With all the Challenger Demon hype at the New York Auto Show, it’s easy to forget Jeep’s debut of the world’s most power sport utility vehicle.
Oh how quickly the world forgets. While everyone revels in the tire smoke produced by Dodge’s Challenger SRT Demon and its drag-ready 840 horsepower, there’s this thing called Trackhawk that was all the rage just a few short days ago. You remember – it’s a Jeep Grand Cherokee graced with a 707-horsepower supercharged V8 pulled straight from the Charger and Challenger Hellcat. You remember the Hellcat, right? That car was so last month when people thought 707 horsepower was, you know, a lot.
Now that we’ve had the opportunity to see the Trackhawk live, we must admit it’s rather impressive. What’s not to like about a Jeep SUV with fat Brembo brakes and a speedometer that reads 320 kilometres per hour? Jeep claims it’s the fastest SUV in the world with a 0-60 mile per hour (0-96 kilometre per hour) time of 3.5 seconds, though we’ve pointed out that Tesla’s Model X P100D with Ludicrous Mode makes the same journey in just 2.8 seconds. It all depends on whether or not you consider the Model X an SUV, which admittedly is a term that is subject to debate these days.
The Mercedes-AMG GLC63 leaves less room for debate in the sport utility segment. Also debuting in New York, the AMG-tweaked Benz is available with up to 503 horsepower – over 200 less than the mighty Trackhawk. However, Mercedes-Benz says its take on a muscular SUV can shoot to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, which places it in a virtual dead heat with the Trackhawk. We’re not suggesting folks looking for a ridiculously fast people mover will be cross-shopping Jeep with Mercedes. Actually, perhaps we are – they’re comparable in size and performance, and though we don’t have pricing for either, we suspect that figure won’t be too far apart either.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has huge numbers on paper, but that doesn’t always translate to real-world success. Clearly a road test will need to happen in the coming months to see just how the Hellcat-powered Jeep gets along with other super-SUVs of the world.