2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk first test review: Power Mad

Jeep Grand Cherokee Full Overview

There is a line from Moby-Dick, “In a whaler, miracles soon subside.” Whales are amazing creatures, magnificent mammalian consequences of evolution. Awesome, in the older, real sense of the word. And in a life spent in their pursuit, so filled with wonder, the whaler soon became immune to unbearable excitement. As much as I try and not let myself be stunned by the routine of driving amazing dream machines, it happens.

So imagine my surprise when I left Motor Trend HQ one afternoon I was flooring the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and found myself laughing like a fool for 30 seconds straight. Keep in mind that I only floored the big red jeep for about three seconds, but that was enough to make me giggle and whine ten times as long. I was not in sports mode or track mode and I did not use start control.

Well, live long enough and you’ll see everything. Including the new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a family SUV with a 707-horsepower 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 under the hood. Crazy? By design. It’s refreshing, both personally and professionally, to be surprised by something as utterly ridiculous as Trackhawk. But is it good?

I had been sitting in the Trackhawks driver’s seat for maybe a minute, just burying my right foot. To brag a bit, I’ve driven 171 mph on the front straight of the Big Willow in a Porsche 918 and 193 mph on the Bonneville salt in an AMG GT S. I’m used to big machines doing great things. But none of them tickled my funny leg like this $ 100,960 jeep. I have not laughed at such a car since… I do not remember.

How does it feel? Well, some of the giggles come from how it launches the opposite of a Hellcat. Maybe not what you can expect because the two vehicles have the same engines, the same power and almost the same torque (645 vs. 650 lb-ft). The thing is, even though Hellcat is both the Pirelli shareholder’s best friend and a smoking machine, the Trackhawk – thanks to four-wheel drive – puts all that screaming overcharged anger on the sidewalk. The big jeep also squats back in a squat in a fun but amazing way. For a brief moment, it feels like the Trackhawks’ beak is pointing toward the sun. The adaptive Bilsteiner are actually quite stiff (and would still be stiffer if I had been in Track mode), but with 70 percent of the power hitting the rear wheels, thanks to a fixed torque split, this Jeep will lean backwards when launching.

How does this handle? Another reminiscence if I may. Since I have driven a Porsche 918, I am inevitably asked what it is like to drive. “Quick,” I say. “It’s just fast.” That means I know I drove four laps around the main track at Willow Springs, but I remember literally nothing about the 889 hp hybrid hypercar, other than how fast it is. Nothing. The same goes for the Trackhawk, only when it comes to initial acceleration. I know I took a few corners in it, but most of my memory comes from the first launch. It’s just so brutally fast that I know I drove the jeep aggressively on a curvy road, but I just can not get past the anger of leaving from a stop. Talks about which…

The trackhawk hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds in our tests and beat Jeep’s claimed time of 3.5 seconds. The fastest we have ever reached 60 mph in Hellcat testing is 3.7 seconds, for both Challenger and Charger (both were eight-speed cars – we have never tested a manual). For SUVs, they were the fastest at 60 mph we tested before the Trackhawk Tesla Model X (3.2 seconds), Bentley Bentayga (3.5 seconds), BMW X6 M (3.7 seconds) and Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe 4Matic ( 3.9 seconds)). Lamborghini claims 3.7 seconds to 60 mph for the 650-hp Urus, although I think we will see 3.4. Discounts Tesla’s immediate torque so far, so good for Trackhawk.

But right now it’s as good a time as anyone to mention a little warning: We weighed the Trackhawk, and the results are not good looking – £ 5,448. It’s very SUV. The AMG, for example – which by chance shares the same foundation as the Trackhawk, the last remnants of the DaimlerChrysler – weighs almost 100 pounds less (5,359 pounds). The X6 M comes in at a relatively trim of 5,187 pounds. All of this makes Trackhawks acceleration so much crazier.

To continue that conversation, in the quarter-mile test, the Trackhawk runs 11.7 seconds at 116.2 mph. Did you ever think that we would see the day when a production SUV drives the quarter in the 11th century? It’s just crazy! Or should I say ridiculous, because Model X when in ludicrous mode also runs an 11.7-second quarter mile. However, the Trackhawks’ drop speed is 0.2 mph higher than the Model X’s, so Jeep beats Tesla in a drag race. What a world. Speaking of 11s, the 600-horsepower Bentayga runs 11.9 seconds at 117.1 mph. Some other fast city jeeps for you to consider: X6 M, but that slowpok took 12.1 seconds at 114.3 mph. The fastest we’ve ever seen a four-door Hellcat drive is 11.8 seconds at 124.3 mph. That means the Jeep is faster, but the extra 900 pounds of lard and AWD hardware slows it down in terms of speed, hence the 8-mph gap at the end of 1,320 feet. The fastest two-door Hellcat binds the Trackhawk in 11.7 seconds, but its trap is even higher at 125.4 mph. The Challenger Hellcat only happens to weigh 999 pounds less than the Trackhawk. (It’s 666 if you invert – coincidence or conspiracy?) Just to further impress you with how fast this Jeep is, the Corvette Grand Sport hits 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and runs the quarter mile at 12.2 at 116.1 mph. In addition, the 650-hp Camaro ZL1 with 10-speed auto reaches 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and runs the quarter-mile in 11.5 seconds at 125.0. This Jeep is genuine in a straight line.

Trackhawks stopping power is neither great nor terrible – 108 feet from 60 mph, not supercar distance but impressive considering its abundant power. The figure of eight is a different story. The time itself is stable: 24.7 seconds, which happens to be a draw for the single Challenger Hellcat. We have tested three different Charger Hellcats and have seen 24.4, 24.5 and 24.6 seconds. Which means this big Jeep can be stressful. However, the experience is more mixed. “I just put my foot through the floor on the first lap because the stopping power was not what I expected from Brembos and P Zeros,” said road test editor Chris Walton. “Sure, it’s a heavy mutha, and it goes across the middle of the track at 79 mph, but I really had to back up the brake zone with about three jeep lengths to make the corner of the ski pad.

“Once there, it turns in quite slowly, gives only a slight hint of the front tire’s penalty, and eventually settles into terminal understeer,” he continued. The exit, however, is where “Wheeeeee” happens. You can literally stand on the high pedal and do a four-wheel drive until it points straight. Then it simply stinks. Finally, four-wheel drive to take advantage of all the Hellcat horsepower and torque that does not can be fully utilized in either Challenger or Charger. “

I completely agree with Chris on the last point. I got tired of having to change tires on our long-term Hellcat. Simply put, 707-hp bar calongers could not put their fantastic power to the ground. This supercharged superjeep can safely.

Before Trackhawk, if you had told me that one day there would be a $ 100,000-plus Jeep, I would have assumed it would have been some sort of luxurious, reborn Grand Wagoneer – complete with the terrain chops that the mythical brand is known for. for. I would never have seen a drag strip bruiser in the cards. Yet we are here. I’m sure we can all agree that there is no need for a vehicle like this. But boy, are we all happy Jeep gave it the green light. I have no problem with crazy, as long as it’s the good type of crazy. You know, the kind that makes a supercar-saturated car printer giggle like a todder. It’s not strange to slow down here.

Looks good! More details?

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Supercharged
BASIC PRICE $ 86,995
PRICE AS TESTED 100 960 USD
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 6.2L / 707 hp / 645-lb-ft supercharged OHV 16-valve V-8
TRANSFER 8-speed automatic
PERSONAL WEIGHT (F / R DIST) 5,448 lb (56/44%)
WHEELBASE 114.7 inches
Length x width x height 189.8 x 76.5 x 67.9 inches
0-60 MPH 3.3 sec
QUARTER MILE 11.7 sec @ 116.2 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 km / h 108 feet
PAGE ACCELERATION 0.90 g (average)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.7 sec @ 0.79 g (average)
EPA CITY / HWY / COMB FUEL ECON 11/17/13 mpg
ENERGY SHARES, CITY / HWY 306/198 kW-hours / 100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.48 lb / mil

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