2016 Jeep SRT Hellcat
When asked about the possibility of a Hellcat powered RAM truck, CEO Bob Hegbloom offered up little more than a “No.” He did finish up with a simple statement, “there are other areas of Ram Ram’s business with a bigger opportunity,” and opened the door for much greater things. We may not get a Hellcat Ram, but what about another Chrysler product; specifically the Jeep Grand Cherokee? This is what we think a Jeep Grand Cherokee Hellcat would look like. We also have some solid evidence that it is actually coming.
For starters, the Grand Cherokee is no stranger to high-performance variants with the SRT-8 model, so moving the range up-market should be an easy move. Second, with machines like the Range Rover Sport SVR on the market, Jeep could be looking to join the high-performance action. Of course, the most damning piece of evidence we have is the trademark from FCA for the name “Trackhawk.” If you are familiar with Jeep’s naming schemes, “Trailhawk” is a name used for hardcore off-road models of the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. Now it’s not a stretch to see Jeep use the “Trackhawk” name for an ultra-high-performance variant.
With that in mind we had our trusty in-house rendering artist whip up some great shots of what this new Jeep might look like.
Update 01/14/2016: Jeep CEO Mike Manley confirmed the Grand Cherokee Hellcat at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. We’ve got him on video making comical remarks to a journalist’s plea for the 707-horsepower supercharged V-8.
Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep SRT Hellcat.
2016 Jeep SRT Hellcat
Horsepower @ RPM:707 (Est.)
Torque @ RPM:650 (Est.)
Displacement:6.2 L (Est.)
0-60 time:4 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:186 mph (Est.)
Mike Manley’s Confirmation
This video clip by journalist Brian Makse a the 2016 NAIAS in Detroit shows Jeep CEO Mike Manley succinctly answering the question about Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee. The short, 24-second clip has Manley sarcastically telling Makse he will bring the high-horsepower vehicle to market before the end of 2017. Ironically, this informal announcement is the first official word from Jeep concerning the news. The verdict is still out on what Jeep will call the vehicle, though we’re still betting on the Grand Cherokee TrackHawk moniker.
The exterior of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Hellcat takes cues from the Charger Hellcat. The headlamps feature LED light-pipes that trace the shape of the assembly, the hood features the now-signature triple scoops and of course the front end has been hacked into to create larger vents for cooling and airflow. Like the other cars wearing the Hellcat badge, the rest of the changes are more subtle. Larger brakes and tires, bigger wheel flares painted in matte black, smoked headlamp glass, and a light body kit all the way around finish up the visual changes.
The interior should see the same Hellcat treatment from SRT as the other models in the family. The steering wheel will become a flat-bottom unit, and the rim should be a little thicker. Expect more aggressively sculpted sport bucket front seats with contrasting leather and stitching. As the top trim model, expect almost every feature to come standard. That means heating and cooling for those seats, a Uconnect system with navigation, and an upgraded stereo. The Charger uses a 900-watt Harmon Kardon unit with 18 speakers. There should also be a nice big slab of glass in the roof as well
In actuality, the Hellcat badge only means one thing; 6.2-liters of supercharged V-8 violence and noise. The Hellcat badge actually refers exclusively to this new SRT engine with 707 horsepower and 650 pound feet of torque. The engine will come mated to a reinforced version of the family’s eight-speed TourqueFlite automatic transmission, built to take the extra strain of an AWD system. The Grand Cherokee may be a heavy beast, but with 707 horsepower and AWD traction, we expect it to be one of the quickest SUVs ever created. The SRT-8 Grand Cherokee can hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph. The Hellcat Grand Cherokee should drop that 0-to-60 sprint to four seconds flat with a top speed in the 175-mph range.
Drivetrain Specifications - Estimated
|Type and Description||Supercharged 6.2L HEMI® V-8, 90-degree V-type, liquid-cooled|
Both of the other Hellcat cars carry a premium of around $15,000 over their lower SRT versions. If we carry that math over, the Grand Cherokee Hellcat could carry a price tag as high as $80,000. That is a lot to ask for a Jeep, but 707 horsepower would make it the most-powerful, street-legal SUV you can buy today. Considering that its competition comes in above the $100,000 mark and arrives 150 horsepower down, that $80,000 starts to sound like a bargain.
With a 5.0-liter, supercharged V-8 pumping out 550 horsepower, the Range Rover Sport SVR is the most powerful and fastest model to ever come from the famed British marque. As befits a top-tier model from Land Rover, it wears a large price tag with a starting MSRP of $110,475. If you do the math that makes the SVR approximately $30,000 more expensive and exactly 157 horsepower less powerful than the Jeep SRT Hellcat. That said, Land Rover claims a top speed of 162 mph, and says the big SUV will hit the 60 mph mark in 4.5 seconds.
The Range Rover will obviously be more luxurious with greater amounts of leather, wood and metal scattered about the cabin, but it will be hard to call the Grand Cherokee Spartan by any means. The SVR does have quite a handling package however, and it even managed to hit a time of 8 minutes and 14 seconds around the Nürburgring. Considering the Jeep’s more off-road focused setup, it may not be able to out-hustle the Rover around a track.
Read our full review on the Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR here.
If there is any SUV out there that could truly wear the title “performance” it would be the Porsche. Not only does it make use of the brand’s legendary racing and sporting heritages to create a machine that actually handles like a legitimate sports car, it propels itself down the road with fury thanks to a 4.8-liter V-8 engine that comes force-fed buy a pair of turbochargers creating 520 horsepower and 553 pounds of twist. Despite being down 30 horsepower to the Range Rover SVR, the Cayenne beats it to 60 mph with a time of 4.1 seconds, and also trumps the Rover in top speed at 173 mph. The Porsche is no slouch despite what the numbers may say.
Still when arguing against 707 horsepower, the Cayenne’s 520 just sounds laughably inadequate. The Porsche also carries the same burden that every car wearing the crest struggles with – price. The Cayenne Turbo starts at $113,600, but if you get heavy with the options list, you can push that well past $160,000. So you can have a 520-horsepower SUV with a Porsche crest on the hood and A LOT of options, or you could take home a pair of Jeep SRT Hellcats…
Read our full review on the Porsche Cayenne Turbo here.
Just as the Hellcat powered Challenger and Charger are rewriting the rule book on performance coupes and sedans, a Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee would do the same thing to the SUV market. It will likely be the fastest, most powerful SUV in the world. Despite that incredible performance it will be cheaper than literally every competitor. The X5 M, Cayenne Turbo, GL63 AMG, and Range Rover SVR are all slower, less powerful, and far more expensive. They stand no chance against what would be a new benchmark of high-riding performance.