Reports have been circulating for months that the American SUV brand is preparing a hardcore performance model powered by the supercharged 6.2-litre Hemi V8 currently fitted to the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and Charger Hellcat models.
The supercharged engine produces a monstrous 527kW of power and 880Nm of torque in the Dodge duo, and Jeep’s Trackhawk version is expected to mirror those outputs.
Outputs of the current Grand Cherokee SRT performance flagship are humble in comparison, with its 324kW/644Nm 6.4-litre V8 outgunned spectacularly by the Hellcat V8 to the tune of 203kW and 236Nm.
An insider speaking with US site Motor Authority in June claimed the brutal SUV – allegedly known in-house as ‘Project K’ – would accelerate from 0-60mph (0-96km/h) in “less than three seconds” – a seemingly unlikely feat that would make it roughly a second quicker to the mark than the fastest Porsche Cayenne. With the Grand Cherokee SRT taking 4.6 seconds to hit the same mark, a sprint time under four seconds seems more likely.
FCA director of marketing Zac Loo told CarAdvice he could neither confirm nor deny such a model’s existence, but insisted that “if such a thing existed it would be high on our list of priorities”.
Loo said that as a percentage of total Grand Cherokee sales, Australia’s demand for the SRT version was higher than any other market in the world. Currently 11 per cent of Grand Cherokees sold in Australia are the SRT performance model. He’s confident an even more powerful variant would be a big hit with local buyers.
“We have a really strong demand for big engines,” Loo said. “Australia loves our V8s, the power. Combine that with an SUV package and they want it even more.
“[The SRT] is one of those cars that if we could get the supply we wanted we could sell even more of them. Obviously they can only build so many and we take all that we can get.
“So in the same vein, I’m sure that if something came along with more power we believe the appetite would be just as healthy.”
To the end of August, Jeep has sold 8219 Grand Cherokees across Australia, of which approximately 900 have been the SRT.
With nothing like it on the market, it’s difficult to speculate just how much the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk might cost if it does make it to Australia. The SRT is currently priced at $83,000 plus on-road costs, suggesting the Trackhawk would likely cost somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000.