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Grand Cherokee Hellcat seems closer

by Daniel Bennett on

Hellcat Grand Cherokee.

The term sends shivers of revulsion or anticipation down people’s spines. Revulsion if you are a hardcore Jeep offroad type or any executive at AMG, BMW’s M, or Porsche’s SUV division.

Anticipation if you are anyone else with a pulse.

2014 SRT Grand Cherokee 1

Nothing official has been said about a Grand Cherokee coming with the already legendary Hellcat installed, and there is not likely to be any official confirmation any time soon. We do however have some information that we can use, along with some deductive logic, that seems to indicate that a Hellcat Grand Cherokee could very well be a future possibility. Even though we have been told officially “It won’t ever happen.”

valve-cover

First off, the Grand Cherokee SRT has been the most profitable SRT vehicle during its whole production run. This is hard to ignore, especially when the Hellcat Chargers and Challengers are pretty much selling at list price (or more) with little to no effort. From a sales standpoint, a Hellcat Grand Cherokee makes home-run type of sense.

Secondly, a good portion of the powertrain development is done. The engine system is there, the transmission is there if they stay with RWD. The Ram diesel uses the 8HP70 in 4wd configuration, so it may be possible to adapt it to the 8HP90 4WD variant that would be needed for a Hellcat AWD. On the other hand, the transfer case, along with front and rear axles, are question marks. Can something be adapted from other uses? Or will something new have to be developed?

pulleys

The internal pressure to not  build it has been removed. With the Maserati Levante being moved off of the WK architecture and onto what sources claim is a heavily modified LX architecture (LX -> Ghibli -> Levante), the pressure to not “out-do” the Maserati is gone. According to insiders, this is the reason the Hellcat Grand Cherokee was originally not considered — though others said it was because the Hellcat’s noise would not be in character for the more luxurious Grand Cherokee (Hellcat turned out to be fairly quiet in ordinary use).

Aerodynamically, the SRT Grand Cherokee already has many of the features needed for a Hellcat, most notably the heat extractors in the hood. Adding a more aggressive fascia opening, replacing fog lamps with cooling tubes for the intercoolers, and possibly a full underbody shield would all help with the aero. Like Challenger, it would likely not be 200 mph capable, but it could  become the king of the SUV top speed and acceleration pile.

The “Trackhawk” name has been trademarked. Some think it will be the name that is used to allow the SRT branding to come off of the top performing Grand Cherokee. However, another theory keeps SRT branding on the Jeep, and allows Trackhawk to be the Hellcat variant.

2014 SRT Grand Cherokee 3

We have no solid confirmation that any of this is even being considered at this point, but there are more pieces in place to complete the puzzle than was originally thought. To quote the movie “Build it, and they will come”

Dan Bennett was doomed from the start. His parents bought a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner when it was known that he was coming along, and the rest of the story was written from that point forward.
Raised in a Mopar only home, Dan has also been Mopar only. From ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s muscle to current SRTs of various flavors, Dan has owned, and in many cases raced, each of the Mopar brands.
Dan’s real career is as a “parts guy” at a local dealership, but he also is a muscician, computer geek/gamer, avid reader, and general all around seeker of knowledge. His whole working career has been spent in the parts industry, starting in the aftermarket, and now at the dealership level. He took a couple years off and went in a different direction for a bit as a jewelry designer and salesman, and even though he won a design award for a piece, his true calling, automotive, won out in the end.
He has written articles, or has had vehicles that have appeared in Mopar Muscle, Sport Truck, and Truckin’. In various forums and social media, he has made a name for himself as the “Go-to” guy for tech information for all things Mopar. He also has a large background in many forms of racing and engine building, holding at one point a ASE Certified Master Engine Machinist rating. Though he no longer keeps that certification up to date, he is still very active in the engine building side when he has spare time.
To Dan, there is no option to covering the Mopar world, it is an imperative that must be done to keep his world in balance.
You can contact him at (206) 736-7670.


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