Jeep has revealed the supercar of SUVs.
The American off-road brand has officially confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets by revealing its Grand Cherokee Trackhawk ahead of its public debut at the New York motor show this week.
The long-rumoured high-performance soft roader rockets straight to the top of the charts as the world’s most powerful and fastest SUV thanks to a supercharged heart transplant from the Dodge Challenger Hellcat.
Under the bonnet of the Trackhawk sits the same force-fed 6.2-litre V8 that produces 527kW of power and a monstrous 874Nm of torque, enough to propel it from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds, cover the quarter mile in 11.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 290km/h.
The Trackhawk ousts the 449kW Bentley Bentayga for the title of the world’s most powerful off-roader and eclipses Porsche’s upcoming 500kW Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid before it even arrives. It’s claimed acceleration ability makes it quicker than both too, and matches the likes of a Ferrari California T roadster to triple figures.
But it’s not just a weapon in a straight line, as Jeep has beefed-up the rest of the Grand Cherokee’s mechanical package to handle the extra grunt and improve its road holding.
There’s a stronger eight-speed automatic, heavy-duty rear axles, specifically-tuned adaptive dampers and lower, stiffer springs in the suspension as well as the biggest brakes ever applied to a Jeep – 400mm two-piece vented front rotors with six-piston callipers and 350mm vented rear rotors with four-piston callipers – which the brand claims will arrest the Trackhawk from 100km/h to a complete stop in 36 metres.
The car is visually identified by its beefed-up body work that includes the deletion of the front fog lights to feed air to the engine intake and intercooler, a vented bonnet that allows for the extraction of hot air generated by the engine, wider 20-inch alloy wheels, gloss black body trim and four chrome black exhaust pipes.
Inside the cabin, there’s black chrome and carbon fibre highlights, Nappa leather and suede trim on heated seats for all passengers while cooling is also added to the fronts, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and an 8.4-inch infotainment screen with performance apps and smartphone mirroring. It also has a Premium Metal Package as standard which brings noise cancelling technology, a stitched leather instrument panel, Berber floormats and a choice of two high-grade audio systems.
Jeep Australia has yet to officially confirm the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will be offered locally, but the company’s new Managing Director, Steve Zanlunghi, has previously expressed his desire for such a vehicle when it becomes available. We’d bet the 527kW monster truck will hit Aussie showrooms before the end of the year.