• Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Races An Aerobatic Plane

Because no one has raced an airplane with a Jeep

In about the most ridiculous marking stunt ever, Jeep U.K. pitted a Grand Cherokee SRT against an aerobatic plane on a racetrack. Yep, you read that correctly: a Jeep, a plane, and a racetrack. Sounds odd, doesn’t it? Well, the stunt is designed to showcase the Grand Cherokee SRT’s track-handling abilities. And thanks to nifty on-screen graphics, the viewer is shown all the important stats like horsepower, 0-to-60 mph times, braking speeds, and lap times.

As a reminder, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT comes packing a 6.4-liter V-8 making 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The Hemi is mated to the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, which mates to Jeep’s Selec-Track full-time 4WD system. A lowered ride height, stiffer springs, a fat anti-roll bars give the 5,000-pound SUV surprising handling. Braking is handled by six-piston Brembo calipers grabbing 15-inch vented rotors up front and four-piston calipers mounted on 13.8-inch rotors out back.

All this gives the Grand Cherokee the ability to hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds on its way through the quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds at 105 mph. It even boasts a top speed of 160 mph.

As for this demonstration, I’m calling Jeep’s bluff. I won’t say which vehicle won the race, but I will say the airplane should have posted a much faster lap time. Watch the video closely and you’ll see the plane make wide turns at various altitudes. Tight maneuvers are what this Silence SA1100 Twister airplane and its 25-year veteran pilot are used to doing.

The video is a fun watch nevertheless, so enter full-screen mode and enjoy this short show.

Continue reading for more information.

Why It Matters

The Grand Cherokee SRT might be a paradox, but its performance credentials are no less impressive. It posts numbers Italian supercars could only dream of four decades ago. Now such performance is available in a $65,000 SUV with seating for five and a tow rating of 7,200 pounds. The Grand Cherokee SRT is truly a jack of all trades.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Races An Aerobatic Plane High Resolution Exterior
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Of course this brings up the rumors swirly around of a Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee. FCA officials have made very strong statements suggesting the 707-horsepwoer Jeep will happen and we’ve seen spy footage of a Grand Cherokee test mule with a distinctive supercharger whine. This outlandish vehicle is expected to be named the Trackhawk and should be debuting sometime within the next few months.

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Jeep has displayed the raw power and speed of its 6.4L V8 HEMI engined Grand Cherokee SRT by becoming the first 4x4 vehicle to race a plane around a track – and winning.

The Jeep vs plane challenge was inspired by the origins of the HEMI engine which was first developed for the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft, and is now, in its latest form, housed under the bonnet of the Grand Cherokee SRT.

Blyton Park Driving Centre, Lincolnshire, hosted the head-to-head around its 1.8 mile circuit and saw both car and plane reach speeds in excess of 140 mph. While the Grand Cherokee SRT tackled the race track, the Silence SA1100 Twister plane navigated around seven-metre high pylons, as they both attempted to reach the chequered flag first.

Capable of reaching 0-62mph in less the five seconds, the 6.4L V8 HEMI powered Grand Cherokee SRT delivers a massive 461hp, and is packed full of high-performance technologies including launch control, Selec-Trac transmission and air-cooled 6 piston Brembo brake callipers which have a stopping distance of 116ft from 60-0mph.

The Grand Cherokee SRT was driven by Ed Morris – the youngest ever British driver to compete at Le Mans 24 hour, while the Silence SA1100 Twister plane was flown by Peter Wells, a specialist aerobatic pilot with over 25 years of flying experience.

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