The world’s most powerful SUV is given quite an entrance.
We have to give credit where credit is due – the Fiat-Chrysler folks certainly made some grand entrances for Dodge and Jeep at this year’s New York Auto Show. The Challenger SRT Demon is likely the reveal most people will remember, complete with a burnout and aggressive launch like you’d see at a proper drag strip.
We also caught Jeep’s reveal of the 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, however, and that wasn’t without its own share of awesomeness. With an introduction from Jeep boss Mike Manley and flanked on both sides by huge video screens, a Trackhawk strapped tightly to a four-wheel dyno gave a modest power demonstration. Anyone who’s ever watched a vehicle on a dyno will attest to the spine-tingling excitement of watching horsepower in-action, up close and personal. Sure, you see cars blasting down roads every day, but when the machine is physically restrained and given the beans, it’s a completely different experience.
But did Jeep really make a dyno pull on stage? There are a few clues that lead us to the land of shenanigans, the obvious one being no apparent airflow being directed into the engine. Such fans are required to keep screaming-yet-stationary engines cool, and with the Trackhawk running for nearly a minute at partial and full throttle, it seems engine temperatures would be critical. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any discernable movement – even thoroughly strapped-down cars usually have a bit of wiggle once the gas pedal is planted. It all just seems too neat for a dyno display of 707 horsepower, don’t you think?
If you think so, you’d be dead wrong.
“The engine was definitely running and the wheels spinning on the true four-wheel dyno,” said Jeep spokesman Dan Reid in an email to Motor1. “The stock 850-watt under-hood cooling fan worked well to keep it cool.”
So there you have it. Room for five adults, a 7,200-pound towing capacity, able to reach 60 miles per hour (96 kilometres per hour) in 3.5 seconds, and it has an awesome cooling system for its 707-horsepower Hellcat engine. As far as cool vehicle launches go, Jeep gets a gold star for this one.