modes: auto, sport, track, tow, and snow. Auto automates this system and allows it to a 40-60 front-rear torque split. Sport mode shortens transmission shift times by 50% when compared to auto mode, tweaks the all-wheel drive and steering systems for better performance, tightens the suspension, and changes the front-rear torque split to 35-65. Track mode drops the shift times by 68% compared to auto mode, further tightens everything, and delivers a 30-70 front-rear torque split. The tow mode adjusts the torque delivery for smoother takeoff, adjusts the suspension to avoid pitch and yaw, and delivers a 60-40 torque split. Finally, snow mode reduces the horsepower and enhances traction with a 50-50 torque split.
Of course, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk delivers in the appearance department too. It boasts a 1-inch-lower ride height, body-colored wheel flares, a sculpted hood with dual snorkels, a gloss-black rear valance, four-inch black-chrome quad exhaust exits, black “Supercharged” badges, and 20-by-10-inch wheels wrapped in 295/45ZR20 rubber. Buyers can trim 12 pounds from the Trackhawk by opting for the available forged-aluminum wheels.
Inside, the performance and style goodies continue. Jeep will include light-black chrome finishes, carbon-fiber spears, a 7-inch driver info center, a 200-mph speedometer, the 8.4 Uconnect system with the Trackhawk performance pages that shows horsepower and torque, a flat-bottom steering wheel, Nappa leather seats, active noise cancellation, and much more. For the petrolhead kiddos, there is also an available dual-screen rear entertainment system with a Blu-Ray player.
The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will hit showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2017. Stay tuned for additional updates as we near its release.