Jeep Caught Testing Hellcat-Powered Grand Cherokee
Only a week or so after Jeep CEO Mike Manley sarcastically confirmed the Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show to a single journalist, a video has surfaced showing the vehicle under development.
The short and somewhat dull video shows the Grand Cherokee performing a quick acceleration run on the empty track. Supercharger whine is clearly present, resonating the distinctive Hellcat noise that’s different from other supercharged V-8s. Also audible is a short burst of tire chirping, but with the amount of throttle heard in the video, any rear-wheel drive, Hellcat-powered machine would smoke the tires, even with traction control on. This leads us to believe Jeep engineers have indeed built an AWD system capable of withstanding 650 pound-feet of torque. Whether it makes production or not is still unknown.
Of course, there’s no official word from Jeep or FCA, but we suspect the Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee will soon be ready for production. Manley’s snarky interview revealed the SUV will be on the market before the end of 2017, likely making it a 2018-model-year vehicle. What’s more, according to FCA’s five-year plan published in 2014, the Grand Cherokee is due for a generational change in 2017. That lines up perfectly, making it seem like Jeep will wait to introduce the 707-horsepower street rod until the next-generation Grand Cherokee makes its debut. Perhaps the Hellcat version will bow at the same time.
Jeep is still quite on what it plans to call the Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee, though all suspension and rumors still point to the TrackHawk name. Either way, these are certainly exciting times in the automotive world.
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The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT might not be creating the biggest headlines from FCA’s SRT department, but the 475-horsepower, AWD SUV is no doubt worthy of conversation. That’s even more true with the Grand Cherokee SRT’s new special edition trim package called “Night.” Simple yet effective, it seems.
Though much of the Jeep’s underpinnings remain unchanged, this appearance package does add several new features and eye-catching upgrades. Starting up top, the Grand Cherokee SRT Night comes with a blacked-out roof, rear spoiler, and matching B- and C-pillars. The front and rear Jeep badges also get the treatment. Those upgrades match the already-black grille and lower fascias front and rear.
On the more useful side, the wheels are new, lightweight units that Jeep calls “5Ten” due to the split, five-spoke design. Measuring 20-inches in diameter, the Satin Black wheels match the other blacked-out exterior cues. Jeep also gloats the wheels help show off the red calipers and slotted rotors that come standard from Brembo.
Not too much has changed within the Grand Cherokee’s cabin. The black Laguna Leather seats come with silver accent stitching and light black chrome bezels for an extra pop. The 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system still presides over the center dashboard, while the driver gets his own configurable TFT display in the gauge cluster.
Along with the 475 horses, the Grand Cherokee SRT’s 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 turns out 470 pound-feet of torque that helps the full-size SUV hit 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds and through the quarter-mile in the mid-13-second range. Top speed is listed at 160 mph.
Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night.