All’s well with the American auto biz when it has the confidence, and the cash, to be distracted enough to unveil vehicles that are absolutely bonkers.
Just two years ago, Chrysler was on the scrapheap, on life support and bankrupt, with little hope of resuscitation.
My how times change. Now it’s about to start selling a crazy, hot-rod version of its mud-plugging Jeep Grand Cherokee sport-ute powered by a 465-horsepower, 6.4-liter Hemi V8; zero to 60mph in under 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. That would be ‘bonkers’, with a capital ‘B’.
This is the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 from Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team, better known as the gearheads who gave the world the fire-breathing Dodge Viper.
Of course, this isn’t the first SRT version of a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The original debuted six years ago, packing a mere 420-horsepower. But with times changing and Chrysler being a little more rational these days, few thought they’d have the audacity to intro a 2012 version.
But when you want to tell the world you’re back and running on all cylinders, what better way to do it than build an SUV that can eat Porsches for breakfast.
And this new Super Grand Cherokee is even crazier than the original. Its exterior styling is now pure aggression, with a front end that wouldn’t look out of place on a NASCAR stockcar.
It gets all the other ‘go-faster’ gear too. Like 20-inch forged alloy wheels, giant Brembo brake calipers clamping 15-inch rotors and stiffer suspension. Inside, there are paddle shifters on the flat-bottomed racing steering wheel, and heavily-bolstered and ventilated front seats that will grip you tighter than a Hulk Hogan body lock.
Expect this new SRT to hit showroom around September-time. While there’s no official pricing yet, word is that it’ll land at around the $45,000 mark. That’s a bargain.
Crazy, yes. But you know you’re going to want one.