Chrysler introduced two new SRT8 models at the 2011 New York Auto Show, but the one that jumped out at us the most was the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. Our apologies to the Chrysler 300 SRT8, but we just like the bigger and more rugged look a tad better. The new Jeep comes with performance-oriented styling, world-class ride and handling, benchmark braking, and race-inspired interior.
This monstrous machine is powered by a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 that delivers an estimated 465 HP and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. Coincidentally, it’s the same engine used in the Chrysler 300 SRT8, but we can fit the kiddies and the dogs in the back.
"The all-new 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the ultimate performance SUV, delivering a combination of Jeep capability and utility, world-class performance, luxury and refinement, and advanced innovative technology," said Mike Manley, President and CEO — Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Jeep vehicles have long been known for their off-road capability. In addition to Jeep four-wheel-drive traction and utility, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 takes capability to a new level by giving driving enthusiasts extreme performance for the street and track."
Hit the jump to read more about the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has a special place in our hearts for its beautiful, yet rugged design. Factor in the updated engine and the SRT8 starts popping up higher on our list. The differentiation between the two, other than the power, is the upgraded front fascia, new LED multi-function daytime running lamps, a body-colored front grille with a unique black screen background, and chrome bezel inserts. The final touch has been given by a newly sculpted hood with functional dual black heat extractors for added engine cooling. Oh, and the SUV has been lowered by one inch as well.
In the back, the Grand Cherokee Srt8 gets a new liftgate spoiler that reduces drag and improves downforce and a separate air diffuser along with an available trailer receiver and access cover. The change in power can be heard coming out of the vehicle’s dual-sport exhaust system featuring 4-inch exhaust tips. The car sits on a new set of 20" forged aluminum wheels ride on P295/45ZR20 Pirelli PZero run-flat tires
The interior for the new SRT8 struts its stuff with some race-inspired technology. As soon as you enter the vehicle, you can see these elements illustrated in an all-new leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel, a race-inspired cockpit with the SRT logo, and paddle-shift controls on both sides of the new contoured palm rests.
The SUV’s seats are covered in SRT-styled Nappa leather and suede, with sculpted bolsters and adjustable headrests with embroidered SRT logos and contrast stitching accents on the two front seats. Heated (front and rear) and ventilated (front) seats are standard. Carbon fiber accents are integrated into the instrument panel and door trim panels and new bright, racing style brake and pedal pads add to the high-performance look inside the cabin.
Under the hood of the SRT8, Jeep has snuggled in a 6.4 liter HEMI V8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology that delivers an estimated 465 HP and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. With this amount of power, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 will sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, 0-100-0 mph in the mid-16 second range, and can cover the quarter mile in the mid-13 second range. It has a top speed of 155 mph and can get from 60-0mph in 116 feet.
The new V8 engine will be combined with an SRT-tuned, adaptive damping suspension managed by the new Jeep Selec-Track system. This setup works with the vehicle’s stability control, adaptive damping, transmission shift strategy, transfer case torque proportioning, Electronic Limited Slip Differential performance, throttle control, and cylinder de-activation to automatically tune the dynamics of the vehicle.
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee will go on sale in the third quarter of 2011. Prices will be announced at a later date.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the type of vehicle that seems to stand on a platform all its own. It’s cool, powerful, and can get everyone in the family to their desired location comfortably and stylishly. Coming off of our Grand Cherokee high, we do realize that there are plenty of other powerful SUVs in the market to choose from: the BMW X5M and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo are just two examples.
The X5M is a more powerful SUV than the SRT8 with its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine delivering 555 Hp, but both models can hit a top speed of 155 mph. Despite this, we still like the SRT8 better. It just looks more aggressive with a better overall look. The Cayenne Turbo is a great model, but it is designed for a whole other group of customers looking for a more luxurious SUV. It is powered by a 4.8-liter V8 engine that delivers 500hp at 6,000rpm and 516 lb-ft of torque.
Top speed is not very impressive
Luxury plays second