Showing another side of the expertise possessed by its Street and Racing Technology operation, the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the perfect all-season/all-road playmate. With its Hemi power, distinctive style, outstanding dynamics, Impressive technology and luxurious interior it boldly goes where no Grand Cherokee has been before.
Like the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 packs the automaker's new 6.4-liter Hemi V8 underhood in place of the old, less-potent/less-efficient 6.1-liter used when an SRT8 variant last graced the lineup in 2010. Making 465 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of peak torque, the 6.4-liter features the low/mid-range enhancing active intake manifold/cam-phasing setup as well as the latest mileage-maxing Fuel Saver Technology that allows the engine to run on only four cylinders more of the time. The paddle-shiftable five-speed Autostick transmission is on hand here as well, although in the Jeep, power can be sent to any one or all four wheels via the Quadra-Trac active on-demand system. Jeep claims the combination let the Grand Cherokee SRT8 hit 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, reach a top speed of 155 mph and still net 13- percent better highway fuel economy -- and tow up to a 5,000-pound trailer.
The same attention to performance detail is found in the SRT-spec chassis upgrades, which include a specially tuned adaptive suspension overseen by the new Jeep Selec-Track system which is also fully integrated with everything from the stability control and Electronic Limited Slip Differnetial to the shift and cylinder deactivation mapping and transfer case torque proportioning. Drivers can choose from five different settings (Auto/Sport/ Tow/Track/Snow), depending on road conditions. Shod with standard Pirelli Scorpion Verde all-season run-flat tires, Jeep says the Grand Cherokee SRT8 can pull an amazing 0.90g on the skidpad. Stopping power is equally impressive thanks to an upgraded SRT/Brembo brake package that can haul this road rager down from 60 mph in just 116 feet.
Adding visual punch to the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 are unique fascia treatments. Up front, the extra measure of soft-surface edginess also brings body color, blackout and chrome elements set off by LED running lights and a custom hood with functional air extractors. Key tail tweaks out back include a functional liftgate spoiler, a special lower diffuser elements and 4.0-inch chrome tip dual exhaust outlets. Inside, the cabin features SRT-styled sport buckets covered in Nappa leather and suede -- heated/cooled up front, heated-only rear -- carbon-fiber accents. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 kit also includes a flat-bottom multifunction sport steering wheel with shifter paddles and buttons that allow direct access real-time performance data using the trick Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) and a large central display screen.
"Our new benchmark performance SUV effectively broadens the Grand Cherokee portfolio, and will continue to draw new customers into Jeep showrooms," said Mike Manley, president and CEO -- Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. While pricing and EPA figures have yet to be released, we do know that the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is due to go on sale sometime this summer.