Future Models - Jeep 2017 Grand Cherokee
Jeep plans Grand Cherokee master blaster
Grand plan: So, you think Jeep’s Grand Cherokee SRT8 is hot? Just wait for the next version with Chrysler’s 527kW supercharged Hemi V8.
Stonking 527kW supercharged Hellcat V8 set to light up Jeep’s Grand Cherokee
14 January 2016
JEEP is preparing to shoehorn Chrysler’s most powerful Hellcat V8 engine into
its Grand Cherokee large SUV to create a supercharged beast capable of blowing
its European SUV rivals off the road.
The American off-road vehicle manufacturer also appears to have given the green
light to its long-awaited ute based on its next-generation Wrangler.
Both vehicles were mentioned by Jeep CEO Mike Manley in discussions with
journalists at this week’s Detroit motor show.
Although Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia has no official word on
either product, it says it would welcome both with open arms.
Confirmation that Jeep is preparing a new high-performance Grand Cherokee above
the current 344kW 6.4-litre SRT8 performance flagship came in a brief video
interview with Mr Manley posted by an American blogger on YouTube.
Asked if Jeep could fit the supercharged 6.2-litre Hellfire V8 from the Dodge
Charger and Chrysler Challenger into the Grand Cherokee, Mr Manley fired back
that not only could it be done, but he had approved it for production.
Belting out 527kW of power and 881Nm of torque, the Hellfire Hemi blown V8
would give the Grand Cherokee the raw engine performance to surpass of all its
rivals’ current mass-produced high-performance SUVs, including Mercedes-AMG’s
430kW/760Nm GLE63 S AMG, the 423kW/750Nm BMW X5 M, 419kW/800Nm Porsche Cayenne
Turbo S and 405kW/680Nm Range Rover Sport SVR.
Although no name or timeline was mentioned by Mr Manley in the video interview,
some American publications are betting on the badge Trackhawk – a play on Jeep’
s Trailhawk trail-rated nameplate.
The current fourth-generation Grand Cherokee shares much of its architecture
with the 2012 W166 Mercedes ML-Class and has been on the Australian market for
A hi-po Hellfire engine version might be Jeep’s way of keeping the fire alight
under the large wagon as it enters its twilight years.
FCA Australia corporate communications manager Andrew Chesterton told GoAuto
today that Jeep Grand Cherokee sales in Australia already had a high uptake of
high-performance sales, with about 27 per cent of all sales going to the
“Needless to say, if such a vehicle was to come about, with more power, many of
our buyers would appreciate it and we would be very excited to take it,” he
Mr Chesterton also said FCA Australia would be warm to the idea of a Wrangler
pick-up, saying the success of utes in Australia would make such a vehicle a
great acquisition for the Australian Jeep line-up.
The Wrangler pick-up reportedly was confirmed by Mr Manley in a round-table
interview with American journalists at the Detroit show.
The vehicle will be based on the next-generation Wrangler and planned for
production from late 2017.
Jeep has long talked about reintroducing a ute to its line-up, having had some
success with pick-ups such as the Scrambler and Gladiator in the past.
The company even came up with a new-look Gladiator concept at the 2005 Detroit
motor show, but that never materialised as a production vehicle, perhaps
skittled by Chrysler's financial woes in the global financial crisis.
In 2014, a five-year product plan announced by Jeep made no mention of such a
ute, but a new five-year plan due out next month might tell more, not only
about the proposed ute but also the planned replacement for Jeep’s compact SUV
twins, the Compass and Patriot than Mr Manley also confirmed.
One obstacle that Jeep will have to overcome before it can build the Wrangler
ute is a lack of production capacity at its plant in Jeep’s spiritual home,
American journalists are speculating that because the Wrangler production line
there is already running at capacity, Cherokee production might be moved
elsewhere to free up room.