The new-generation Jeep Cherokee was just unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show to rather mixed reviews, thanks to relatively over-the-top styling. Even with its odd styling, it is starting to grow on us a little. An now, rumors of an SRT version have us thinking even more fondly of this new model.
First details from the Jeep experts over at AllPar suggest that this hopped-up Cherokee will come equipped with an all-wheel-drive system in place of the standard front-wheel drive, a nine-speed automatic transmission and an engine that oozes power.
Anyone that knows anything about Chrysler ’s SRT group knows that the Cherokee SRT will feature an engine with tons more power. However, the origins of the engine and the exact output is still up for speculation. One suggestion is a 3.0-liter V-6 sourced from fellow Fiat subsidiary, Maserati . This may be a little too much for the petit Cherokee, as that would put it over the 400-horsepower mark. There is also the idea of it using a 2.4-liter boosted engine with an output of about 300 horsepower, but that’s likely not enough power to drum up interest in this model.
The most likely of scenarios is to use one of the existing Pentastar V-6 engines — 3.2- or 3.6-liter — which can be tuned to well over 400 horsepower, using a pair of turbochargers. If Chrysler chooses to only use one turbo, it would still put it in the 350- to 375-horsepower range. Either way, the Pentastar would have to undergo some big changes, including strengthening the internals and dropping the compression to around 9-to-1.
No matter what engine the Cherokee SRT uses, we can’t wait to see what it can do.
Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Cherokee SRT.
We based our rendering on the standard Cherokee, but we added some extra SRT touches. These additions include: aggressive bumpers, wider fenders, sporty side skirts, new SRT-style wheels, a black-painted grille and black surrounds for the headlights.
Dodge vs. Porsche, really? Yup, but only because there’s nothing else similar to the rumored Cherokee SRT on the market. The upcoming Macan Turbo would be the most likely of competitors with its rumored 3.0-liter V-6 with 370 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The only real issue here is that the Macan will likely be a much more expensive vehicle.
Gallery Porsche Macan
Jeep used the Cherokee name for the first time in 1974 and kept it until 2001 when the second generation went out of production. In 2013, Jeep resurrected the Cherokee name and brought about the third generation.
The first generation Cherokee was produced from 1974 through 1983 and was offered with either an inline-six or a V-8 engine. This generation was a hulking full-size SUV.
For the second generation - 1984 to 2001 - Jeep shrunk the Cherokkee to a compact model and dropped the V-8 powerplant. Instead, Jeep offered only in-line-four, in-line-six and V-6 engines. In 1997, the model received its first updates, which carried through its elimination in 2001. The Liberty replaced the Cherokee the following model year.
The third generation was unveiled earlier this year and brought the Cherokee name back to the lineup. The model is offered with a choice of two engines: a 2.4-liter Tiger shark MultiAir 2 inline-four-cylinder engine and a 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that delivers a total of 271 horsepower.