The SRT-8 (Street and Racing Technology V8) version of the Grand Cherokee debuted at the 2005 New York International Auto Show. Powered by a 420 hp (313 kW) version of the 6.1 L Hemi, it also features upgraded Brembo brakes, large dual performance exhaust with polished tips (exiting out the middle of the rear), Bilstein performance gas charged shocks and modified suspension components, Mercedes-Benz NAG1 (WA580) 5-speed transmission, unique NV146 transfer case, specially designed electronic all-wheel-drive system and interior and exterior updates. A drive shaft from a diesel application, fortified Dana 44 rear differential, and 11.2" (285 mm) wide Goodyear tires in the rear (10" or 255 mm in the front) complement the performance package. The sports tuned suspension allows the Jeep SRT8 to hold 0.92 g on the skid-pad.

The 2006 model yielded a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.6 seconds, and a quarter mile dragstrip of 13.2 seconds at 104.1 miles per hour (167.5 km/h). This made the SRT-8 Grand Cherokee the fastest accelerating vehicle within the SRT8 lineup (which at the time included the Chrysler 300C, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger and the now-discontinued Dodge Magnum), and second only to the SRT10 Viper among all SRT tuned vehicles. There is no electronic speed governor employed, leaving the top speed rev-limited (revving to redline in top gear) to 170 mph (270 km/h).

To achieve superior on-road handling, off-road gear has been removed to make the SRT-8 lighter. The SRT-8 uses an NV146 transfer case, which uses an electronic-applied clutch pack to transfer 0-50% of torque to the front axle but has no low-range or manual controls. The front and rear differentials are both open, with no limited-slip capability. Its ride stance is significantly lower and the front fascia spoiler gives the vehicle 7 inches (178 mm) of ground clearance. The Grand Cherokee SRT-8 was the first SRT vehicle to wear the Jeep emblem.

A total of 11,775 Jeep SRT8s were produced.

As of 2014, the SRT8 is no longer that standard designation to indicate a V8 powered perforamnce vehicle.  Instead, "SRT" is a seperate brand name for the Chrysler/Dodge line of performance vehicles.  The new JEEP SRT shows just how they mean business with the new branding.


For starters, the Grand Cherokee is no stranger to high-performance variants with the SRT-8 model, so moving the range up-market should be an easy move. Second, with machines like the Range Rover Sport SVR on the market, Jeep could be looking to join the high-performance action. Of course, the most damning piece of evidence found is the trademark from FCA for the name “Trackhawk.” If you are familiar with Jeep’s naming schemes, “Trailhawk” is a name used for hardcore off-road models of the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. Now it’s not a stretch to see Jeep use the “Trackhawk” name for an ultra-high-performance variant.

The Trackhawk will look fairly similar to the standard SRT Grand Cherokee. The front retains the requisite Jeep grille, though it's been narrowed a bit to make room for larger air intakes below. The Hellcat engine creates a lot of heat, so designers needed to make sure the beast has plenty of room to breathe. New LED fog lights have been integrated into lower air ducts.

An eight-speed automatic transmission developed by ZF will be the only unit offered. While Dodge’s Hellcats are rear-wheel drive, the Trackhawk will ship with all-wheel drive, and that’s where the situation begins to get tricky. Car & Driver previously reported the Grand Cherokee’s all-wheel drive system can’t handle the Hellcat’s massive 707-horsepower and 650-lb-ft. output. Developing a new all-wheel drive system for a low-volume model has been ruled out for obvious cost reasons, so the eight-cylinder might have to be electronically detuned before it can be dropped in the Grand Cherokee’s engine bay.

Jeep claims a 3.5-second 0-60 time, making it both the quickest-accelerating Hellcat-powered vehicle and one of the quickest-accelerating vehicles in the world. For comparison, BMW claims the X5 M will do 0-60 in 4 seconds flat.

Colour options weren’t mentioned either, seeing as Challenger’s and Charger’s come in beautiful shades of B5 Blue, Sublime Metallic, TorRed and Pitch Black amongst many other choices. Contrasting or matching interior colours with cloth or leather seats. Green seats seem a bit farfetched though.

Inside, expect similar features to top of the range Jeep Grand Cherokee’s: navigation, cooled seats, rear entertainment system, media inputs, Bluetooth Paring and many more options to keep all inside entertainment if they are not entertained by 707 horsepower.

When launched, it will be on seriously powerful SUV to take on Range Rover’s Sport SVR, BMW’s X5M and Porsche’s Cayenne GTS.

2018 Jeep Cherokee Hellcats will start rolling into showroom later in 2017 as they not only confirmed it a the show, but to official dealers in the US back in August 2015.

While the blown 6.2-liter V8 delivers 707 ponies in both the Challenger and the Charger, we can't be sure about the output it will deliver while installed on the Mercedes-Benz ML-sourced platform of the flagship Jeep.

On 01/14/2016: Jeep CEO Mike Manley confirmed the Grand Cherokee Hellcat at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. The hot-rodded SUV will arrive before the end of 2017

The HellCat is named after a Grumman World War II fighter plane, used mainly on aircraft carriers; many of its 2,000-hp Pratt & Whitney engines (also used on Corsair and Thunderbolt) were made by Nash, the car company that later joined with Hudson to form AMC, which was purchased by Chrysler in 1987.

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