2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to Offer Hellcat V8, Engineers Facing AWD Challenge

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 1 photo
Photo: Jeep
Sometimes less is not more. There are certain occasions when... more is more and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is preparing just that with the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk.
Anybody who's driven a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT knows just how awesome the experience delivered by this slab of America is. Imagine the thing gifted with Hellcat power.

As expected, Hellcat muscle is coming to the Grand Cherokee

In fact, starting from next year, you won't have to imagine it, as Fiat Chrysler Automobile engineers are currently shedding the sweat and tears to develop what will be known as the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. And yes, it will be offered with the magic 6.2-liter blown V8 we've all fallen in love with.

The "standard" Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, if we can call it so, will replace the current SRT, which means they'll keep the atmospheric 6.4-liter V8 delivering 475 HP. As we said, the 707 HP 650 LB-FT (880 NM) Hellcat will be offered as a superior model.

As Car and Driver writes, Jeep is planning to drop the SRT name, as this has become a Dodge-exclusive asset meanwhile. In its place, we'll find the Trackhawk moniker, which is obviously inspired by Jeep's offroading-destined Trailhawk badge. We'll remind you Jeep trademarked the Trackhawk name last year, so the move isn't exactly a surprise.

The AWD challenge

Just like the Challenger and Charger Hellcat aren't just special through their 707 horsepower, but also through the drivability, the Hellcat-gifted Grand Cherokee will have to offer the same treats.

The greatest challenge engineers are currently facing regards the SUV's all-wheel drive system. This has to be strengthened to face the monster output and then some - the last part refers to the obvious tuning that will follow once the car is released.

Having a 700+ HP factory setup that works is nice, but if this starts failing once people head out to the track or add a bit of extra muscle, things aren't going to work out exactly well.

Jeep could either limit torque in the lower gears to prevent drivelines stress or offer the Grand Cherokee in RWD-only guise. We wouldn't bet on the latter though.

Affordability vs. the Germans

As always, one of the assets through which the go-fast Grand Cherokees will aim to defeat its opponents, from the Range Rover Sport SVR to the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, is the price. The standard model should start at around $65,000 and you have about one year to save up.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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