Crossover & Midsize

Yes, You Can Drive a 1000-Hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Daily

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has a lot to offer. But while it’s a reliable luxury off-road SUV, with features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, compared to other Jeeps, it’s lacking that little spark of insanity. True, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk offers the 707-hp 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8. But there are Wranglers with 6 wheels, and Gladiators with 1000 hp. And soon, there’ll even be a Ram truck with a Hellcat engine. Luckily, Hennessey Performance, the tuner behind the Gladiator Maximus, has a solution: Mopar. Sorry, not Mopar—mo’ power. Specifically, 1000 hp.

How do you get 1000 hp out of a Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk HPE1000
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk HPE1000 | Hennessey Performance

The Hennessey team start with a stock Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Hennessey then removes the standard supercharger, and replace it with a 2.65-liter one. The fuel pump is also replaced with a higher-flow version, as are the fuel injectors and even catalytic converters.

Hennessey then installs custom stainless steel headers, a high-flow air induction system, an upgraded throttle body, and a high-flow supercharger blow-off valve. When running on high-octane fuel, the result is an engine that makes 1,012 hp and 969 lb-ft.

Hennessey claims its Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk HPE1000 can go 0-60 in 2.6 seconds, and run the ¼-mile in 10.2 seconds. According to Motor1, the ‘stock’ Trackhawk can ‘only’ do 0-60 in 3.3 seconds. The Grand Cherokee HPE1000 is powerful enough, and its four-wheel drive strong enough, that it can out-drag McLarens. And this is an SUV that weighs roughly 5400 pounds.

Roadshow reports the HPE1000 also holds the unofficial record as the world’s fastest Christmas tree hauler. On December 19, 2019, the 1000-hp Jeep Grand Cherokee achieved 181 mph with a Christmas tree strapped to its roof. Roadshow also reports that this was a higher top speed than the Hennessey-tuned Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody achieved 2 years prior.

However, the HPE1000 isn’t Hennessey’s most bonkers Jeep Grand Cherokee.

How does it actually drive?

Even the standard Trackhawk isn’t really an off-roader. It doesn’t even offer an off-road-focused driving mode. Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire did drive it on the track, though, and he also recently drove the HPE1000 version.

Driving on the road, there is noticeably more noise. Specifically, from the exhaust and the supercharger. And to be fair, that’s to be expected. Farah called the Grand Cherokee HPE1000 “a party trick…death on a pedal.”

But what arguably impressed Farah just as much as the horsepower, was the refinement. He daily-drove this tuned Grand Cherokee, and it didn’t feel “weird.” Apart from how the added horsepower was almost a little too much for the stock brakes. This SUV is a great example of a true ‘sleeper’: massive performance, but very little exterior indication.

However, the HPE1000 isn’t Hennessey’s most bonkers Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk HPE1200

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk HPE1200 engine bay
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk HPE1200 engine bay | Hennessey Performance

To make the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk HPE1000, Hennessey had to install a 2.65-liter supercharger. To make the HPE1200 version, Car and Driver reports, the tuner installs a 4.5-liter one.

The HPE1200 gets some of the same upgrades as the HPE1000: throttle body upgrade, stainless steel headers, high-flow injectors, and catalytic converters, and a new fuel pump and air induction system. But this build goes even further. The 4.5-liter supercharger gets a pulley upgrade, to start. The engine gets a new camshaft, forged aluminum pistons, forged steel connecting rods, and ported cylinder heads.

The result, Motor Trend reports, is that on 109-octane fuel, the Jeep Grand Cherokee HPE1200 puts down 1003 hp and 893 lb-ft…at the wheels. Factor in a 20% powertrain loss and you have an engine making about 1200 hp and 1070 lb-ft. Motor1 reports the HPE1200 can cover the ¼-mile in 9.66 seconds, out-dragging a McLaren 720S. And its 2.3-second 0-60 time is quicker than some high-performance EVs.   

Pricing and availability

Both the HPE1000 and HPE1200 upgrades can be fitted to any 2018 or newer Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. They can be purchased either directly through Hennessey or through specific Jeep dealerships. Although, while both come with a 1-year/12,000-mile warranty—and are test-driven 200 miles before delivery—they don’t come cheap.

A standard Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk starts at $87,095. At the time of writing, Hennessey does not list the price of its HPE1000 package. However, both MT and Car and Driver report the Grand Cherokee HPE12000 costs $179,000. That’s double the SUV’s starting price. In addition, Hennessey is only making 24 HPE1200s.

Although, and I can’t believe I’m writing this, 1000 hp in a Jeep Grand Cherokee should be enough for most people, right?

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