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Thursday - 24 September 2020

This Jeep’s on Steroids

We’ve seen SUV sales increase exponentially over the last couple of years so what was next for the SUV market? Well, dropping bigger engines in them. We’ve seen it done with the Range Rover SVR, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV, BMW X5 M and the Merc GLC63 AMG S. What do all of these SUVs have in common? Well, they are all fast and luxurious but they are also European.

There was no entrant from any other part of the world, until now that is. Let me introduce you to the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, America’s answer to the fast SUVs of Europe.

First Impressions

The normal Grand Cherokee is something that tends to draw attention on the road, it’s chrome highlights and wheels plus it’s chunky body give it quite a road presence. Then there’s the SRT version with a measly 475bhp is slightly more sporty and just a bit more attention grabbing. However, neither of them can compare to the monstrous 707bhp Trackhawk. This mean Grand Cherokee has been lowered, had bigger wheels fitted, all the badges are blacked out, it’s got massive Brembo brakes, has quad exhausts and a 6.2L Supercharged V8 straight from a Dodge Challenger Hellcat. It is intimidating to say the least.

Angry on the outside

Angry is what sums this up best, in fact it is filled with rage. It does after all have the heart of a Hellcat. If this car was a person, it would turn up at a bar and then have got into fights with everyone at the bar by the end of the night and it would probably try to fight the bouncer as well. It is properly ferocious. The badges are blacked out, it’s got massive brakes with yellow calipers, quad exhausts, enlarged wheel arches and a big ‘SUPERCHARGED’ badge on either side. The exhaust note sounds even more raspy than Bruce Springsteen in ‘We Are the World.’ Also, be prepared for the shock of your life as you put you foot down and make sure to wear a neck brace because this car will hit 100kph in less than 3.5 seconds.

Rough on the inside

Now I’m sure that you were expecting to see a picture of the interior but were instead greeted by the sight of that 6.2L Supercharged Hellcat V8. There’s a perfectly good reason for this, apart from a bit of carbon fibre and red accents, the interior isn’t anything special. It feels rather rough and there’s a fair share of scratchy plastics around. However, the interior isn’t the reason you bought the Trackhawk over the SRT or the average Grand Cherokee. You bought it for that engine and let me tell you that while the interior is a little disappointing, the engine is anything but. It rumbles and growls at you when you touch the throttle and then there’s the supercharger whine which my friend Dave described as whining more than his son. It is a force of nature and it needs to be to haul this massive two tonne brick at breakneck speeds.

The Verdict

Make no mistake about it, when it comes to luxury and build quality, the European options all have the upper hand but they are also a fair bit more expensive than this Jeep. They might be comfy but they cannot compare with the fear factor that comes from putting your foot down in the Trackhawk. This Jeep will annoy your neighbours, it will spook horses and it will make people give you disapproving looks but at the end of the day, you’re the one with the supercharged V8.

The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk gets a 6.5/10 from me. It’s great at being frightful to drive and it’s earth shatteringly quick but it is rather hard to live with.

Thanks for reading, make sure to like and share! Words and pictures by Matthew D’souza
Matthew D'Souza
One of those born car enthusiast types. Owns a Golf GTI which I won't stop talking about

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