Since its debut, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has retained the title of the world’s fastest SUV. Power comes from a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 and hits the pavement via an all-wheel-drive system. The Jeep’s 707-hp output landed it a spot in a recent MotorTrend list of SUVs with at least 500 hp. However, the big draw is the Trackhawk’s $89,140 starting price, making it one of the most significant performance SUV bargains on the market.
Trackhawk power from a Hellcat’s heart
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk benefits from the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat’s 6.2-liter V8 and its 2.4-liter supercharger. According to Jeep, the 707-hp output allows the Jeep to reach 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and cover the quarter-mile in 11.6 seconds. Unlike its 200-mph-capable sibling, the Trackhawk is limited to 180 mph. This is largely due to the extra weight and the all-wheel-drive system. The high center of gravity also plays a significant role in reducing high-speed stability.
The all-wheel-drive system can send up to 70 percent of the rear wheels’ power in smooth road conditions. Launch Control comes standard on all Trackhawk models and works via a button on the dashboard. Engaging the launch functionality sets the Grand Cherokee’s engine, transmission, and suspension into a performance mode. There are various selectable driving modes which allow the driver to both stiffen and soften up the Trackhawck.
Performance SUVs from across the pond
Since no other American manufacturer makes a performance SUV similar to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, you’ll have to look to Europe for competitors. In MotorTrend’s list, we find one of the Jeep’s closest competitor in terms of price. For $84,100, you can have the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe and its 503-hp twin-turbo V8. While the draw of having a more luxurious SUV is undoubtedly strong, choosing the Benz means taking a loss of over 200 hp.
The same budget spent in BMW gets you an X4 M Competition with 503 hp from the twin-turbo straight-six engine. To get the best of Europe’s performance SUVs, you’ll have to spend an excess of $120,000 and still won’t get the full 700 hp that the Trackhawk offers. It’s important to note the difference in material quality, and refinement directly affects the price, although this comparison is purely evaluating horsepower per dollar.
The top tier Trackhawk will set you back over $105,000
Like most high-performance models, the Trackhawk has available options that quickly shoot the price into the stratosphere. The attractive $89,140 starting price quickly vanishes with the choice of visual options such as the black roof for $2,100. Interior luxury options include the Signature Leather Wrapped Interior Package for $4,995, high-performance audio for $2,095, and rear DVD entertainment for $1,995.
Add up all of the packages, add an optional paint color, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk’s price quickly soars to over $105,000. While a six-figure price tag matches the performance the Jeep offers, it becomes significantly harder to praise it as a performance bargain. Thankfully the standard Trackhawk includes all of the performance goodies buyers need to get the most out of the insane performance on offer.