6.1-litre Hemi for Jeep Grand Cherokee
5 July 2006

Jeep is launching a hotrod version of its Grand Cherokee 4x4, fitted with an enlarged version of the classic Hemi engine.

With a 6.1-litre V8 producing 420bhp and 420lb ft, the new Grand Cherokee SRT-8 is the quickest, most powerful Jeep ever made. It is 25 per cent more powerful than the standard Grand Cherokee 5.7 V8, can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 5.0 seconds, and tops out at 152mph.

The SRT-8 looks the part, with a new front designed to reduce lift, air ducts to help cool the front brakes, sill extensions, two big-bore exhaust pipes and 20-inch five-spoke alloys.

The chassis has also been modified, with tuned Bilstein dampers, specially tuned spring rates and suspension bushings and larger-diameter anti-roll bars, together with a 25mm lower ride height and a re-tuned ESP system. There are also special Brembo brakes.

The car’s four-wheel-drive system has been modified to cope with the extra power, but this is one Jeep that is not designed to go off-road. Peter Lambert, managing director of Chrysler UK’s managing director, claimed that, "It has the raw power to out-perform a Porsche Cayenne Turbo at a fraction of the price."

While it might have the straight-line pace, we’d be surprised if the Jeep can match the Porsche’s extrordinary agility, but it does have one big advantage: price. The Grand Cherokee SRT-8 starts at just £40,585, a cool £30,000 less than the Cayenne Turbo.

The SRT-8 will be available in right-hand drive in limited numbers from July. Read our first drive here.

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