Australia’s thirst for the V8 engine is real. Or so Jeep believes. The rugged American SUV staple is set to launch it’s all-conquering Grand Cherokee Trackhawk on our shores early next year, and initial in-house projections are that Australia could be the flagship model’s second biggest market behind its native US.
The supercar-shaming SUV is a 2.4-tonne track-focused weapon, using a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine (the same platform as the Dodge Hellcat) producing a mind-numbing 522kW/868Nm and a 0-100km/h launch time of 3.7-seconds. In comparison, Australia’s last locally made “supercar,” the limited edition Holden HSV W1, employs the same capacity engine with the same induction system—but only manages 474kW/815Nm and a 4.2-second run from 0-100km/h.
What’s even crazier? The Trackhawk is set to enter the market at just $134,900 (before on-roads), pricing it at well under half the cost of the $306,436 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S and the (expected) $500,000+ Lamborghini Urus, due next year. That’s a bargain considering the Trackhawk’s 3.7-second launch time and 289km/h top speed easily trumps the Porsche’s 4.1-second launch and 284km/h top speed figures, and come scarily close to the Lambo’s 3.6-second launch and 305km/h top speed initial claims.
We caught up with the marque’s Australian CEO Steve Zanlughi at the Trackhawk’s launch event last week, and the Jeep boss was openly transparent on the brand’s aspirations with the Trackhawk – “In terms of value for money in the performance segment, it will be difficult to find anything else that comes close,” he told us.
“In terms of value for money in the performance segment, it will be difficult to find anything else that comes close.” – Steve Zanlughi, Jeep Australia CEO.
With an emphasis on bringing the brand’s high performance off-road ethos from the trails to the track, it’s no surprise nearly 200 Aussies have already put their money down, with the first 62 ‘Launch Edition’ models selling out in under three weeks—before local pricing was even announced. While Jeep have offered an early release ‘Launch Edition’ as mentioned—with a (estimated) price just north of $150,000 and deliveries due before the new year—the Trackhawk won’t be marketed as a special edition car, with expected higher volume production numbers and a lack of customer wait time sure to appease the V8-loving masses.
Jeep tells us Aussie deliveries are set for March, and as it’s likely emissions regulations will eventually claim the scalp of most V8s, we doubt you’ll ever be able to buy 522kW off the shelf in such a usable and exciting SUV package ever again. We just can’t wait to drive it!
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk specs
Engine: 6166cc supercharged V8
Power: 522kW @ 6000rpm
Torque: 868Nm @ 4800rpm
Price: $134,900 (plus on road costs)
For more info, head over to Jeep’s website.