The Trackhawk is a riddle to most individuals. They’ve hassle greedy it’s objective, it’s very existence. It’s because it utterly flies within the face of every little thing that Jeep has each marketed itself to be. For many years, Jeep has held itself out because the producer of probably the most succesful off-roading, go-anywhere, do-anything automobiles on the planet. “Trail Rated” has been their tagline and it has strengthened that picture of rugged, succesful machines that may maintain it’s house owners protected within the worst of circumstances. If a zombie apocalypse happens, Jeep is the car you need to be driving. Heck, if the precise Apocalypse happens, Jeep is the car you need to be driving.
The Trackhawk although….the Trackhawk is one thing totally different. One thing new. And whereas it might appear misplaced in Jeep’s line-up, it’s actually not.
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has been round for a number of many years now. One of many unique luxurious SUV’s, it shortly developed a following among the many upwardly cellular government set at a time when the Western world was taking an curiosity within the surroundings and the outside once more. Its succesful on-demand four-wheel drive made it a superb selection for middle-class consumers in America’s snowbelt and the empty stretches of the mountainous West. It’s snug and classy inside and security options made it a superb selection for everybody else. Whereas the Grand Cherokee is succesful, most by no means depart paved roads. They’re snug day by day drivers that promise functionality and security whereas carrying the household and a load of groceries or towing the boat to the lake for the day. Somebody at Jeep in all probability used their Grand Cherokee to tow their race automotive to the monitor on weekends, then – as this stuff often occur – after a couple of beers and a few good pizza, started to marvel when you might modify the Grand Cherokee in order that it might truly RUN on the monitor.
This concept was in all probability furthered throughout a late night time on the workplace whereas engaged on one other challenge. Different Jeep and Chrysler engineers in all probability enthusiastically jumped onboard the “What If” session and the concepts began flowing. The top result’s unimaginable. What they ended up with was a Grand Cherokee with an electrically adjustable Bilstein active-damping race suspension system, large Brembo anti-lock efficiency brakes, and sticky steamroller-width Pirelli P-Zero efficiency tires. However what to energy it with? Why not the 707 hp supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 SRT Hellcat engine? That ought to transfer the heavy SUV together with some pep. I think that many beer cans have been bumped collectively to cheers over this concept. However the right way to promote it to administration? One good double-dog dare later and the undertaking was inexperienced lit for manufacturing. God bless America and the workers at Fiat-Chrysler.
That, in a nutshell, is what we have now right here. It defies all of your pre-conceived notions of what a Jeep is, what a Jeep ought to be, what a Jeep CAN be. Individuals we defined it to have been confused, scared even. “707 hp in a Jeep?! That’s ridiculous! That sounds dangerous!” It does truly. However does it work?
Good Lord, does it ever! We’re flying down a tree-lined backroad, exceeding the velocity restrict by a quite a bit however there’s a lot energy left to play with that it’s mind-boggling to think about too deeply. And anyway, we’re too busy wanting waaaaaay up the street, expecting hassle. The suspension beneath us feels solidly planted. The roar of the engine explodes via the quiet nation air, leaving it torn to ribbons of wind and sound as we weave via the curves on this pleasant street. We pull the left paddle behind the steering wheel – sure, it has paddle shifters for its Eight-speed transmission – to drop a gear as we strategy a curve. There’s little lean via the nook and as quickly as we’re via it we mash the throttle and the Grand Cherokee shoots up the street even quicker earlier than we upshift. Upshift once more. The engine notice drops however the sound continues to be ferocious. A squirrel begins to cross in entrance of us, however then thinks higher of it and actually leaps again off the street. It needs no a part of the Trackhawk or the unimaginable sound the large supercharged V8 makes. It sounds superior. We’re impressed and having a ball.
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Particulars
On the surface, it’s straightforward to miss the Trackhawk’s defining options that make it distinct from it’s extra, ah, regular siblings. The black 20” wheels and the huge slotted brake discs and shoebox-sized yellow Brembo brake calipers are the most important giveaways. The low stance is one other. Solely probably the most eagle-eyed observers will discover the 4 giant exhaust pipes jutting out from underneath the rear valence. The slots within the entrance grill are shorter in peak than on the usual mannequin. There are a further three horizontal slots beneath them. The opposite openings are all bigger to duct extra air into the recent engine bay. General, it’s a really sharp and aggressive wanting SUV.
Inside you’ll discover highly-bolstered leather-based seats, a thick grippy steering wheel, paddle shifters, and a really high-end feeling inside. Everybody who climbed into it instantly commented on how good the inside was. They usually’re proper. It IS good. It’s the type of automotive you might drive all day and never develop weary. Particularly with electrically-adjustable heated and ventilated entrance seats, a 19-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system, a heated steering wheel, heated leather-based rear seats and an enormous cargo space. So it’s very luxurious. Is it sensible? It positive is. With the rear seats folded flat, the cargo space is gigantic.
As good because the Grand Cherokee is, the primary attraction within the Trackhawk is the huge engine beneath the hood. The SRT Hellcat engine is superb. Not terrifically gasoline environment friendly, however superb nonetheless. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no drawback in life that seven-hundred (and 7!) horsepower and six-hundred and forty-five lb-ft of torque can’t overcome and render a faint reminiscence when you’ve stomped the throttle. It merely explodes up the street. With launch management engaged, we managed a three.7 second time to 60 mph. Thoughts you, that is in a 2.5 ton SUV. Completely mind-boggling. Launch management will actually scramble your neural synapses, leaving you confused however giddy as a schoolgirl with a brand new crush, because it accelerates away from a lifeless cease. Passing distance isn’t a problem. Mash the throttle and by the point your foot hits the carpet, you’ve already handed the slower automotive. Jeep says it’ll hit 180 mph and whereas i didn’t try it, I definitely consider it. And the sounds it makes – WOW. My knees get weak simply listening to it idle. Make it roar and I almost faint.
The Hellcat engine is mated to FCA’s burly Eight-speed automated transmission that permits the driving force to make the most of paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Left in automated mode, it intelligently cracks off shifts and is aware of what gear to be in earlier than you do. Eight speeds helps a bit with gasoline financial system, however it may solely achieve this a lot with the thirsty Hellcat engine. We averaged 10.5 mpg whereas driving it, which is just a few mpg lower than EPA estimates.
Bilstein’s lively damping race suspension can also be nothing in need of superb. It retains the journey agency however not harsh, eliminates virtually all the lean by means of corners, and nearly eliminates squat and dive. Bumps and potholes come via a tender jostles however aren’t harsh in any respect. There are 5 drive modes that you would be able to dial in: Regular, Sport, Race, Snow, and Tow. Sport and Race respectively up the ante so far as decreasing computerized traction and stability management whereas quickening the responses of the throttle, steering, and transmission. Snow dulls that responsiveness and actively splits the torque 50% entrance and 50% rear to extra capably and safely deal with inclement climate and dangerous roads. That is totally different from the traditional “4wd-on-Demand” that sends energy to the entrance axle when wanted. Lastly, Tow helps you pull a trailer by maintaining the transmission within the torque band and utilizing the engine to brake the load as a lot because the brakes themselves. It’s able to pulling 7200lbs, which isn’t too shabby.
Did I point out the Brembo brakes? They cease this clean however heavy brute simply and shortly. The six-piston calipers are monumental and straddle equally giant slotted rotors that utterly fill the empty area contained in the barrel of the 20” wheels. They could be a little grabby at low speeds however man do they work properly if you want them. The braking energy can actually hold you up within the seat belts.
What flaws does it have although? Nicely, apart from the abysmal gasoline financial system, none that we might discover. And we weren’t that postpone by the gasoline financial system once we have been lowered to hysterical tears of laughter each time we mashed the throttle.
The Trackhawk begins at $86,200. Our check car stickered at $101,610. Not low cost, nevertheless it’s a LOT of automotive for the cash and there are few household haulers as succesful and versatile because the Trackhawk. You in all probability can’t identify one other luxurious track-capable, towing-capable, household hauler that may do Zero-60 in three.7 seconds and prime out at 180mph with a load of groceries and two youngsters late for soccer follow; not to mention at that worth.
I’m actually unsure how the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk managed to get constructed however I’m glad it did. If it began as I theorized, with an engineer questioning if a Grand Cherokee might make an honest monitor automotive, I’m positive he’s fairly happy together with his little experiment. Trackhawk house owners shall be simply as happy together with his concept. It appears loopy to construct a 707 hp Jeep with critical monitor credentials, but right here it’s and it’s simply that nice. Right here’s to the engineers at Fiat-Chrysler for his or her enthusiasm that retains we gearheads grinning.