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by Tim Beissmann

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 will make its European debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, around four months ahead of its Australian launch.

 

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 was initially unveiled at the New York Auto Show in April. The right-hand drive version will go on sale in the UK in the first quarter of 2012.

Chrysler Australia’s Dean Bonthorne confirmed the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 would go on sale in Australia in January next year. He said the Chrysler 300C SRT8, which is powered by the same engine, would follow in June when the all-new premium sedan range arrives in local showrooms.

The all-new 6.4-litre HEMI V8 in the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 produces 347kW of power and 630Nm of torque, making it the most powerful Jeep ever.

 

Employing the renowned SRT (Street Racing Technology) formula, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds and will go on to a top speed in excess of 250km/h.

The SRT8 scores advanced active damping suspension, which is managed by the Selec-Terrain system. It features five dynamic modes – Track, Sport Auto, Snow and Tow – for optimal road holding.

Jeep says its Fuel Saver Technology leads to fuel economy improvements of 13 per cent on the highway compared with the previous model. The current 5.7-litre Grand Cherokee model uses 14.1 litres/100km on the combined cycle, so don’t expect the 6.4-litre HEMI to be any kind of eco warrior.

The new Grand Cherokee SRT8 has been lowered by 30mm, giving the handsome SUV a new aggressive character. The front features LED daytime running lights while the bonnet has two gaping black heat extractors to aid engine cooling.

The rear is highlighted by a new spoiler, diffuser and dual sports exhaust system with 10cm tailpipes.

The cabin scores carbon fibre trim inserts, steering wheel paddle shifters, an Electronic Vehicle Information Centre and nappa leather/suede upholstery.

The Grand Cherokee SRT8 will be available in one specification in the UK, and will come standard with Quadra-Trac active on-demand four-wheel drive, Command-View dual-pane sunroof, Uconnect satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control, 20-inch forged aluminium wheels, blind-spot monitor with Rear Cross-path detection, and SRT high-performance vented Brembo brakes.

Full Australian specifications and prices will be revealed closer to the vehicle’s local launch in 2012.

Read CarAdvice’s reviews of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Note: Story updated with comment from Chrysler Australia.




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