The supercharged 6.2-liter “Hellcat-powered” Jeep Trackhawk almost looks low key parked near the Dodge Demon hyperbolic hype machine, but the performance claims are nothing short of outrageous. Especially when you remember we’re talking about a 5,363-pound SUV.
According to Jeep’s press release, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk (which is not officially designated “Jeep Hellcat”) generates 707 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque, which is just 5 lb-ft shy of the Challenger Hellcat’s claimed output.
All that energy supposedly makes this Jeep capable of 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and a quarter-mile drag race run of 11.6 seconds, with a top speed claim of 180 mph.
You’ll notice I’m very carefully hedging this information. When claims get this ambitious, I think it’s important to keep an eyebrow raised until somebody does some third-party testing outside Fiat Chrysler’s controlled environment.
Still, even if the real-world times are just “close,” this is going to be one ridiculously fast 4x4.
As for durability, Jeep upgraded the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic to survive the extra onslaught of energy. Jeep also added giant Brembo brakes with 15.75-inch rotors that are supposed to be able to stop the thing from 60 mph in just 114 feet. To put that in perspective, only truly elite sports cars like the Lamborghini Aventador and Lotus Evora get near sub-100 feet braking distances from that speed. I’d still recommend you don’t step in front of one, though.
If your Trackhawk gets lost on its way to the mall/premium football stadium parking/ski resort and ends up on an actual race track at some point, Bilstein adaptive damping suspension and a Selec-Track traction system are supposed to help keep the almost two-and-a-half ton whale flat and fly through corners.
Selec-Track lets drivers shift the four-wheel drive system, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and the electric power steering through “Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow” modes optimizing the vehicle for each situation. The Trackhawk is rated to tow 7,400 pounds, by the way.
Here’s a specific breakdown of what happens in each mode, straight from Jeep:
- Auto — Automatically adapts to any condition; uses a 40-percent front/60-percent rear torque split
- Sport — Transmission shift times are reduced by 50 percent versus Auto Mode; stability control, four-wheel-drive and steering systems are set for typical enthusiast driving style; paddle shifters are enabled and suspension is tightened up without increasing impact harshness to deliver increased vehicle performance capability over Auto Mode; uses 35/65 torque split
- Track — Transmission shift times are reduced 68 percent versus Auto Mode to 160 milliseconds; stability control, four-wheel-drive and steering systems are set for ultimate track performance; paddle shifters are enabled and suspension is set to full firm to deliver maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces; uses 30/70 torque split
- Tow — Alters torque delivery off the line for greater smoothness and adjusts suspension to combat pitch and yaw to deliver maximum towing performance: uses 60/40 torque split
- Snow — Maximizes traction to deliver optimized performance on snow and ice with reduced engine horsepower; uses 50/50 torque split
As you can see, the Trackhawk is aesthetically pretty relaxed. Only a few bits of badging, exhaust tips and the absence of fog lights give it away as something hotter than the Grand Cherokee SRT, even though that has been relegated to garbage status with a paltry 475 HP and a 160 mph top speed.
The Trackhawk’s price has not been announced yet, but with the SRT currently ringing up north of $60,000, I’d expect this 707 HP monster SUV to start in the low $70,000 range.
So save up and get ready to start picking fights with Mercedes GLE AMGs and Range Rover SVRs!