The new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT - which is not expected in Australia until late this year (and potentially early 2014) - was announced just months after the current SRT8 arrived in Australia and is expected to continue on from the success of the existing model, which has seen unprecedented local demand.
Jeep's new flagship sports model - now simply badged 'SRT' rather than 'SRT8' - gains a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission (similar to that found in the Chrysler 300, but with a higher torque tolerance) and a new Eco Mode that changes the new transmission’s shift schedule for better fuel efficiency.
The 6.4-litre HEMI V8 engine remains unchanged with 344kW of power and 624Nm of torque.
For those intent on towing, the SRT’s capacity to haul the goods has increased a very impressive 44 percent, now rated at 3265kg, while the Selec-Track system has been enhanced to deliver more torque to the rear wheels.
Launch control is a new standard feature, which improves off-the-line acceleration, while in-gear acceleration has improved noticeably thanks to the new gearing offered by the ZF transmission.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT boasts a selection of standard safety equipment including forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross path detection. The North American markets also gain Jeep’s Uconnect Access Via Mobile which allows smartphone tethering for Jeep approved apps to access the internet via the car’s new 8.4-inch touchscreen. This feature is currently unconfirmed for Australia.
From the outside the new Jeep Grand Cherokee conveys the updated styling of its non-performance variants, while gaining a unique front and rear headlight design with a rather sinister look.
The interior will be offered for the first time with a sepia-coloured Italian leather interior, which Jeep says is shared with the Dodge Viper. The SRT also gains a new and unique steering wheel.
Jeep Australia has requested a massive 25 per cent allocation of the brand’s entire worldwide production capacity (4000), but it remains to be seen how many Jeep Grand Cherokee SRTs find their way to local Jeep dealers in 2013 and beyond.
Check out the photo gallery for many more pictures.