2017 New York Motor Show: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk revealed

Jeep Grand Cherokee revealed in New York

THE Dodge Hellcat-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will lay claim as the world’s most powerful production four-wheel-drive when it is revealed at the New York Motor Show later this week.

Boasting a 527kW/874Nm supercharged 6.2-litre V8, the Trackhawk will be even more powerful than the 430kW/760Nm twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 under the bonnet of the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S. It will also hand the quick German a serve of humble pie, sprinting from 0-100km/h in just 3.6 seconds, a whole 0.6sec quicker than the Benz.

The 2.2-tonne beast will also hit  top speed of 290km/h for one very memorable school run.

Stopping power is equally impressive, with the Brembo braking system bringing what Jeep claims to be the “quickest and most powerful production SUV on the planet” to a halt from 100km/h in just 36 metres, thanks to pizza-sized, 400mm two-piece vented rotors with six-piston calipers at the front, and 350mm vented rotors and four-piston calipers at the rear.

Jeep Grand Cherokee revealed in New York
Taming all this energy is a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission and Jeep Quadra-Trac on-demand four-wheel-drive system, which includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential and a single-speed active transfer case. It also features a launch control system that optimises performance by coordinating the engine, transmission, driveline and suspension for consistent take-offs and straight-line acceleration.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk also comes with five dynamic driving modes:  Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow, enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that ideally meets the environment. The drive modes separately control the four-wheel-drive system, transmission, paddle shifters, electric power steering and Bilstein adaptive suspension system. There’s also a “Custom” mode that allows the driver to personalise the vehicle’s performance.

Jeep Grand Cherokee revealed in New York
Apart from its bold styling, an easy way to tell a Trackhawk from other Grand Cherokee variants is air vents in place of the foglights at each side of the front bumper. They’re there to optimise airflow to cooling modules and the air-gasping supercharger.

The Trackhawk also stands out thanks to its lower ride height, body-coloured wheel flares, side sill cladding, sculpted bonnet with dual heat extractors, and a gloss black rear valance with four-inch black chrome quad exhaust tips. And just to ensure there is no doubt, there are “Supercharged” badges on both front doors and a Trackhawk logo on the hatch.

Jeep Grand Cherokee revealed in New York
The quick SUV sits on 20-inch Titanium-coloured alloys wheels wrapped around yellow brake calipers, but for those wanting a harder edge to performance there’s optional forged alloys that cut an extra 5.5kg from unsprung mass.

Inside, there’s all the bits that say sportscar rather than SUV, including carbonfibre highlights and a three-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel with paddle shifters. Nappa and suede-accented sports seats are embroidered with the Trackhawk logo.

Jeep Grand Cherokee revealed in New York
A new 8.4-inch touchscreen houses an array of performance timers and gauges, including an engine dynamometer that shows instantaneous horsepower, torque and the current gear the Trackhawk is using. There’s even a snapshot function for owners to save their readouts on a USB stick. 

Despite its race track leanings, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk comes with much of the same active and passive safety gear used in the regular SUV, including the ability for the driver to check on a towed load while driving. 

Jeep Grand Cherokee revealed in New York
FCA Australia has yet to say if it will bring the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk here, but Wheels sources have previously confirmed the car will be sold in Australia to sit above the Grand Cherokee SRT.

If that’s the case expect to see, and hear, it on local roads by the end of the year.

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