Extreme machine: Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk the most powerful SUV ever | CAR Magazine

Extreme machine: Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk the most powerful SUV ever

Published: 12 April 2017 Updated: 12 April 2017

► Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk revealed
► ‘Most powerful and quickest SUV ever’
► Jeep’s 2017 New York motor show star

Brace yourselves – the ultimate SUV has blasted into the 2017 New York motor show. Say hello to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a 6.2-litre V8-powered monster that the brand claims is ‘the most powerful and quickest SUV ever’.

That’s quite a claim, but the Trackhawk does come armed with 697bhp, 645lb ft of torque and a supercharger so strong it could jump-start an aircraft carrier. Zero to 60mph is dealt with in a frankly ridiculous 3.5 seconds (that’s quicker than an Aston Martin DB11 and a Jaguar F-type R Coupe) and it runs out of puff at 180mph. Quite dizzying for something the size of Blenheim Palace.

All of that power and speed is down to an array of high-performance drivetrain parts but, thankfully, Jeep hasn’t forgotten that the driver might need to stop every now and then, and enormous 400mm Brembo brakes mean that the Trackhawk’s 60-0mph stopping distance is just 114 feet. The V8 is coupled to a strengthened ‘TorqueFlite’ eight-speed auto ‘box with launch control and an electronic limited-slip diff helps manage the gargantuan amount of torque.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk rear

There’s no mistaking the Trackhawk for a common-as-muck Grand Cherokee either; the big bruiser is dolled up in a unique body kit that reputedly optimises airflow, while light and strong 20-inch titanium alloy wheels and quad exhausts complete the look.

Inside, the driver is treated to red Nappa leather and suede seats, a panoramic sunroof and an optional Harmon Kardon stereo system that will have a hard time drowning out the bellowing V8 and supercharger whine. The as-standard 8.4-inch infotainment system has a new set of performance data pages and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk performance stats

Its family SUV roots remain, too, so there’s all sorts of safety tech as standard including adaptive cruise, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.

Plus, for that ultimate buzzkill moment, ‘Valet mode’ de-tunes the engine, restricts the use of the shifter paddles, disables the Launch Control function and makes sure the stability program is VERY on for if/when you have to hand your keys over to an overly eager car park attendant.

Not tired of extreme Jeeps yet? Check out our review of the Grand Cherokee SRT8

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches