Grand Cherokee SRT8 Most Powerful Jeep Ever

Sections: Car Audio, Powertrain

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The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is displayed

Chrysler says its 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the most powerful vehicle ever to wear the Jeep badge. Shown here is the new-for-2013 “Vapor” special edition. (Photo courtesy Chrysler.)

Chrysler says the forthcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the most powerful vehicle ever to wear the Jeep badge, featuring a 6.4-liter, 470-horsepower HEMI V8 engine.

That engine is good for a sub-5-second zero-to-60 mph run, a 13-second quarter-mile drag, and a top speed of 160 mph, according to a Chrysler press release.

The Grand Cherokee SRT8 puts all that power to the ground via an automatic transmission that features both an AutoStick feature in the console and shift paddles on the steering wheel for drivers who may want to control the shift points themselves. The chassis’ torsional stiffness was reportedly improved by 146% compared to the previous model, which taken in concert with the SRT-tuned adaptive damping suspension with Jeep Selec-Track management programming can dial in the vehicle’s dynamics to help the stocky-yet-swift SUV achieve an astonishing .90g on the skidpad. Consider the much lower-slung, lighter Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 achieved a barely-better .91g on the skidpad, that number becomes even more impressive.

The Grand Cherokee SRT8 gets cylinder deactivation technology and an active valve exhaust system that allows the engine to operate on half its cylinders over a wide RPM range in a bid to improve fuel economy in mundane daily driving, the release said. Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear disc brakes reportedly will stop the Jeep in as little as 116 feet from a speed of 60 mph.

If the go-fast tech doesn’t wow you, Jeep is betting maybe the interior will. Featuring a leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel, Nappa leather and suede seats, and a “Command-View” dual-pane sunroof that offers twice as much glass area as a standard sunroof, the interior also houses a lot of techy bits. Want a bumpin’ stereo? Say hello to the Grand Cherokee SRT8’s Harman Kardon 19-speaker, 825-watt sound system with a 12-channel Class D amplifier. Do you require a navigation unit in your ride? This baby’s got one, and it’s got Sirius XM Travel Link standard within its radio. An available Vehicle Entertainment System (VES) offers a DVD player and rear seat overhead screen with ports to connect games and media players with audio and video capability, including iPods.

If you can afford it– Chrysler has not named an MSRP yet, but the 2012 model started at $61,160— and if you can afford to keep gas in it (the 2012 returned an EPA combined score of 14 mpg), the 2013 Grand Cherokee SRT8 is calling your name.

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