In this day and age, it is not uncommon to see super-performance cars with more than 700 horsepower and zero to 60 mph times of under four seconds.
What is uncommon is a 5,000-pound SUV with the same capability.
Enter the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Equipped with 707 horsepower from its supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine, the Trackhawk reaches 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 180 mph – even with its hefty curb weight of 5,363 pounds.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will unveil the Trackhawk at the New York International Auto Show on Wednesday.
The Trackhawk is FCA’s the latest effort to proliferate its 6.2-liter V8 that first debuted in the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. It has since appeared in the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat sedan, and a Jeep Wrangler concept called the TrailCat.
The engine now makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk the most powerful production SUV ever, said Mike Manley, head of the Ram brand.
In addition to its formidable horsepower, the Trackhawk also boasts 645 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is an upgraded version of FCA’s eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic. The transfer case, rear drive shaft and rear axle were all strengthened to handle the additional power.
As evidenced by its name, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is about more than just straight line speed. It offers both Sport and Track driving modes, which reduce shift times by 50 percent and 68 percent, respectively, and adjust the suspension and steering to more aggressive settings.
Compared with other Grand Cherokee models, the Trackhawk sits one inch closer to the ground. This gives the SUV a lower center of gravity and improves handling. Wider wheel flares, dual heat extractors in the hood and 20-inch titanium wheels further set the Trackhawk apart from the standard Grand Cherokees.
The SUV comes with standard Pirelli Scorpion all-season performance tires.
The Trackhawk is also equipped with 15.75-inch front brakes with six-piston calipers, and 13.78-inch rear brakes with four-piston calipers. They are the largest brakes to ever appear on a Jeep.
Power and performance are front and center in the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, but it should remain a capable utility vehicle. The Trackhawk includes Quadra-Track four-wheel drive and a new full-time transfer case. Tow mode adjusts the suspension to better handle heavy loads. As a result, the Trackhawk is capable of towing 7,200 pounds.
Luxury and technology are readily available, as well. The interior is loaded with an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen connected to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Instead of instrument gauges, a 7-inch driver information display includes a centered tachometer and a 200-mph speedometer to its left.
Nappa leather and suede seats are embroidered with “Trackhawk” logos with option to both heat and ventilate. Rear seats can also be heated. Other add-ons include Dark Ruby Red seatbelts, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and 825-watt Harman Kardon audio system with 19 speakers.
While its horsepower stats are an anomaly in the SUV segment, the Trackhawk is not alone in offering surprising performance. Others that are well-suited for the race track include the BMW X5 M and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The Mercedes-AMG GLS63 and Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged also pack at least 550 horsepower into an SUV package.
Earlier this year, FCA also debuted a performance-minded Dodge Durango SRT with 475 horsepower, to match its Grand Cherokee SRT sibling.
FCA has not released pricing for the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The supercharged SUV will arrive in Jeep dealerships near the end of 2017.