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2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
by John Davis
A high performance Jeep Grand Cherokee is nothing new. In fact, high performance SUVs in general are a dime a dozen these days. But there’s never been anything quite like the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. It’s the answer to the question, “what happens when you stuff a Dodge Hellcat engine into one of the most-in-demand SUVs of all time?”
Now, if you don’t know what a Hellcat engine is, allow us to introduce you to 707-horsepower of HEMI magic from a 6.2-liter supercharged V8. It’s a lot of power and it moves the Grand Cherokee around a closed test track like its 5,300-lbs are not subjected to the normal laws of physics. The transmission, an 8–speed automatic, as well as all driveline components, have been beefed up to handle the stress of delivering that much power to the pavement.
It takes a while to feel truly comfortable driving a heavy SUV into a fast corner. But once you get used to it, the Trackhawk is great fun. There’s very little roll; and while it’s fairly responsive to inputs, planning ahead and keeping those inputs smooth will give you the best results.
Out on the open road, there’s plenty of the typical Grand Cherokee comfort, but with pleasant sounds of Hellcat creeping in. As for meaningful practicality, it can still trailer tow a hefty 7,200 pounds.
Exterior updates to the front end allow more air to come in, and there’s more exhaust going out the back as well with a unique quad-exhaust. Things are also dressed up inside too. There’s a nice, thick steering wheel, and great, supportive seats.
For our complete road test of the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #3707 that begins airing on October 20, 2017. For a listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “About The Show” tab at the top. MotorWeek is also seen Tuesday evenings on the Velocity cable network.
So whether you look at the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk as a family truckster built for track days, or a performance car that you can haul with; it’s a far-out piece of performance machinery, made with a formula that Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles seems to have perfected.