Jeep's fastest, most powerful model ever - the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 - will make it to the UK in right-hand drive form next year, Autocar can confirm.
The SRT-8, which made its European debut at last week's Frankfurt motor show, will cost less than £60,000.
The hardcore 4x4 is powered by a new 6.4-litre Hemi V8 unit, which serves up a heady 464bhp and 465lb ft of torque, up by 49bhp and 45lb ft compared with the previous car’s 6.1-litre lump.
Mike Manley, Jeep's CEO, revealed to Autocar that Jeep would limit production of the SRT-8 to preserve its exclusivity and 2012's allocation of around 4500 had already been snapped up dealers.
"This SRT-8, along with the standard Grand Cherokee, brings Jeep back to credibility," said Manley. "This is a phenomenal car."
Thanks to its power hike, the dash to 62mph is dealt with in a BMW M3-rivalling 4.8sec, with top speed reached at 158mph. Despite improvements in performance, however, fuel efficiency is 13 per cent better.
To cope with the SUV’s extra punch, torsional stiffness has been bettered by 146 per cent compared with the outgoing model. And its new Selec-Track suspension management ensures the SRT8 is the 'best handling Jeep ever.'
Meaty SRT high-performance Brembo brakes - with 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers – provide benchmark braking, with just 35m needed to stop the SUV from 62mph. A McLaren MP4-12C, by comparison, can do no better.
Externally, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 sits 30mm lower to the ground and features a new body-coloured grille with a unique black screen background and chrome bezel inserts to accentuate its aggressive front end.
A gloss black lower front grille, a newly sculpted bonnet, rear spoiler and a dual-sport exhaust system complete the look. Inside, a 'race-inspired' cockpit includes a flat-bottomed steering wheel, sculpted Nappa leather and suede seats, as well as carbonfibre accents in the instrument and door trim panels.
No other SRT-8 models are planned by Jeep, however.