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At next week's New York Auto Show, Jeep will unveil what is undoubtedly one of the most bonkers SUVs ever, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Think of it as the Hellcat of the Jeep world. This 707-horsepower sport utility is sure to blow your face off with a ridiculous 0-60 mph time of just 3.5 seconds. Want to see if you're driver enough to match the factory time? The Trackhawk has all kinds of track-techy goodness built right in, so you can go ahead and try.
Fiat-Chrysler's ubiquitous 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment screen doesn't only allow for navigation or Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, it also hosts a set of Trackhawk-exclusive Performance Pages to keep tabs on your driving. Time your laps, keep an eye on your drivetrain's temperatures, even take a gander at instantaneous horsepower and torque readings. Plus, you can save a screenshot to a USB drive and brag to all your friends the next day.
Today's Grand Cherokee SRT ekes a mere 470 pound-feet of torque out of its V8 engine. Pshaw, we say. The Trackhawk of tomorrow goes above and beyond with its 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine, twisting out 645 pound-feet of torque. This Trackhawk has a top speed of -- wait for it -- 180 miles per hour. Jeep says it's the most-powerful and quickest production SUV ever, and we're not here to argue.
That supercharger puts out maximum boost pressure of 11.6 psi and has a maximum air-flow rate of 30,000 liters per minute, just like its Charger/Challenger Hellcat kin. It swallows all that air from a cold-air scoop discreetly located in the driver's side lower fascia. The corresponding inlet on the passenger side serves an oil-cooler, so say "goodbye" to the fog lights.
A revised TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters sends power to the pavement in a 40-percent front/60-percent rear split in Auto mode, but there are four other modes in the Selec-Track system to choose from, each controlling the four-wheel-drive system, transmission, suspension and steering.
Sport produces quicker shifts and goes to a 35/65 torque split. Track mode tightens up those shifts even more and sends even more power to the rear in a 30/70 split. Tow mode allows the Trackhawk to haul 7,200 pounds with a 60/40 torque split and Snow mode distributes torque evenly to all wheels to get through slippery situations.
There's also a Custom mode so you can dial this monster to your liking and a Valet mode to keep the parking-lot attendant from taking a high-horsepower joyride. And did I mention Launch Control? Because there's Launch Control.
The front brakes are the biggest to ever grace a Jeep vehicle. The 15.75-inch vented rotors are clamped down on by six-piston, bright yellow Brembo calipers. The rears are 13.78-inch vented rotors with four-piston calipers. Jeep claims the setup can bring this SUV from 60-0 miles per hour in just 114 feet.
Beyond those massive discs as well as one advanced driver assist system front, the Trackhawk comes standard with adaptive cruise control, brake assist, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, park assist and lane departure warning.
If you're crazy enough to take this thing offroad, the Trackhawk comes with the Quadra-Trac four-wheel-drive system, although it's worth noting that the whole vehicle sits an inch lower than the Grand Cherokees you're used to. You'll want to swap out your tires, too, as the Trackhawk comes with either Pirelli 295/45Z Scorpion Verde All-Season tires or the new Pirelli P Zero three-season tires wrapped around 20-inch wheels. Great for the track, not so great in the dirt.
Visually, the Trackhawk has a few styling cues to set it apart. A bit of side sill cladding and wheel flares, as well as a sculpted hood highlight the aggressive nature of what's lurking beneath the surface. The rear is accented with 4-inch, black-chrome quad exhaust tips.
The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will be built in Detroit, Michigan and will be available late in 2017. No official word on pricing, but the lesser Grand Cherokee SRT starts at around $67,000 and we expect a dealer premium on this one, suggesting a base price of around $80,000. Mercy.
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