2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 (EU)

The Italian-owned American car manufacturing giant has recently offered its new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 high-performance SUV to its European customers touting it as “the most powerful Jeep ever.”

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 (EU)
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 (EU)

Giving the U.S.-based carmaker its due, I must admit that the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 indeed offers an almost overwhelming amount of power, which is squeezed from its new 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine (by the way, the same powerplant animates the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT-8 and it will reportedly be used in the upcoming sports utility vehicle from Maserati.)

Producing impressive 465 bhp of power and 630 Nm (465 lb-ft) of torque, the naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engine is about 50 hp more powerful and produces about 61 Nm more of torque than the previous HEMI V8 that powered the 2006-2011 MY Grand Cherokee SRT8.

Although the car is still quite heavy compared to its closest rivals (it tips the scales at 2336 kilograms or around 5150 pounds,) it is still very good when it comes to acceleration and top speed.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 performance SUV

According to Chrysler’s official press release, the vehicle takes only 4.8 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 kilometers per hour (0-62 mph) and has a top speed of 250 km/h (around 155 mph.)

For example, its closes rival -the currently available Range Rover Supercharged that sports a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine- takes painful 6.2 seconds to crawl from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour.

In fact, from the point of view of sheer dynamics, the new Grand Cherokee SRT8 is beaten only by the 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, however, in the United Kingdom, the German monster of a car is offered at a base price of outrageous £86,896, while the American redneck on steroids will probably be much less expensive.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 performance SUV (side view)

It also must be noted that -with an overall length of 4859 mm, overall width (with mirrors) of 2156 mm and a wheelbase of 2915 mm- the new Grand Cherokee offers more spacious (although not so plush) interior when compared to both the Range Rover and the Cayenne.

The official pricing is yet to be revealed, but there is a good chance that -like many other American muscle cars- the vehicle will be quite affordable. Also, Chrysler promises that the vehicle will offer a great deal of standard equipment, which is usually offered at a premium price.

The list includes the Command-View dual-pane sunroof system, a Uconnect satellite navi, an adaptive cruise control, as well as a blind-spot collision prevention system that makes changing lanes easier.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 performance SUV (metallic white, front view)

Other standard features include such features as 20-inch rims crafted from forged aluminum, new SRT high-performance vented Brembo brakes, sexy-looking hood mounted dual black heat extractors for added engine cooling, as well as a dual-sport exhaust system with 10 cm exhaust tail pipes (now everyone will know, right.)

As to the fuel economy numbers… Well, you didn’t expect some kind of miracle, right? Chrysler says that the car will travel around 12 miles on a gallon (19.6 l/100 km,) which will certainly make it as thirsty beast as the new Cayenne Turbo.

However, thanks to Chyrsler’s own “Fuel Saver Technology” that allows the car’s engine to work in a four-cylinder mode while traveling at constant speed, on the highway the Grand Cherokee SRT8 offers a slight increase in fuel efficiency making around 18 mpg (13.1 l/100 km.)

Well, it still sucks a great deal compared to Cayenne’s official EPA rating of 15 mpg / 22 mpg: blame the extra 370 pounds (around 160 kilos) of extra dead weight for that.

Chrysler promises that the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 will go on sale in Great Britain in the first quarter of the next year. Probably, the same goes for the rest of the continent.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 SUV (interior, side view)
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 SUV (interior, front view, instrument gauges)
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 SUV (interior, front bucket seats)

Photos: Chrysler / Jeep

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 technical specification

Price Range (estimated MSRP): TBD
Body Type: 5-door SUV
Layout: V8 front engine, 4WD
Base Engine: 465 bhp, 465 ft lb (630 Nm) of torque, 6.4L, HEMI, V8
Transmission: W5A580, five speed, automatic
Exterior Dimensions (L/W/H/WB): 191.3 (4859) / 84.9 (2156) / 69.1 (1756) / 114.8 (2915) in (mm)
Ground clearance: 8.3 (210.8) in (mm)
Track (frt/rr): 63.7 (1618) / 64.3 (1633) in (mm)
Approach Angle (degrees): 18.45
Breakover Angle (degrees): 17.84
Departure Angle (degrees): 21.9
Curb Weight: 5150 lbs (2336 kg)
Coefficient of Drag (Cd): 0.40
Seating Capacity: up to 5 (2/3)
Cargo Volume (Behind Rear Seat / Rear Seats Folded): 35.1 (0.99) / 68.7 (1.95) cu ft (m3)
Payload (max w/ occupants and cargo): 1350 lbs (612kg)
Towing Capacity (max): 5,000 lbs (2269 kg)
Fuel tank: 24.6 gal (93.1 l)
Direct Competitors (4×4 capable): Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Range Rover Supercharged, BMW X5 xDrive50i, Mercedes-Benz ML-Class AMG, Infiniti FX50

See also: 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Concentrated luxury