Jeep and high performance are three words that you don’t usually see in the same sentence. That is unless “off-road” happens to be thrown in there. But that was the old days, we live in a new era of high-performance vehicles and that now includes a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 707hp Hellcat motor stuffed under the hood. They call this obnoxious beast the Trackhawk and according to reports, it is every bit as badass as it sounds, both literally and figuratively.
We reported on the Trackhawk and the bold claims that went along with back in April. At the time we knew that it was going to come with the 6.2L supercharged V8 that also sat under the hood of the Hellcat Challenger and Charger and that meant an astounding 707hp and 645lb-ft of torque on tap. But the actual performance figures were pure speculation and with a claimed 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds, it was almost hard to believe. However, some time has passed and now we have some real world figures to back up those claims. Thanks to a beefed up all-wheel drive system and the Hellcat powerplant, the Trackhawk can blast off 3.5 second 0-60 times all day long without breaking a sweat.
With that much power on tap, it’ll be hard to remember that you’re piloting a 5,258lb SUV. I say that because just like with the other Hellcat-powered vehicles, that supercharged V8 in the Trackhawk snorts and growls just like a real muscle car. Needless to say, it sounds absolutely fantastic. The only complaint that I’ve been able to find was that it doesn’t have quite as much of that intoxicating “whine” commonly found with a supercharged motor. The reason for that is apparently an exhaust restriction that was necessary for the SUV. But with all the aftermarket options that should be an easy fix.
Even though the Trackhawk tips the scales at 5,285lbs, it’s almost 40lbs less than the outgoing Grand Cherokee SRT, but yet has an additional 232hp. That obviously equates to significantly faster acceleration. Although, the SRT was no slouch with a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds.
Jeep actually borrowed some technology from the Challenger Demon in order to make the Trackhawk accelerate like a bat out of hell. They borrowed the “Torque Reserve” function to help aid in launching the two and a half ton behemoth. How it works is when the launch control system is engaged the system cuts fuel to the individual cylinders, which allows the engine to rev higher and therefore the supercharger is able to build more boost, 6.4 psi to be exact. As soon as you let your foot off the brake pedal you’ll get thrown in the back of the seat. It’ll even squawk all four tires, which happens to be Pirelli 295/45ZR-20’s at each corner so we are talking about some serious contact patch to break loose.
So what does all this mean? Is it in any way practical to have a 707hp SUV, especially one with a Jeep logo on it? Well, here’s the thing. Jeep has designed the Trackhawk to be extremely livable. It’s not quite as fast as the Challenger and Charger versions of the Hellcat, but it’s not that far off either. Granted, the Trackhawk does have a hefty price tag of $86,995 and that’s $20,405 more than the Challenger and $17,905 more than the Charger.
But the thing is, the Trackhawk does have an all-wheel drive so it’s far more practical when it comes to using it no matter what the conditions may be. On a side note, personally I’ll have dreams about how much fun it would be to smash the Trackhawk out in the snow with all that power under the hood, and that is something that is virtually impossible in either the Hellcat Challenger or Charger. Plus, the Trackhawk is capable of towing 7,200lbs, and that means you can throw a snowmobile trailer behind it and have one hell of a drive up to the trailhead.
In conclusion, the Trackhawk isn’t for everyone. There is a great majority of the automotive community that thinks its rather pointless, some of which are here in the Moto Networks office. I, however, think it’s a great sign of what’s to come in the future of high-performance vehicles. Admittedly, I would have a tough time spending $87,000 on a Jeep (probably closer to $100K once you start checking option boxes) especially seeing as how that puts it into the same category as the Mercedes AMG GLE63 and BMW X5 M. But doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t if given the chance. The BMW and Merc are incredible machines and both are extremely capable in the high-performance category, but even still they don’t hold a candle to that 707hp 6.2L supercharged Hemi. And there’s something to be said for that.