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Jeep reveals its fastest SUV yet

2011-04-20 09:51

NO FORCED-INDUCTION REQUIRED: Jeep’s new SRT8. Now with LEDs and a larger, more powerful V8 engine. You just have to admire Chrysler’s devil-may-care environmental policy.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Jeep
Model SRT8
Engine 6.4l V8
Power 342kW
This is the fastest Jeep yet. Useless factoid? Perhaps, but that hardly makes the new Jeep Grand Cherokee STR8 any less impressive as an overpowered SUV hot rod.

The ultimate performance evolution of Jeep’s fourth-generation Grand Cherokee (launched locally earlier in 2011), this second-generation SRT8 is one rather mad American raised body hot rod.

Powered by a larger-capacity 6.4-litre V8 (Chrysler does not believe in downsizing), the new SRT8 produces 342kW – a notable 29kW more than the previous 6.1-litre STR8.


Unsurprisingly, the new SRT8 is rather swift, stopping timing equipment at five seconds for the 0-100km/h benchmark sprint statistic.

Despite being more powerful, Jeep says new SRT8 also happens to be 13% more efficient than model it replaces – despite not being willing to quote official fuel consumption figures…Considering the 6.1-litre STR8 averaged around 18l/100km (if you drove with great restraint) any improvement in fuel-consumption would be welcome.

The SRT8 nameplate should be a lot more dynamically at home attached to the fifth-door of Jeep’s new Grand Cherokee, thanks to independent rear suspension and active damping.

These fourth-generation Grand-Cherokee suspension and chassis engineering upgrades should quell alarming bodyroll issue and leave SRT8 (generally) pointing its nose in the intended direction when cornering at speed. It is amazing (disturbing, actually) to think that the original SRT8 featured a live rear axle...

Jeep claims new SRT8 will pull a rather impressive 0.90-g on the skidpad and courtesy of its dustbin lid sized Brembo brake rotors (380mm up front, 350mm at the rear) deceleration from 96km/h to standstill is compressed into a mere 35m.

Distinguishing the SRT8 from its other Grand Cherokee siblings are stylised 20-inch split-spoke alloy wheels (rolling Pirelli Scorpion runflat tyres), a redesigned bonnet (with surface air-duct cut-outs) and a massive, gaping bumper air intake.

Standard equipment is extensive (characteristics of Chrysler products) with a comprehensive infotainment system (19-speaker Harmann-Kardon acoustic relay, DVD playability and satellite radio), powered tailgate and steering column mounted paddle shifters to best manipulate the five-speed automatic transmission’s shift regime.

The new SRT8 is expected to reach North American dealers by the end of 2011, with other global markets receiving their allocation of HEMI-powered SRT8s early in 2012.

If you need a low-range enabled SUV with a 2.2t tow-rating and BMW e39 M5 equalling performance, look no further…

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