Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk: is a 707 HP SUV enough for traditional American teenagers drag race?
A few weeks ago, I’ve been invited to a test day in Trappes. Except if you’re a french RAP music fan (all MCs live there), there is no reason why you could be able to place this town on a map. So do I. I didn’t realise it was so far away, and decided to take suburbain train. What an experience! When I told my adventure to other journalists, they laughed at me. I tried to justify this choice by invoking environmental beliefs (lol). It could have been credible, if I didn’t chose the Jeep Trackhawk few minutes after…
I explain : the media service of FCA group (Fiat Chrysler) had displayed around 20 new models, including NGV (natural gas for vehicles) Ducato and some other low emission machines. The rules? No rules ! Except “take the car that you want and try to be back in one hour”. Why do I say that? Because I’ve not been forced to test the Jeep, despite my alleged green convictions.
A bit of Mathematics with the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
385 g/km. In fact… I rather chose the less environment friendly vehicle available, despite its 11,7L/100 km fuel consumption which appears to be considerably low considering the 6,2L V8 supercharged engine borrowed to the Dodge Challenger SRT. Ok, let’s be honest, as I was concerned by my job, I doubled the statistic. I swear, I will not talk anymore about this kind of unpleasant issues!
707 HP at 6000 rpm and 868 Nm at 4800 rpm. Except if you live in Monaco, you’re pretty sure to have the most powerful car in your neighborhood. These are numbers you normally find on supercar reviews. Or at least, on a supertanker technical sheet. Anyway, if I still have some difficulties to categorize this UFO, the good thing is I broke a personal record. The most powerful machine I had driven before was a 655 HP combine harvester, and I always felt a bite ashamed about this situation.
3.8 seconds for the 0 to 100 km/h. This is better than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, and even than a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Yes, with a solid american truck you can now defeat Porkers. Before this testday, the only Jeep I had driven in my life was a Willys, which doesn’t manage to reach 100 km/h.
Trappes offers the advantage to be situated near the Vallée de Chevreuse, which is a kind of week-end paradise for every Parisian petrolhead. The environment is a perfect playground for agile rockets such as Lotuses or Mazdas. But what about a Jeep? Would you have the idea to test it there?
This member of the family who goes to the gym
I use the straight line at the exit of the business park to test what I supposed the Jeep made for : drag racing. After a first acceleration, I have to say I’m not really excited. It was the “Normal” mode, made for everyday life. Which helps to save some petrol (and avoid bankruptcy). So I put the “Sport” mode on! It immediately reduces by 50% the gear shifting response and delivers the engine’s full capacities.
That’s still not enough : I opt for radical solutions, turning the scroll wheel on the “Race” mode. Thaaaaat’s it.
In this extreme mode, the Jeep TrackHawk starts to become natural, to look like a muscle car. It yells, it propulses you to heaven in few meters, so your whole body is making one with the leather of your seat.
Whoooow, that was good ! Can we do it again? You can safely put the pedal to the metal, the electronic does the job and helps the car to leave its place in decent conditions (I mean without risking your life). You don’t need to be a pilot to receive big emotions, and you even remain confident despite the madness of the engine.
However a question remains: do you need so much power to obtain this kind of feelings? Performances are sensational, there is no doubt. But I though with 707 HP the Jeep would be completely insane. I mean, I was expecting a complete fury in “Race” mode. Maybe the engineers wanted it drivable (by everyone), which is also a challenge.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk: big muscles, but small head ?
After having executed all sorts of non intellectual tests, then came the moment to join small roads, with a bit misgiving. I shouldn’t have feared this moment. Because, like a supercar, the Jeep Trackhawk offers the possibility to set up the suspension, the steering wheel, the engine and gearbox reactions, as well as the torque repartition. Unlike a supercar, it weights 2,400 kg, which you have to keep in mind.
On “Sport” mode, the shock absorbers provided by Bilstein and the reinforced chassis do a great work. On small curve, they definitely help to remain on the road. And once you’ve selected the right set up, you get satisfaction because the Trackhawk is becoming quite accurate. There is not much roll considering the weigh and height. I have to say it behaves pretty well for an US SUV. Jeep improved a lot, congrats !
However, when the tar becomes more degraded, it tends to jump a little bit, and you might select a sweeter suspension if you don’t want to be sick. The good news? With the personalized mode, you are allowed to keep engine and steering in sport mode. You soon start to feel like a professional racing driver trying to set up your bolide.
The funny part of the story ? Jeep installed two other modes : Snow and Tow (WTF ? x2). This is a special call : we want two other tests: a first on an ice track. And a second one towing caravanes on track. Yeah, I know, I often have great ideas.
Should you prefer a Jeep Trackhawk to German SUVs ?
Off course you’ll say a Porsche Turbo is more efficient, a Bentayga more refined, and an Urus more exotic. Fine, call your banker and ask for a credit, or even sell your house! The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a good way to enjoy a sportive SUV, for a reasonable price (121,000€ + malus). Believe us, it’s reasonable: for this amount, you avoid a quarrel with your wife (husband ?).
So is there any serious trouble with this machine? I’ve found one boss ! Despite its 6 pistons Brembo brakes, I found the pedal smooth. It’s already good to slow down a mammouth like this in such a small distance, but it could have been more reassuring. However, if other journalists drove it as I did, it probably needed a fluid bleed.
#FunToDrive Score: 74/100
You always can find better, it’s only a matter of how much you have in the pocket. The Jeep Trackhawk is definitely a good car for its price. Even when comes the time to speak about the inside. Of course, here again, the quality is maybe not as high as European competition, but still not bad. I would have removed some grey plastic pieces (for example on the steering wheel) which reminds you it is a Jeep. Yes, it’s a Jeep, but a 707 HP Jeep with a Thanos face. Thanos the Mad Titan, Marvel’s super villain, you got it? Actually, that’s right, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the super villain’s SUV.
The thing that I appreciated the most ? You will not see it so often on French roads. Jeep allocates only 30 models to France per year. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a good way to enjoy onboard an uncommon machine. However, if you need a more exclusive tool (and have a certain complexe with HPs) : Hennessy announced that they’ re building a +1200 HP version.