This is crazy. Swapping the trails for the track is the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which is powered by a 6.2 litre supercharged V8 engine pumping out 707 hp and 875 Nm of torque. This big guy does 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 3.5 seconds, the quarter mile (400 metres) in 11.6 seconds and a top speed of 290 km/h. Jeep is calling this the most powerful and quickest SUV ever.

The supercharged V8 is the same block powering the SRT Hellcat versions of the Dodge Challenger and Charger, but put out 6 Nm less here. Jeep has upgraded the TorqueFlite eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission and other driveline components to handle the additional torque output.

The Trackhawk is equipped with Jeep’s Quadra-Trac on-demand 4WD system, which includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential and a single-speed active transfer case. The new, full-time active transfer case uses forged steel chain sprockets and a wider chain for added strength and durability.

A strengthened rear drive shaft connects to a new, stronger rear axle. The differential features a revised housing design, revised ring-and-pinion tooth geometry and new four-point axle mounting scheme for better load distribution, additional torque capacity and overall durability.

The Selec-Track system uses performance-tuned software to pre-configure and distinguish the five dynamic modes – Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow (capable of towing 7,200 pounds). In Sport, shift times are reduced by 50% versus Auto, and in Track it’s 68% faster, to 160 milliseconds. Torque split is 30:70 in this most hardcore mode. There’s room for a Custom mode, too. Launch Control is standard.

The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk rides on a short- and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper- and aluminium lower-control arms, aluminium knuckle, aluminium clevis and hollow stabiliser bar. The rear suspension is a multi-link design with coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminium lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a hollow stabiliser bar.

The Brembo brakes here are the largest standard front brakes ever offered on a Jeep. Up front are 400 mm two-piece vented rotors with six-piston calipers, and the rears are 350 mm vented rotors with four-piston calipers. They bring the 2.4-tonne Trackhawk to a stop from 60 mph (96 km/h) in 34.7 metres.

The Trackhawk rides an inch lower than non-SRT Grand Cherokees, and is further set apart with body-colored wheel flares, side sill cladding and a sculpted hood with dual heat extractors. The headlamps feature a gloss black background and fog lights have been deleted to optimise airflow.

At the back, the angry Cherokee features a gloss black rear valence that showcases its four-inch “black chrome” quad exhaust tips. A “Supercharged” badge on both front doors and a Trackhawk badge on the liftgate reminds others of its identity. The standard wheels are 20-inch items, but there’s a forged aluminium option that saves 5.4 kg. The SUV is available in nine colours, including this exclusive Redline 2 hue.

Inside, you’ll find Nappa and suede seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with paddle shifters, Light Black Chrome finishes and carbon fibre spears, plus a seven-inch driver information display instrument cluster with tacho in the middle and a 320 km/h speedometer. There’s a choice of two audio systems, including an 825-watt Harman Kardon unit with 19-speakers and two subwoofers.

But the most fascinating thing could be the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen with Trackhawk-exclusive Performance Pages. It shows an array of performance timers and gauge readouts, including a new engine dyno screen that measures instantaneous horsepower, torque and current transmission gear. The screen also includes a new snapshot function for owners to save their readouts on a USB. Plenty of other stuff, which you can see in the gallery below.

The “regular” Grand Cherokee SRT is available in Malaysia with a 6.4 litre HEMI V8 engine and a RM699k price tag. Don’t need V8? The handsome non-SRT SUV is available with a 3.6 litre V6 as well.


GALLERY: Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT in Malaysia