The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: High-Performance SUV

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 which proudly wears the initials, SRT8, stands for Street Racing & Technology V8 and is how Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep models identify as the most powerful and sporty models. The more powerful Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 delivers a lot of torque (637 Nm/470 lb.-ft.) as well as four large P295/45WR20 tires available to transfer all that power to the asphalt.


Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
One of the performance models under the Jeep Grand Cherokee banner is this SRT8.

Main Features


Some of the primary features include:

  • Transmission – NAG1 8-speed shiftable automatic (5-speed for the 2012 & 2013 model years)
  • Drive Type – Full-time 4WD
  • Engine – 6.4-liter V8 Hemi
  • Maximum speed – 160 mph
  • Power – 475HP
  • Acceleration – 4.8s 0-60 mph
  • High-performance brake system
  • Blind-spot monitoring system to help with safe lane changes
  • Forward accident warning system for frontal vehicle impact reduces speed ahead of time
  • The Drivability

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 provides a speed-ready reward to its driver on any surface. It outperforms many of its counterparts with its sporty approach, you can put your foot to the pedal and immediately be rewarded with head-spinning exhilaration. The transmission is an 8-speed shiftable automatic (the original 5-speed automatic for the 2012 and 2013 model years was dubbed the NAG1 transmission).

The Grand Cherokee’s advanced four-wheel-drive system tackles any condition; snow, ice, or even hitting an off-road track. The chassis is lower than most vehicles of its kind, but its spring compression ratio is more improved. If caught on a slippery road surface, the sloping of the front wheels and rear wheels makes it attain impressive lateral speed. The vehicle is designed with torque and horsepower capabilities to allow it to go to a maximum speed of 160mph which of course is governed. The TFT screen on the G-force meter provides the driver with continuous details of the force exerted by the vehicle at all times throughout the trip.

Improved Performance

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is one of the only high-performance vehicles that can double as a grocery getter but that doesn’t stop it from having a load of high-performance features. It is designed with an optimized startup control button, which puts the vehicle into a setting for high acceleration if the driver so chooses after starting up the vehicle. All the driver has to do is to push the start button, put foot on the brake, put the steering into a straight angle and apply the full throttle. Once the brake is released, then this vehicle propels forward as much as the driver wants it to accelerate using the maximum horsepower and torque to continue in a straight line.

The brake system is sharp; no matter what speed. It has impressive stopping power because of its anti-lock discs as part of its innovative design. The vehicle has Bi-Xenon headlights and LED tail lights, which are adaptive to various types of environments and so, if it is dark, it will give you improved visibility where you won’t go unnoticed by other motorists.


Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

The Comparison

Big displacements, copious amounts of horsepower, and a lot of weight, that’s what the two protagonists of this drag race have in common: the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. However, the interesting aspect to point out, in this case, is the differences between a ‘muscle car’ of propulsion with 717 horsepower or an SUV with a four-wheel drive and 475 horsepower.

It is clear that the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the fastest, not only does it have an additional 242 horsepower, but it also weighs more than half a ton less than its opponent in this acceleration race. Nonetheless, it is not easy at all to transform its more than 889 Nm (656 lb.-ft.) of torque into speed with only two driving wheels without producing significant traction losses. This is where the Jeep Grand Cherokee has more advantage on the asphalt.

The Interior

The interior of the Jeep has a combination of detail and style. The steering wheel is flat for easy handling. Additionally, the steering wheel has a distinctive case, which was inspired by previous generations’ racing models, that gives the driver the experience of adrenaline and speed; all from the inside.

The central screen features the UConnect 5 system, which is five times faster than the previous version and can also have wireless updates to improve its use without taking it to the local dealership. The instrument cluster is 7 inches wide with driver-selectable menus for personal optimization. The Jeep also features options such as adaptive cruise control, night vision cameras, fatigue detector, and even traffic warning signs.

The 8.4-inch control panel provides the driver with navigation details, but also specs to improve vehicle performance. For the first time in a car, especially in the Summit Reserve version, you have a McIntosh audio system with a 17-channel amplifier, 19 speakers, a 10-inch subwoofer and a total power of 950 watts. All-in-all, the cabin is quite impressive with a design that offers the driver the ultimate driving experience of a race car but in an SUV.

The Exterior

Looking back at the history and the style of this jeep, it goes without saying that it was probably an inspiration coming from the Wagoneer. It has similar characteristics such as the slight sloping of the grille, a wider package, and slim LED lights. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT measures 4.86 meters (191.3 inches) long. The wheelbase is 2.92 meters (114.8 inches) and that means that the interior space is bigger and the body wider at 1.95 meters (77.1 inches). Additionally, the side has a wide wheel arch, which is quite noticeably between 18 to 21 inches in width.

Conclusion

For most vehicle manufacturers, achieving luxury like this, without being outrageous, is not achievable. Regardless, Stellantis’ (previously Fiat Chrysler) Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 represents a true performance SUV that doesn’t sacrifice luxury, all done flawlessly. The SRT8 version Grand Cherokee has aerodynamic curves making the vehicle strikingly beautiful, retaining a forceful presence on roadways with immense amounts of power, yet somehow gives a luxurious feel as soon as you step inside.


Photos copyright and courtesy of FCA Group (Stellantis North America).

Author: Luke Wilhoit
Luke Wilhoit is an experienced blogger who has written professionally for websites in the automotive, travel, and financial industries. Currently, he is the head of content distribution for the Car Part Planet network of automotive sites. When Luke isn't working, he’s probably fishing, snowboarding, hiking, or doing something enjoyable outdoors.

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