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2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

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On: Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 11:33AM | By: Peter C Sessler

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

If you really want to go fast in an SUV, then the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is about the only way to go - in fact, the SRT8 does approach Porsche Cayenne levels of performance.  But you really will want more than pure acceleration, because there are many, many cars out there that can out-accelerate the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. You want that special something that the Jeep provide - in addition to all that power.

In order for the Jeep to be able to handle all that power, certain things had to be done. You’ll surely notice that the Jeep sits lower than its brothers and the front bodywork is dangerously low, which leads one to question: Is this really an SUV vehicle, or is it a hopped up “other type of vehicle” (I don’t know quite what to call it). If it can’t go off-roading at the flick of the steering wheel, then it no-longer is an off-road vehicle, is it? We just can’t be sure.

So, we’ll look at some numbers. The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, which weighs around 5,000 lbs., does 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, 0-100-0 mph in the mid-16 second range, can cover the quarter mile in the mid-13 second range, has a top speed of 160 mph, and brakes from 60-0 mph in 116 feet. Those are impressive numbers, alright! That surely is high performance!

There is no replacement for cubic-inches and that is true for the Grand Cherokee SRT8 too. What does the trick for the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is Chrysler’s all-new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology that pumps out 470hp (almost 500hp!) with 465 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s an improvement of 50 hp and 45 lb.-ft. torque over the 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 it replaces.

Improved fuel efficiency is achieved with standard fuel saver technology and a new-for-2012 active valve exhaust system that allows four-cylinder operation to engage over a wider rpm range - that translates to an extended range of 450 miles on one tank of gas.

I have to admit it - the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is impressive when it comes to handling. Too often engineers just drop a large motor in the vehicle, install wide tires and let it go at that, but it seems that Chrysler went a step further with the Grand Cherokee. It is the best handling Jeep ever - capable of .90g on the skid pad.

This is done by lowering the Grand Cherokee one-inch and using a new SRT-tuned, adaptive damping suspension managed by the Jeep Selec-Track system. This system interacts with several different systems - such as the stability control, adaptive damping, transmission shift strategy, transfer case torque proportioning, Electronic Limited Slip Differential performance, throttle control and cylinder de-activation to automatically tune the dynamics of the vehicle.

Other performance-oriented items include a fully-hydraulic steering system that is improved with a new, heavy-duty pump and pump cooler with revised gearing to give the driver more direct feel and on-center response; and new split 5-spoke, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels use P295/45ZR20 Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season run-flat tires, or available Pirelli P Zero Three-season.

And let’s not forget that the Jeep Grand Cherokee has a trailer tow rating of 5,000 lbs.

Of course, the Jeep Grand Cherokee looks the part with SRT8 exclusive body-color wheel flares and side sill cladding. The integrated lower front grille is painted in gloss black while an underbody belly pan is used for brake cooling. Completing the new front end is a newly sculpted hood with functional dual black heat extractors.

At the rear, a liftgate spoiler is used which reduces drag and improves downforce. A unique one-piece rear fascia includes a separate air diffuser along with an optional trailer receiver and access cover. Adding some visual pizzazz is the new dual-sport exhaust system featuring 4-inch exhaust tips.

The interior is dressed up just as well as the rest of the vehicle with a long list of standard features. If you’re going to spend this much ($60,000) you might as well consider the optional 825-watt, 19-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system from Harman Kardon. The new system uses GreenEdge speaker and amplifier technology. GreenEdge amplifiers alone outperform traditional amplifier efficiency by up to 55 percent, representing a net efficiency of more than 90 percent in some cases.

All in all, you’ll find that SRT has done a credible job with the Grand Cherokee. The urge to make the vehicle bigger has been resisted, thank goodness, and the size remains nearly the same. You’ll find the Grand Cherokee SRT8 a great vehicle.

Finally, owners of any Chrysler Group SRT vehicle receive one day of professional driving instruction from the Richard Petty Driving Experience as part of the SRT Track Experience. You don’t just get in from a regular car into an SRT vehicle just like that - Chrysler wants to be sure you’ll be able to handle insane levels of acceleration!

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Stephy21 | 8:34AM (Fri, Dec 9, 2011)

i don't think i would classify this as a jeep any more, more like a SUV but i do like the changes they have made to the motor.

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