The most powerful, technologically advanced, high-performance Jeep® vehicle ever – the all-new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8® – arrives this summer with a combination of Jeep’s legendary capability and utility,
merged with the renowned advanced performance engineering from Chrysler Group LLC’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team. (www.emotorauto.com)
The Grand Cherokee SRT8 takes capability to a new level by giving driving enthusiasts extreme performance on street and track. The all-new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology delivers an estimated 465 horsepower and 465 lb – ft of torque. (www.emotorauto.com)
With 465 horsepower from its 6.4-liter Hemi V-8, the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, which made its world debut recently at the 2011 New York Auto Show, is guaranteed to remain one of the fastest SUVs on the planet for some time to come.
How fast? How ‘bout 0-60 in just 4.8 seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 155 mph. Still not good enough? Well, this bad boy can still tow up to 5,000 pounds, deliver torque to individual wheels and comes with one of the beefiest sets of Brembo brakes we’ve seen on something costing less than $100,000.
Check out this video walkaround with our man Joel Feder explaining all the details, and then click here for the rest of the juicy info on the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.(www.motorauthority.com)
On Sale Date: Fall 2011
Competitors: BMW X5 M, BMW X6 M, Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Powertrain: 6.4-liter V8, 470 hp, 470 lb-ft; five-speed auto, AWD
EPA Fuel Economy (city/highway): 12/18 estimated
What's New: The all-new 2011 Grand Cherokee helped fuel Chrysler's renaissance. In little more than a year, the company has transformed most every model, including the popular Jeep. The sporty and luxurious SRT8 edition builds on the modern chassis of the 2011 WK2 (Jeep code for the second-generation Grand Cherokee). That chassis actually began its development life with the also-all-new 2012 Mercedes M-Class SUV. Major advances since the previous SRT8 Grand Cherokee include hugely improved torsional stiffness (146 percent better), a larger hemispherical combustion chambered engine (6.4 liters versus 6.1), more power (470 hp versus 420 hp), huge Brembo brakes with 6-piston front calipers, paddle shifters and a two-mode adjustable suspension. Unlike the first-generation SRT8 Grand Cherokee that couldn't tow anything, the second-gen model is equipped to tow up to 5000 pounds.
Tech Tidbit: Jeep and four-wheel drive are nearly synonymous. Not surprisingly, the GC SRT8 features a high-performance driveline that permanently powers all four wheels. This is unusual among SRT products. The five-mode Selec-Track system adjusts engine power delivery, transmission shift points, transfer case torque splits, suspension damping and the locking rear differential to create distinct driving characteristics. Modes include Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow.
Driving Character: The Grand Cherokee SRT8 makes its personality known from the moment you fire the 470-hp Hemi. The exhaust's quiet cadence reminds you of the SUV's mid-4-second 0–60 mph potential. Pulling away from a rest, the weighty hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering requires some arm strength but rewards the fingertips with great feedback. The Selec-Track "Auto" setting masks small pavement imperfections such as tar strips, making everyday driving duties quite livable. Spinning the big knob to Track amplifies the GC's senses like a syringe of adrenaline. During our recent test, the 5150-pound SUV took to the high-speed Willow Springs Raceway like Secretariat to Churchill Downs. Thankfully, the always-active all-wheel drive and sticky 20-inch Pirelli tires imbue fun but forgiving handling dynamics.
Favorite Detail: The fat, flat-bottomed, leather-wrapped SRT steering wheel sets the interior's upscale and sporty tone that's corroborated by carbon-fiber trim accents. The vents at either edge of the dash mask the dash-to-door gap better than nearly any other vehicle on the planet, giving that part of the interior a high-quality appearance.
Driver's Grievance: If we hadn't driven the Grand Cherokee SRT8 back-to-back with the Dodge Charger SRT8 and the Chrysler 300 SRT8, perhaps we wouldn't have minded that the Jeep got stuck with a smallish 6.5-inch center-mount LCD. The SRT Charger and 300 come standard with a brilliant 8.4-inch touch screen LCD and a totally new graphic interface, while the Jeep's main control interface looks and feels at least one generation behind what should be standard in a $55,000 vehicle.
The Bottom Line: Unlike any other Jeep, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 isn't designed for the Rubicon Trail. Massaged by Chrysler's in-house skunk works, the Street and Racing Technology group, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 epitomizes an innovative product that nobody knew they wanted—a Jeep allergic to rocks and gravel. The exterior dramatically alters the standard GC's attitude from mountain man to urbane superhero. Everything is functional, including the hood vents that exhaust power-robbing hot air trapped in the engine compartment. The heavily bolstered bucket seats help carryover the SUV's attitude adjustment to the interior. The speedometer shows 180-mph worth of hash marks, and the Jeep can hit at least 160. The adjustable nature and resulting smooth ride from the Selec-Track system lends the GC SRT8 every-day potential, provided its thirsty consumption (12 mpg city, 18 mpg highway) isn't a deal breaker. Drivers shopping for a BMW X5 M, X6 M, or Porsche Cayenne Turbo may not consider the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. But that would be their loss.(www.popularmechanics.com)