The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT may be able to haul arse – to use a colloquial phrase common in its native America – but it’s one of few fast cars that can also tow up to three tonnes.
Although the flagship SRT launched here in 2012, the big news for this year is the addition of an eight-speed automatic to replace the five-speed unit that was the original’s biggest flaw.
At a very tempting $77,000 plus on-road costs, the SRT continues as the flagship model in the Grand Cherokee line-up. Curiously, however, it is only a relatively small step up from its $71,000 Overland sibling.
Forget about turbos and superchargers because size is the name of the game here. Under the bonnet, the SRT (short for Street Racing Technology) packs a whopping 6.4 litres of pure old-school American muscle.
The Jeep’s 344kW/624Nm V8 Hemi, now paired with that German-made ZF eight-speed auto, can shift this 2336kg monster from zero to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds – as quickly as a PDK-equipped Porsche Cayman S.
The SRT’s in-house rival is the 5.7-litre V8 Grand Cherokee Overland and while its certainly not slow, it’s just not in the same league as its powerhouse sibling.
There’s no confusing the SRT Jeep with the standard Grand Cherokee – from the super-wide Pirelli run-flats on all-four corners shadowing the equally massive Brembo brakes (six-pot up front, four-pot down back), to the properly functional heat extractors either side of the bonnet bulge – this thing has got high-performance stamped all over it.
For 2014, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT boasts a much-improved cabin design over the previous iteration, with plenty of stitched leather and real carbonfibre accents to satisfy the enthusiasts.
However, while soft-touch materials abound inside the SRT, there are also a few hard plastics that have a decidedly cheap look-and-feel to them. It’s no deal breaker, but it does expose the Jeep’s non-premium origins.
Along with its bona fide performance credentials, the SRT also boasts a feast of technology, as well as a virtual A-to-Z catalogue of luxury features.
Highlights include the Nappa leather and suede seats (heated and cooled front, and heated rear), SRT-design heated leather steering wheel with paddleshifters, 8.4-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, seven-inch customisable gauge cluster, power tailgate, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, rear-view camera with front and rear parking sensors, dual-pane panoramic sunroof and Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system.
Uconnect functions such as making or answering phone calls and sending and receiving text messages can be activated by voice commands, once the user’s smartphone is connected to the system via Bluetooth.
While the standard-fit 11-speaker sound system produces a perfectly reasonable note, it simply doesn’t compare to the $1200-optional 825-watt, 19-speaker Harman Kardon unit. Comprising nine tweeters, five mid-range speaker, two mid-woofers and three subwoofers, the audio hits the ear like a front row seat at a live concert.
There’s also something called SRT Performance pages, which displays performance data on the centre screen. For example, drivers can call-up a series virtual gauges that monitor things like g-forces, lap times and quarter-mile acceleration runs (handy if you intend taking your SRT to the Drag strip – watch this space) at the touch of a button.
As a full-size SUV, the SRT also boasts plenty of cabin space including a large boot area, as well as 60/40-split second row seats that fold almost flat. We easily loaded a 29-inch mountain bike (without removing the front wheel).
While the SRT’s cockpit is certainly a nice place to spend some time, it’s that killer engine under the bonnet that tends to dominate the driving experience.
Hit the bright red start button and the 6.4L hemi immediately settles into a classic muscle car-style burble that merely teases its potential fury.
Mated to a hair-trigger throttle, even medium-weight prods can produce neck-snapping acceleration from low revs.
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Grab new wheels for your Grand Cherokee SRT8 today with Ozzy Tyres, as we offer the best prices with fitment guaranteed! Our professional staff can help you through any questions you may have and will advise the best size and offset to suit your car. All you need to do is fill out your vehicle details below and the whole range of wheels available for your car will show up! Its that easy! Alternatively, you can speak to one of our friendly staff by giving them a call on 1300 699 699.