Side-by-side comparison of the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and Trackhawk

Back in the mid-’00s, the crossover craze was in its early days, and options for a high-performance SUV were few and far between. Looking back at some of the most popular SUVs, apart from a couple of European options, power figures above 315bhp were a foreign concept. For most of the SUV’s existence, they were seen solely as a practical towing and towing option, with the idea of ​​a high-performance version of an SUV weighing a tonne or two considered an oxymoron.

These days you have options like the Durango Hellcat, Lamborghini Urus and Cayenne Turbo GT, but before the world of super SUVs, there was the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

Although Porsche and Mercedes-Benz were two of the originators of offering high-performance crossovers, it was the introduction of the Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK) SRT8, which opened the eyes of every gearhead with families you didn’t have to make six figures a year to join to the world of high-performance SUVs.

The SRT8 is also credited with laying the groundwork for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a 707-hp behemoth that paired a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 Hellcat engine with the base AWD SRT8. Jeep had once again redefined the high-performance SUV, with automakers trying to cram their most potent powertrains into their crossovers in an attempt to capitalize on the Trackhawk’s.

For this article, the two legends of the high-performance SUV segment shave off; this is a side-by-side comparison of the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and Trackhawk variants.

Exterior comparison

Via MurrayChryslerWestman

At first glance, it may seem that the differences between the SRT and the Trackhawk are largely indistinguishable. And as far as the average enthusiast is concerned, they are the same. However, there are two subtle differences in the exterior styling and design that set these two variants apart.

The first difference is the wheel options. The SRT8 comes standard with 20-inch satin carbon five-spoke aluminum wheels with red calipers. While the Trackhawk comes from the factory sitting on 20” black satin finished five-spoke aluminum wheels with yellow calipers. The SRT also features a quad-tip exhaust to accentuate the beautiful, natural sounds of the Hemi.

The other difference relates to the vehicle’s lighting, or in the case of the Trackhawk, the lack thereof. The SRT has fog lights on either side of the lower front bumper, but in the case of the Trackhawk, Jeep has dispensed with the additional lighting. The reason for this difference is that the same location on the Trackhawk is now an active part of the grill to further increase cooling.

RELATED: What you need to know about the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

Interior comparison

The cabin in the new Grand Cherokee

The next subtle difference comes in the form of the Grand Cherokee’s interior. Although these vehicles share the same seat shape and size and the exact same technology and safety features, the differences lie in the materials used. Standard seats in the SRT feature a combination of ventilated nappa leather and suede, with custom SRT stitching. The Trackhawk, conversely, has black laguna leather seats with bolsters, and of course custom Trackhawk stitching.

At this point in the comparison, these two models appear to be pretty much the same on paper. But the next section clearly defines the Grand Cherokee’s biggest difference between its SRT and Trackhawk variants.

Under the hood and performance comparison

Grand Cherokee SRT and Trackhawk Hood Up
Via: YouTube – Dan Hardy

Both options come standard with launch control, Brembo brakes, active 4X4 suspension and performance data via the infotainment screen. But at the heart of both these variants lies their biggest difference: the engine.

As previously mentioned, the SRT used to be Jeep’s buffest pony in the stable, and still today features the same 6.4-liter, naturally aspirated, Hemi V8 engine capable of producing 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. No slouch on the track either, it can go from standstill to 60 mph in around 4.4 seconds, with a top speed of 160 mph. All while still being able to tow 7,200 pounds.

The Trackhawk, Jeep’s latest track-inspired toy, is powered by the Hellcat’s massive 6.2-liter supercharged V8, which produces the same 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque. The Trackhawk now sees 0-60 in less than three seconds and can travel up to an absolutely ridiculous 290 mph. Again, making it the world’s best super SUV in terms of pricing and capability.

RELATED: Everything you should know before buying a 2020 Jeep Trackhawk

Trackhawk and SRT price comparison

Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
Via Jeep.De

The second biggest difference between the SRT and the Trackhawk is of course: the price. You’ll be spending a lot of money regardless, but with the SRT starting at around $71,000 and the Trackhawk at $90,000, it begs the question: is an extra 232-hp worth an extra $20,000?

Chances are when you’re browsing vehicles at this price point, money isn’t as much of a factor as it is for some people, in which case the Trackhawk wins every day of the week. But for the consumer staying within a certain price budget for a high-performance SUV, the SRT offers plenty of advanced amenities, comfortable seating, and capable towing capacity. It’s 475hp isn’t a bad quality either.

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