New models - Jeep - Grand Cherokee - Trackhawk
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk blows in
Keen demand for Grand Cherokee Trackhawk sees Jeep Australia securing more stock
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25 May 2018
By TUNG NGUYEN
STRONG interest in Jeep’s flagship Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has enabled Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia to secure more stock of its supercharged 6.2-litre V8-powered large SUV bruiser.
While the initial allocation of 62 units sold out almost immediately after the 522kW/868Nm high-rider was locked-in for Australia, FCA Australia head of Jeep brand Guillaume Drelon confirmed more Trackhawks are on the way at the vehicle’s local launch at Phillip Island.
“I cannot talk on allocation, (but) there is a fair bit coming and we are looking forward to getting more production,” he said.
“As you can imagine, it’s a very hotly anticipated car everywhere and so we have to negotiate everyday with the plant to get some production.
“As much as we can bring some, we will do.”
Mr Drelon revealed that Australia is expected to be the second-largest market for the Trackhawk, trailing Jeep’s home-market of the US, and could double the local V8-adoption rate of the Grand Cherokee, which is also offered with a naturally aspirated 6.4-litre V8 in SRT form.
“We will most likely be the second (highest) market in the world for Trackhawk, again the final production figure will tell us,” he said.
“We would be in the area of eight to nine per cent with SRT, so if we consider Trackhawk, that could go in the range of between 12 and 15 (per cent), so that’s pretty good.
“I think it’s part of … the American brands to have those crazy fun V8s, so I think it’s good to have the balance between the more fuel efficient (variants) and a bit of fun.”
However, Mr Drelon rejected the idea that the circuit-honed Trackhawk would dilute the traditionally off-road-focused Jeep brand, saying the new range-topper adds another element of excitement.
“You need to be true to your DNA and we are doing that very well with the Trailhawk (variant),” he said.
“By creating a series of nameplates based on the ‘hawk’ theme, I think it makes sense because we first introduced the Trailhawk across the range – so you would have this on Renegade, on Compass, on Cherokee, on Grand Cherokee – and now the Trackhawk is one step further from the SRT.
“I think it’s part of the story, it’s part of how can we have fun with V8s and that culture is well-developed in the US, and I guess it fits very well with the Australian culture (too).”
As previously reported, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is priced from $134,900 before on-road costs and is powered by a supercharged 6.2-litre Hemi V8 petrol engine.
Producing a gargantuan 522kW of power and 868Nm of torque, the Grand Cherokee flagship is Australia’s fifth most powerful vehicle currently on sale behind the Ferrari 812 Superfast (588kW), Pagani Huyera roadster (570kW), Lamborghini Aventador S (544kW) and McLaren 720S (530kW).
Its outputs are also enough for the Trackhawk to claim the title of most powerful SUV in Australia, easily eclipsing the 478kW/850Nm twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 Lamborghini Urus, the 447kW/900Nm twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12 Bentley Bentayga and the 404kW/680Nm supercharged 5.0-litre V8 Jaguar F-Pace SVR.
The powerplant is shared with drag-strip-orientated SRT Hellcat variants of the Dodge Charger and Challenger, as is the ZF-sourced TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, but is hooked up to Jeep’s Quadra-Trac four-wheel-drive system for a conservative zero to 100km/h sprint time of just 3.7 seconds.
A dedicated launch control function ensures consistent acceleration times in the near-2.5 tonne SUV, while top speed is pegged at 289km/h.
The Trackhawk also gains a new fuel delivery system, uprated cooling set-up and beefier rear axle with strengthened driveshaft to cope with the new powerplant.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s official fuel consumption figure is 16.8 litres per 100km, making it one of Australia’s thirstiest vehicles.
High-performance Brembo brakes with eye-catching yellow callipers are used to scrub speed and can bring the V8 behemoth from 100km/h to a standstill in just 37 metres.
The vented rotors up front measure 400mm with six-piston grabbers, which is the largest standard brakes on any Jeep to date, while the rears are taken care of by 350mm vented rotors and four-piston callipers.
An electronic limited-slip rear differential is also thrown in as standard, as well as a single-speed active transfer case, while drive settings are able to be adjusted from the Selec-Track drive selector that dials in the four-wheel-drive system, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and electric power steering.
‘Auto’ mode allows drivers to set-and-forget and will adapt to differing conditions with a 40/60 torque split front and rear, ‘Sport’ reduces shift times by 50 per cent and dials down electronic nannies while increasing torque split 35/65 front and rear, and ‘Track’ puts the flagship Jeep into full attack mode with 68 per cent lower shift times, a 30/70 torque split and suspension at its firmest.
Meanwhile, in the ‘Tow’ setting, the Trackhawk sports smoother torque delivery off the line, tweaks suspension for maximum towing performance and features a 60/40 front torque bias. Towing capacity is rated at 2950kg.
‘Snow’ mode maximises traction, reduces engine outputs and evenly splits torque 50/50 front and rear.
Finally a ‘Custom’ mode is also offered that allows drivers to tweak individual settings to their preference.
Bilsten adaptive dampers feature all round, while the front suspension set-up is independent and the rear is a multi-link design.
Differentiating the Trackhawk from the rest of the Grand Cherokee line-up is a bulging bonnet with functional heat-extracting vents, a new front bumper sans foglights to optimise airflow and 20x10-inch Titanium-finish wheels shod in 295/45 Pirelli tyres.
Buyers can also option lightweight hoops that shave 5.5kg from overall weight.
At the rear, a gloss-black diffuser envelops four-inch quad exhaust pipes finishes in black chrome, while wheelarches and side sill claddings are matched to the exterior colour.
A Supercharged badge can also be found on the front doors, while the Trackhawk insignia is positioned on the rear tailgate.
Inside, the Trackhawk is easily distinguished by light-black chrome and carbon-fibre highlights, a 7.0-inch driver display, centrally located tachometer, flat-bottomed steering wheel and 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment display with variant-specific readouts.
The heated and ventilated seats are swathed in Nappa leather and suede with an embroidered Trackhawk logo as standard, but full leather seats are available with a black or red finish as an option.
Standard gear includes a Premium Metal Package that adds rear-metal accents to the interior, active noise cancellation (but, why?), Berber floormants and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, digital radio.
Available exterior colours extend to Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Diamond Black, Ivory Tri-coat, Bright White, Velvet Red, Rhino, Redline2 and True Blue.
Safety equipment includes hill hold control, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, seven airbags, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, parallel park assist, adaptive cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring and trailer sway control.
If ordered now, customers can expect deliveries of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in late August.
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