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Will Trackhawk make 700 hp?

by Michael Volkmann on

Even before the first Hellcat-equipped Dodge Challenger was shown to the public, there has been speculation on what a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with a Hellcat  would be like.

(Grand Cherokee SRT shown.) At first, we were told that the Trackhawk might not even be produced, because the Grand Cherokee is an upscale car and the engine was just too noisy; but the Hellcat is quieter than it was when in development trim, and that’s no longer a major issue. Nor is the supply of key parts.

At first, we assumed that the engine was have to be downrated rather dramatically to make all wheel drive possible. How tough can you make the transfer case and still have it fit under the car? We speculated that it would end up at around 640 horsepower, based on the capacity of existing components from various parts makers.

Now, though, reliable sources have reported that the system will make a full 700 horsepower. That means either they’ve found tougher transfer cases (and other parts) that still fit in the Grand Cherokee and aren’t far too pricey; or that they’ve gone the “heavy-handed torque management” route.

Keep in mind, though, that the official rated horsepower might be lower, e.g. 680. That 700 might be an estimate, or a “roughly,” or even gross power (before accessories). Updating the drivetrain components to meet the higher power requirements also explains why it has taken so long for this vehicle to debut. Regardless, as we’ve said before, even the low-end estimate we originally had — 640 hp — would be far, far above the current, highly regarded 6.4 Hemi Grand Cherokee’s power.

There’s little sure information about the Hellcat Trackhawk for the moment. We are fairly sure that it will debut in New York City, taking its place alongside the Demon for the most powerful launch in automotive history; but we’ve seen nothing concrete yet.

Michael Volkmann, a mechanical engineer in the steel industry, autocrossed and road-raced Neons. Michael has drag raced his 1971 Duster 340, 2009 Challenger R/T, and Neons, of which he’s owned seven — one SRT4, three ACRs, and three Sport Coupes.


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