The 2012 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8® nearly defies explanation. With a 470-hp HEMI V8 engine and advanced new four-wheel drive, this high-performance machine will have you looking over your shoulder every time you stop, because you’ll need to remind your self that you’re driving a practical SUV and not a low-slung muscle car.
Starting at an MSRP of $61,160, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 blends muscle car performance, sports car handling, family SUV practicality and sumptuous luxury in a way that defies explanation and expectations.
Jeep understands that gearheads want the stats first. Hold on, because they’re the kind of numbers that can blow back your hair. The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 can rip from zero to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds and take down the quarter-mile in the mid-13s. That makes sense when you consider that “SRT” stands for “Street Racing Technology.”
The source of the vehicle’s explosive performance is a new 6.4-liter HEMI V8 fortified with an active intake manifold and a high-lift camshaft with cam phasing. The combination of big displacement and those technologies unleashes a torrent of torque – a massive 465 lb/ft. Importantly, 90 percent of that twist is available from 2,800 rpm through 6,000 rpm, putting blistering acceleration always at your command. In true HEMI fashion, the exhaust barks and roars through a dual sport exhaust system with four-inch tips, like it’s 1969, but with clean 2012 emissions.
Forward-thinking Fuel Saver Technology switches the engine to four-cylinder operation under certain conditions that require less power, such as highway cruising. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 can go up to 450 miles on a tank.
Equally impressive is braking performance that will feel like you activated retro-rockets. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 can get from 60 mph to a complete stop in just 116 feet. That’s the net effect of having a brake system worthy of an exotic sports car, with Brembo six-piston calipers grabbing huge, 15-inch vented rotors in front and Brembo four-piston calipers in the rear working with 13.8-inch vented rotors.
In case you don’t know how the SRT8 Performance Division engineers a vehicle, the one thing to remember is that all components are chosen and tuned for track capability. Purchasing the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 entitles you to one day of professional driving instruction with the SRT Track Experience. You’ll learn techniques to help make you a better driver on the street or track.
If you’re a member of a driving club that enjoys an occasional track day, for example, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 can help you pull a neat trick on fellow members. With its 5,000-pound towing capacity, the SRT8 can pull your sports car, extra tires and supplies to the track. Unhitch your track car, and then take the SRT8 out on the track, where it can reach a top speed of 160 mph.
For sports-car-like driving engagement, use the steering wheel paddle shifters to control the five-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle’s four-wheel independent suspension uses adaptive damping to fine-tune wheel motion control. With the Electronic Limited Slip Differential and massive 20-inch forged aluminum wheels wearing P295/45ZR20 Pirelli tires, this unique performance machine can generate .90-g cornering force on the track.
The Grand Cherokee SRT8 employs an all-new full-time SRT8 Quadra-Trac™ four-wheel drive system, and the driver can exercise control over the torque split tuning and suspension damping using the five-mode Selec-Track™ control system. The “Auto,” “Sport,” “Tow,” “Track” and “Snow” modes each optimize the 4WD and suspension damping accordingly.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 looks the part of a track warrior outside while offering high-end luxury inside. The standard SRT-styled Nappa leather and suede seats grip the driver and front passenger with sculpted bolsters. The power tilt and telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel looks racy with its flattened bottom section, and provides heat for colder days. Many will find the HEMI’s music irresistible, but the Grand Cherokee SRT8 also offers an available harman/kardon® 825-watt, 19-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system. Easy-to-use infotainment options work with the latest consumer devices.
For ultimate comfort, choose the available Luxury Group. This package includes premium leather for the door trim, instrument panel and center console and also gives you the convenience of a power liftgate and adaptive cruise control, plus the safety of Forward Collision Warning and Blind-Spot Monitoring.
This story could go on, but really, you can’t fully appreciate the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 unless you come in and see, feel and hear it.