Take 522 kW and 875 Nm forced out of a 6,2-litre supercharged V8 engine, put that into a 4×4 and you get the new Jeep Trackhawk that claims, currently, to be the most powerful and fastest SUV on earth.
Impressive as that might be, it does not stop there and the newcomer is equipped with the Jeep Quadra-Trac on-demand four-wheel-drive 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. Torque is delivered to the rear wheels via new ultra-high-strength 300M low-alloy vacuum melted steel half-shafts with upgraded eight-ball outboard constant velocity joints.
Off the beaten track it is then as capable as it is in the guise of robot dragster.
Built in Detroit at the Jefferson Avenue North Assembly Plant the supercharged engine is designed and manufactured using only the strongest and most durable materials. Its cast iron block features water jackets between the cylinders for optimal cooling.
A forged-steel crankshaft with induction-hardened bearing
surfaces is so strong it can withstand firing pressures of nearly 110 bar
(1,600 psi) – the equivalent of five family sedans standing on each piston,
every two revolutions. The unique, specially tuned crankshaft damper has been
burst tested to 13,000 rpm.
High-strength, forged-alloy pistons – developed using advanced telemetry measurement – are coupled to powder-forged connecting rods with high-load-capacity bushings and diamond-like, carbon-coated piston pins.
Premium grade, heat-treated aluminum-alloy cylinder heads are optimised for superior thermal conductivity. Sodium-cooled exhaust valves feature hollow-stem construction and special steel-alloy heads that stand up to temperatures as high as 900 degrees Celsius.
The 2 380 cc per revolution supercharger includes integral charge-air coolers and an integrated electronic bypass valve to regulate boost pressure to a maximum of 80 kPa. The twin-screw rotors are specially coated to enable tighter clearance between the rotors. This reduces internal air leakage, delivering improved compressor performance and higher efficiencies. The coating can withstand the temperatures generated by compression, and provides superior corrosion resistance.
The supercharger is sealed for life with premium synthetic oil, uses a drive ratio of 2.36:1 and has a maximum speed of 14 600 r/min.
A high-capacity oil/air heat exchanger, mounted in the front of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, mitigates oil temperatures when driving conditions are harshest, such as on the track.
A new low-temperature cooling system, consisting of a pump, reservoir, heat exchanger and lines, help keep the charge air cool during performance driving. This system is designed to keep intake air temperatures below 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit), under extreme ambient conditions, while enabling air flow of up to 30,000 liters per minute.
A new fuel delivery system, featuring two high-flow, multi-mode pumps, matches the high-performance demands of the engine.
The standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission delivers improved shift response, quality and consistent performance and drivability. The transmission software takes into account variables such as engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, friction detection and downshift detection to determine the appropriate shift map.
Launch Control, fitted as standard, optimises the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk’s performance by coordinating the engine, transmission, driveline and suspension for a textbook launch and consistent straight-line acceleration.
A new standard Torque Reserve system provides improved engine torque response and quicker vehicle acceleration in Launch Control by pre-positioning the supercharger bypass valve to generate boost and minimise manifold filling time, while cutting fueling to individual cylinders and managing spark timing. This generates a reserve of torque that can be instantaneously delivered upon acceleration from a standing stop.
The Selec-Track system on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk uses performance-tuned software to pre-configure and distinguish the five dynamic modes, including: Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow, enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that ideally meets their requirements and ambient conditions. The drive modes separately control the four-wheel-drive system, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and the electric power steering.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk rides on a short and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper and aluminum lower-control arms (‘A’ arms), aluminum knuckle, aluminum clevis and hollow stabiliser bar. The rear suspension is a multi-link design with coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a hollow stabiliser bar.
New high-performance Brembo brakes include the largest standard front brakes ever offered on a Jeep vehicle. Up front are 400 mm two-piece vented rotors with six-piston calipers painted with a new distinctive yellow finish and 350 mm vented rotors with four-piston yellow calipers in the rear for outstanding stopping performance, heat management and durability.
The new Brembo brakes bring the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to a stop from 100 km/h in 35 m. For added safety, the anti-lock braking, electronic stability control and traction systems are uniquely tuned.
The signature seven-slot upper front grille is flanked by adaptive, bi-xenon headlamps and surrounded by an LED character lamp treatment. The headlamps on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk model feature a Gloss Black background to accent their jewel-like appearance.
The fog lights are absent from the Trackhawk’s front fascia to optimize airflow to cooling modules and air induction without compromising the vehicle’s balance.
From behind, it features has a Gloss Black rear valence that showcases four-inch Black Chrome quad exhaust tips. The new quad exhaust system design provides an exhilarating and unmistakable note during maximum acceleration.
The interior features premium soft-touch materials, unique Light Black Chrome finishes and carbon fiber spears, and a 7-inch driver information display (DID) instrument cluster, which features the tachometer in the middle. The 290 kph speedometer is on the left side of the cluster.
The instrument panel center stack with new 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen features Trackhawk-exclusive Performance Pages that showcase an array of performance timers and gauge readouts, including a new engine dynamometer screen that measures instantaneous horsepower, torque and current transmission gear. The dynamometer screen also includes a new snapshot function for owners to save their readouts on a USB.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk’s three-spoke steering wheel with a flat bottom features a bevy of comfort, convenience and connectivity controls and ergonomically efficient paddle shifters.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk features standard Nappa leather seats with an embroidered ‘Trackhawk’ logo. Seats are also heated (front and rear) and ventilated (front). Dark Ruby Red seatbelts and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof are also fitted features.
There is also a 825-watt Harman Kardon high-performance audio system with 19-speakers and two subwoofers.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk includes more than 70 safety and security features, including Trailer Hitch Camera View at Speed, which allows owners to view trailered items through the rear-mounted camera while moving.
Other standard Jeep safety and security features include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop; Advanced Brake Assist; Blind-spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path Detection; Full-speed Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation; Front and Rear Park Assist; Lane Departure Warning-Plus; Ready Alert Braking and SiriusXM Guardian and Roadside Assistance buttons.
All this for a mere R2,2-million!