There’s potential for smaller Jeep models to get the sporty SRT treatment, according to the brand’s president and CEO, Mike Manley.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the 2014 Paris motor show, Manley indicated there is room for more SRT variants in model lines such as the Cherokee and Renegade, as buyers of smaller SUVs are also likely to want the go-fast treatment.
When asked if he sees potential for such a broadening of its performance branded models, Manley was clear.
“You mean moving SRT down the range? Sure, yeah. I do [see potential for that], definitely,” he said.
However, Manley hinted that no current plans are in the works for more SRTs to hit showrooms. Well, not yet.
“It’s in my head at the moment, but I definitely see the opportunity to do that,” he said.
“Grand Cherokee SRT plays an important part in the entire Grand Cherokee range.
“I think if you look at Cherokee, there’s styling there, and even to some extent Renegade there’s opportunity for us to make sure there is a sport version available,” he said.
Cherokee appears to be the first model likely to get the SRT treatment, though, with Manley suggesting there could be even more buyers eager for that model with a big engine and bolschy styling than there is for the current – very popular – SRT Grand Cherokee.
“There’s probably more of a market on D[-segment] than there is E[-segment] SUV,” he said.
“Yeah, I think it could fit with the brand.”
No potential engine options were mooted as part of the chat, and it would appear unlikely that a 6.4-litre Hemi V8 would fit under the bonnet of the Cherokee.
The current Cherokee range has powerplants including a 2.4-litre four-cylinder with 130kW and 229Nm, and a top-end 3.2-litre V6 with 200kW and 316Nm. It is possible the latter engine is the most likely candidate for fettling, though nothing has been confirmed.