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Jeep's fastest 4x4: Is the epic R2.2-million Trackhawk worth it vs rival performance SUV in SA?

2019-01-16 06:02

Lance Branquinho

Jeep Trackhawk

Image:Quickpic

After a very quiet 2018, Jeep announced the pricing of its most expensive – and fastest – product for the South African market earlier this month. It’s the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and for R2.2-million you can buy into the American dream of a very OTT performance SUV.

There is no doubt that a R2.2m Jeep is a strange proposition in South Africa, where the Grand Cherokee has traditionally always been a value offering in comparison to its European luxury SUV rivals.

Although R2.2m is hardly a price point which can be classed as affordable, there is some real value in what Jeep is offering with its Trackhawk SUV.

Jeep Trackhawk

                                                                          Image: Quickpic

For the pricetag, you simply cannot go faster in an SUV than Jeep’s ultimate Grand Cherokee. The Trackhawk is powered by an immensely powerful supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine. It dyno-checks at 522kW and 881Nm (Americans don’t round off in metric), which makes it – by quite some margin - the most powerful SUV on sale in South Africa.

But exactly how much of a speed machine SUV bargain is the Trackhawk? Well, if we do the cost-per-kilowatt numbers, that value coefficient is tremendous. Jeep is only charging R4175 per kilowatt in its high-performance SUV. A vehicle which is also good for 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds, a number bested by no rival.

So, the all-American performance SUV has some very impressive numbers, but how does it compare to those European luxury SUVs which have dominated for nearly two decades in South Africa?

Mercedes-Benz’s new AMG-engined Geländenwagen features a 430kW twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8 and retails for R2 913 644. That’s R6775 per kilowatt. Which is also 62% more expensive than the Trackhawk. The Geländenwagen is way slower too, trailing the Trackhawk’s 0-100kph time by more than a second.

Perhaps a British rival is more credible? Land Rover markets two high-performance SUVs in South Africa, both Range Rovers, and of these the Sport SVR is more affordable, at R2 281 335. For that price you get a similar boost configuration to the Jeep Trackhawk, supercharging instead of a turbocharger, which helps the 5-litre V8 engine produce 423kW. Crunch the numbers, and you are still paying R5393 per kilowatt. That’s 29% more than a Trackhawk.

Land Rover SVR

                                                                                  Image: Newspress

The near most powerful SUV to Jeep’s supercharged V8 Grand Cherokee is Lamborghini’s focussed and sophisticated Urus. Powered by a turbocharged 4-litre V8, it boosts 478kW – but the privilege of owning a Lamborghini gravel traveller can never come cheap. To secure an Urus order you are required to part with R3 495 000. That calculates to R7311 per kilowatt. Better value than the AMG Geländenwagen, but still a 75% premium to power-output-per-price-unit offering from Jeep.

New Lamborghini Urus

                                                                               Image: Lamborghini

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