Jeep Future Performance: No V8 Grand Cherokees or Gladiators and Trailhawk is Dead

The head of the Jeep brand Jim Morrison says that there will be a number of changes taking place as the manufacturer transitions to electric vehicles. Among those changes are no more V8 engines in Grand Cherokees and Gladiator pickups. Also, he says the Trailhawk probably won’t return. AHe had more to say about Jeep performance at the 2022 New York Auto Show.

Will there be Jeep performance versions with a V8?

A red 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee driving around a winding road.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Jeep

Morrison was on hand at the show and our pals at Motor Authority caught up with him for some impromptu questions. He confirmed last September that the last V8 Jeep will be the current Grand Cherokee. Performance versions will still be available for WL generation Jeeps like the Grand Cherokee, but without a V8 under the hood.

And what about a V8 in the Gladiator pickup? He said, “I don’t know that we’ll ever see a 392 in the Gladiator, to be honest.” With much lower production figures than the Wrangler, it is tough to justify an optional engine that will see minimum numbers. 

He also said that factory 35-inch off-road tires on the Gladiator Xtreme Recon version won’t happen either. But he did confirm that larger tires will still be available through its Jeep Performance Parts offerings. Does that mean the Wrangler will get 37-inch tall tires like the Ford Bronco Raptor? Nothing has been confirmed so far.

Will there be a Trailhawk option for Grand Cherokee?

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk on the road
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk | Jeep

But what about the Trailhawk option for Grand Cherokee and its variant, the Jeep Gladiator? Without confirming or denying it will go away, he did say there could be an electric variant called “Electrichawk.” But then again, maybe not.

Electrification for the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be here by 2025. We don’t know if the electrification incorporates the new inline-six just officially announced. It is the first completely new internal combustion engine from the company in some time. And it will use turbochargers for a performance edge. 

If you factor its 420 hp and 468 lb-ft of torque, adding electrification could garner 700 hp. And a 4xe version of the Grand Cherokee L will probably be in its future, though Jeep is looking at how it is faring in the Wrangler. Since it is selling well, that probably answers that question. 

What are some of Jeep’s plans for the all-new turbocharged inline-six engine?

A beige 202 Jeep Grand Wagoneer parked in front of mountains.
2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer | Jeep

And finally, there was a veiled reference to a plug-in hybrid version of the turbocharged straight-six. As the engine is so new, and potentially the last ICE engine developed by the company, expect numerous variations before the world bows to all-electric power. 

That inevitability makes a lot of this more-or-less expected from the Jeep boss. While those working for automakers are always sworn to secrecy, their general plans do get revealed over time, helping to piece together a brand’s direction for the immediate future. With electrification being on everyone’s plate, product planners are laying out how ICE engines will integrate before evaporating. And also, how to smoothly transition into the new electric world. 

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