Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

Ready to put the Hammer Down

I finally got the opportunity to drive the Street and Racing Technology V8 (SRT8) Grand Cherokee 2nd generation in the marvelous city of Turin, Italy. It was a crucial experience to bear out the supercharged version due to the fact that I drive one in Lebanon - the 2005 model, V6 - 3.7L. It's my belief that the Jeep Grand Cherokee is among the best vehicles in Chrysler's lineup. In conjunction with the Wrangler, it packs real off-road capabilities into an angular, no-nonsense body. It's a reliable Jeep, first and foremost, and makes no excuses for being anything another than a full-fledged SUV.

Over the past decade, many manufacturers have produced high performance SUVs and crossovers, but the SRT8 is the warped offspring of the abnormal combination of a Jeep and a Dodge Viper.

 

Engine
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is powered by the all-new 6.4 liter HEMI V-8 engine with Fuel Saver technology that turns off four of the eight cylinders when full power is not required to ensure increased fuel economy and reduced overall emissions. The powerful HEMI V-8 powertrain delivers 468 horsepower and 624 Nm of torque and is mated to the proven five-speed automatic transmission featuring both steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and auto stick on the floor. The SRT model achieves benchmark performance: 0-100 kph in 5 seconds, top speed of 257 kph and 100-0 km/h braking distance in 35 m.

Exterior
3cm lowered ride height, 20inch alloy wheels, new liftgate spoiler, functional dual black heat extractors on the front hood and dual-sport exhaust pipes reveal the unmistakable DNA of SRT-badged cars. Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT's race-inspired, exclusive interiors boast new SRT steering wheel with mounted paddle shifters, carbon fiber accents and leather appointments, black heated Nappa leather and suede seats with sculpted bolsters and contrast stitching.

In line with its sporty character, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT features a 3cm lowered, aggressive profile that reveals the unmistakable and unique DNA of the vehicles with SRT badge. The exterior boasts functional design features that enhance the sporty and muscular look of the car, including a liftgate spoiler, 5-spoke, 20in alloy wheels, new wheel flares, functional dual black heat extractors on the front hood and dual-sport exhaust system.

The one-piece front fascia contains new LED multi-function daytime running lamps. The iconic, body-colored seven-slot front grille features a unique black screen background and chrome bezel inserts that add to its aggressive stance.

The integrated lower front grille is painted in gloss black and a newly designed underbody belly pan features integrated brake ducting to improve cooling and fade performance. Completing the new front end is the new hood with functional dual black heat extractors for added HEMI engine cooling. At the rear, a unique one-piece fascia includes a separate air diffuser and offers a dual-sport exhaust system.

Interior
Roomy and comfortable, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT's refined cabin features race-inspired technology and exclusive appointments. Standard equipment offers an all-new, leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel with mounted paddle-shifters, power tilt and telescoping steering column.

Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) controls are accessible from the horizontal spokes on the steering wheel and feature SRT-exclusive Performance Pages - a distinctive functionality specific to racing technology. This functionality shows instant feedback on steering input measurements, horsepower, torque, 0-100 kph time, 100-0 kph braking distance, g-forces and covered distance times, along with expanded engine information.

New SRT-styled Nappa leather and suede seats, with sculpted bolsters and adjustable active front headrests, provide all the comfort for daily drives and the necessary “grip” to keep driver and passengers in place during spirited driving. The two front seats feature embroidered SRT logo and contrast stitching. Standard heated (front and rear) and ventilated (front) seats provide additional comfort to all occupants.

A perforated leather-wrapped shift knob, carbon fiber accents, leather-wrapped instrument panel and door trim panels and bright, racing style brake and pedal pads add to the refined, performance oriented look inside the cabin.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is available in four body colors: Brilliant Black, Bright Silver, Mineral Gray and Deep Cherry. The interior features Black Nappa leather and suede seats with accent stitching.

Safety Features
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT features a full line of active and passive safety systems. Safety features also include innovative Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross-path detection fitted as standard to further improve safety and occupants' protection.

Standard safety features include:

-Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Electronic Rollover Mitigation (ERM)

-Anti-lock Brake System (ABS): Senses and prevents wheel lock-up, offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions

-Brake-Traction control system (BTCS): Helps to keep driving wheels from spinning during acceleration from a stop or during slow speeds by applying individual brakes to the slipping wheel(s)

-Hill-Start Assist (HSA): Assists drivers when starting a vehicle from a stop on a hill by maintaining the level of brake pressure applied for a short period of time after a driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal. If throttle is not applied within a short period of time after the driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal, brake pressure will be released

-Trailer-Sway Control (TSC): Reduces trailer sway and improves handling in adverse towing conditions caused by crosswinds and traffic. The system monitors the vehicle's movement relative to the driver's intended path, then applies alternating brake pressure to slow the vehicle and then increases the pressure on one front wheel in order to counteract the sway induced by the trailer

-Park Assist with front and rear sensors and ParkView® rear back-up camera

-High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Bi-Xenon headlamps with SmartBeam® system (adjusts to ambient light and oncoming traffic to deliver maximum lighting)

-Advanced multi-stage air bags and full-length side-curtain air bags

-Front and rear window bags

-Driver's knee air bag

-Active head restraints: Deploy in the event of a rear collision. Restraints are designed to reduce injuries by minimizing the gap between the head restraint and the passenger's head

-Energy-absorbing steering column: The power-adjust steering column employs a calibrated bending element that deforms during column stroke for optimal energy management

-Rain-sensing Wipers: A driver convenience feature that automatically senses moisture on the windshield and activates wipers

-Three-point Seat Belts with Pre-tensionless

-Child seat anchor system (ISOFIX): Designed to ease installation of compatible aftermarket child seats

-Tire Pressure Monitoring System: Includes pressure-sensor modules integrated within the valve stems of all four road wheels that send continuous radio-frequency signals to a receiver to inform occupants when the pressure is too low

-Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS): Makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and reach occupants in the event of an accident by turning on the interior lighting and unlocking doors after air bag deployment. Also shuts off flow of fuel to the engine

-Adaptive Cruise Control: The system decreases the vehicle's pre-set cruise control speed when closing in on another vehicle in the same lane, or when another vehicle pulls into the same lane. The system will accelerate to the pre-set speed when the vehicle in front speeds up or moves into another lane

-Additional safety and security for driver and passengers are granted by the innovative Forward Collision Warning and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-path detection safety system, offered as standard

Street and Racing Technology (SRT)
SRT vehicles are not simple machines. They are designed and built by the Chrysler Group's in-house performance division - Street and Racing Technology (SRT). SRT is responsible for developing the high-performance evolution of the most exclusive models in the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge lineups. Each SRT vehicle adheres to five proven hallmarks that include functional, performance-oriented styling, race-inspired and high-performance interiors, outstanding ride, handling and capability, benchmark braking and awe-inspiring powertrains. These products include the Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, Dodge Charger SRT8 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

Verdict
All in all, it is an awesome SUV to own. And one more thing, value for money is quite good. The competition for the GC SRT8 are the X5 M, X6 M and the Cayenne Turbo. We know that the GC SRT8 is not better than a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. I personally know it. And surely Jeep knows it. But as a middle-aged man, it's the most suitable, fast SUV to own!

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