2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: the hot SUV
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 still screams from 0-60 mph in under 4.8 seconds, does the SRT zero-to-a-hundred-and-back run in the mid-16 second range, does a mid-13-second quarter mile, and brakes from 60-0 mph in 116 feet, with a top speed around 160 mph.
The 2014 version greatly improved 30-70 mph and 50-90 mph acceleration, as the eight-speed transmission can drop down multiple gears (while rev matching) in milliseconds. Towing capacity has been increased by 44%, to 7,200 pounds.
Transmission and suspension performance gains
New for 2014, the eight-speed transmission can select specific gears within milliseconds; on full automatic, it can choose between more than 90 individual shift maps to provide the driver with desired power or efficiency (there are also manual-override paddles on the steering wheel). The software considers engine torque gradients, kickdown, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, friction detection, speed control, temperature, and electronic stability control interaction. Eight-speed transmission details.
During development testing at the Nelson Ledges Road Course in Ohio, SRT engineers achieved 6/10ths of a second faster lap times (over the 2013 SRT8).
For better mileage, drivers can choose Eco Mode, which changes the throttle mapping, shift schedules, and cylinder cutoff.
Also new for 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is an easier way to access Launch Control: a switch in the center console. Launch control affects torque split, damper stiffness, shift speeds, and other variables to achieve the best possible acceleration. The vehicle stays in launch mode until the driver lifts his or her foot off the throttle.
Another enhancement for 2014 is a “rev match” downshift function. When the driver downshifts, the engine controller will blip the throttle to minimize the jerkiness typically associated with this maneuver. The result is improved performance and greater stability when downshifting at the traction limit.
The sole engine is a 470 horsepower, 465 lb-ft Hemi displacing 6.4 liters (392 ciod). It uses an active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing for low-end torque; 90% of peak torque is available between 2,800 and 6,000 rpm.
An active valve exhaust system allows four-cylinder operation to engage over a wider rpm range.
The best handling Jeep ever, capable of .90 g on the skid pad, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 uses an adaptive damping suspension that interacts with the stability control, transmission, transfer case, differential, throttle control, and cylinder de-activation. There are five Selec-Trak modes: Auto, Sport, Towing, Track (extra firm), and Snow (there is also an independent Sport/Normal control for the transmission alone).
The standard Jeep Quadra-Trac four-wheel-drive transfer case finds tire slip at the earliest possible moment to take corrective action; “Throttle Anticipate” senses quick movement in the throttle from a stop to increase traction before slippage occurs. The Jeep 4x4 system can transfer up to 100 percent of available torque to one rear wheel.
The transfer case moves torque between the front and rear axles to maintain the driver’s intended path. The electronic limited slip differential cuts rear wheel slip and improves handling.
The hydraulic power steering system has a new pump and cooler, with revised gearing for more direct feel and on-center response.
Stopping distance performance of 116 feet from 60-0 mph is made possible by new red-painted, Brembo 6-piston (front) and 4-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15-inches (front) and 13.8-inches (rear). The main down-side to the high performance tires and brakes is the high cost of replacing them; like many high-performance cars, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 uses quite expensive tires (those Pirellis will run you $1,968 at Tire Rack), and requires that you replace those big vented rotors when the pads wear down.
2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 Styling and Design
The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT8 was lowered one inch from the standard model, and has exclusive body-color wheel flares and side sill cladding. A front fascia has LED multi-function daytime running lamps, a body-colored front grille with a black screen background, and chrome bezel inserts.
The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT has somewhat more aggressive styling than the 2013, with a brawnier grille, one-touch liftgate, rear spoiler, and LED patterns. An underbody belly pan has integrated brake ducting to prevent fading. Designers put the headlamp washers into the headlamp housing, rather than on the bumper.
The front light treatment is mirrored in back, with larger tail lamps and LED lighting. The rear spoiler is more aerodynamically efficient, and the rear SRT badge that no longer carries the number “8.” The new liftgate is operated electrically, and does not have “flipper glass,” enhancing rearward visibility and cutting weight.
A redesigned leather-wrapped, heated, power tilt-and-telescope, flat-bottomed steering wheel has paddle-shift controls on both sides, while all audio and Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) controls are accessible from the horizontal spokes.
A 7-inch electronic display can be configured one hundred different ways. Navigation, audio, fuel economy info, Selec-Terrain modes, and warning indicators can all be shown; pixel illumination is more precisely controlled than in most consumer electronics.
Performance Pages are carried over with new graphics and the 8.4 inch touch-screen, and show instant feedback on steering input measurements, horsepower, torque, 0-60 mph time, 60-0 mph braking distance, g-forces, and one-eighth mile and quarter-mile times, along with expanded engine information. A new feature is sharing data with other enthusiasts, using a built in cell connection. The same screen provides access to the optional/late availability UConnect Access via Mobile (see the main Grand Cherokee page for more.) (UConnect Access Advantage is standard, as are Performance Pages and satellite radio).
The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT Laguna leather interior is available in black and a new Sepia combination.
Nappa leather and suede seats, with sculpted bolsters and adjustable headrests, provide comfort and “grip” and have embroidered SRT logos and contrast stitching accent on the two front seats. Heated (front and rear) and ventilated (front) seats are standard. Carbon fiber accents are integrated into the panels and bright brake and pedal pads add to the look. The optional Luxury Group package adds premium leather to the door trim panels, instrument panel and center console along with a power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning and Blind-spot Monitoring.
An optional 825-watt, 19-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system from Harman Kardon® includes a 10-inch subwoofer. The standard stero uses nine amplified speakers with a subwoofer and a 506-watt amplifier.
Standard wheels and tires are new, five-spoke 20-inch “Goliath” wheels with Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires; Pirelli P Zero Three-season tires are optional, as are split five-spoke, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with the “Spider Monkey” design in Satin Carbon or Black Vapor Chrome. Standard 4-inch dual exhaust tips are integrated into the lower fascia.
Owners of any Chrysler Group SRT vehicle receive one day of professional driving instruction from the Richard Petty Racing School as part of the SRT Track Experience, designed to maximize their driving knowledge and skills on the street or track. Sessions are held throughout the year at selected tracks.
Paint colors are Billet Silver Metallic, Bright White, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl, Deep Cherry Red Pearl, Granite Crystal Pearl, Maximum Steel Metallic, and Redline Pearl.